On October 10, 2018, Her Campus attended the BridgingTheGap to Her Forum, an event that brought together women from various sectors in tech and business to start a conversation on gender, the world, and making an impact. It was an honour to even be asked to attend as invitations were given through an application process. To be surrounded by such amazing people in a collective effort to change the world is empowering and hopeful.
Questions like: “How do we as women change the face of innovation? What can STEM provide to a table that is male-dominated? How do we stand out? How can the barriers be broken?” often arise in the workforce and societies we live in today. The event took on the challenge of answering these questions through experienced (and kind) speakers, mentor chats and panels of open communication between entrepreneurs and leaders of all ages.
The event was unique in that stakeholders of all levels—young leaders, entrepreneurs, business executives, government representatives—were all invited to the table, and these new perspectives were considered and debated. It was also action-oriented, allowing time for attendees to make plans for next steps to reduce or remove the challenges young women are facing. These are steps that should be implemented in any conversation for the betterment of the world.
Some takeaways from the forum include…
1. Focusing on continuous learning, creativity and curiosity
2. Encouraging each other rather than pretending to not want to see others succeed
3. Be open to change
4. Have confidence
5. Change impossible into steps for possibility
Many incredible women came to the event as speakers, mentors, and next generation leaders in order to learn from and inspire one another. It was delightful to see STEM innovators like the founder of Let’s Talk Science, Bonnie Schmidt, business strategists like the CEO of Women of Influence Inc., and even the first woman visible minority Canadian appointed Government House Leader in Commons, Hon. Bardish Chagger. The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, advised us to “have the courage to authentically be yourself.”
Our university’s own President and Vice-Chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur took the stage to talk about how women are changing the game. All these people gathering together in these times of uncertainty for people of this group shows the strength in the veins and might of women.
If you ever have the chance to attend a BridgingTheGap event, go for it! Go apply for the next one: https://btgforums.com/apply/.
We all contribute to each other’s journeys—why don’t we make it a positive impact?