Elevate’s Entre-Nous on Encouraging Women to Be Bold, Be Loud

“When women come together, there’s an energy that’s unstoppable.”

It was a casual, casual comment from a guest speaker Rosey Edeho but her observation captured the spirit of Elevate International’s Entre-Nous networking event held Wednesday at the Rideau Club, in partnership with The Foundation WCPD and RBC.

Hosting the event was Solange Tuyishime Keita Free Mp3 Download, president and CEO of Elevate International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing women’s leadership and economic empowerment. Bringing summer vibes to the room in her yellow one-piece trouser suit, Tuyishime Keita was one of the winners of this year’s Forty Under 40 Award.

we
From left to right, Rosey Edeh, anchor at CTV Morning Live Ottawa, speaks with Solange Tuyishime Keita, president and CEO of Elevate International, during the Entre-Nous event at the Rideau Club on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The meeting featured a meaningful panel discussion with the participation of Ottawa Board of Trade President and CEO Sueling ChingFidus Systems CFO and COO Vicki Coughey and co-founder of SheBoot and member of Capital Angel Network Julia Elvidge† They discussed the significant impact of the pandemic on women and acknowledged that during the closure of school and childcare facilities, many women struggled to balance their career or business with family and family life.

Also, female-led startups have suffered from lagging venture capital, the chamber heard. Women-only founders received 2.7 percent of all VC funding in 2019. By 2020, this number had fallen to 2.3 percent and dropped to two percent last year. “It’s going the wrong way,” Elvidge said.

Elvidge, who is an electrical engineer by trade, helped set up a six-week boot camp, SheBoot, that prepares female founders to pitch their companies and secure investments, culminating in a pitching competition for a minimum of $100,000 in value. investments.

180,000 tech jobs were created in Canada between 2006 and 2016. Of those positions, 90 percent went to white men over the age of 45. “This is part of the reason for my passion behind SheBoot,” continues Elvidge, who co-founded and was previously president of Chipworks. “SheBoot is about creating a new generation of tech companies, a generation of tech companies where women are at the top and creating environments that are positive for women in the future.”

we
SheBoot co-founder and Capital Angel Network member Julia Elvidge, far right, participated in a panel discussion with Ottawa Board of Trade President and CEO Sueling Ching, far left, and Fidus Systems CFO and COO Vicki Coughey at the Entre-Nous event held at the Rideau Club on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips

Ching argued that in order to achieve greater gender equality, better policies, more opportunities for skills development, additional childcare options and conscious decision-making at leadership levels for equality and representation are needed.

“We need to stop thinking about equality as if it’s just the right thing to do or the fun thing to do,” Ching said. “This is what it takes for our economy to thrive… It’s not a nice to have, it’s a need to have.”

It was interesting to learn how Coughey decided to take a temporary break earlier in her career when she worked as a CFO for a major transportation company owned by the Irving family in New Brunswick. It was a demanding job and when she became a mother it became important to her that she spend time with her children when they were little. She also has a professional background in engineering.

Her advice to her audience was to never give up on those “precious mother” times. “Those are some of the most precious of my life and I will never regret the time I spent,” said Coughey, who took up consulting work and remained involved in the community throughout this period of her life. When her children got a little older, she went back to work full-time ‘with vengeance’. She said she would like to see more job-sharing opportunities for women.

Of course, every woman should do what she feels most comfortable with. Elvidge revealed that she almost turned down the offer to become president of Chipworks because she feared her children were too young at the time. She had a mentor who convinced her otherwise. “I said yes,” Elvidge said. “It was the best thing I’ve ever done. It was a great experience. I became a fantastic leader. It was great for Chipworks. I was great to myself. It was great for my kids.”

we
From left, Ottawa Board of Trade president and CEO Sueling Ching, Fidus Systems CFO and COO Vicki Coughey, and SheBoot co-founder and Capital Angel Network member Julia Elvidge participated in a panel discussion at the Entre-Nous event held at the Rideau Club on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips

The public got a unique perspective of serial immigrant entrepreneur and consultant Karla Briones, who spoke about the impact of the pandemic on immigrant women, many of whom had the added pressure to try and support relatives at home. “As we move to better countries, we take on the financial responsibility of helping parents, siblings and extended family when needed.”

The last conversation involved Edeh, anchor on CTV Morning Live Ottawa and a three-time Olympian. With regard to obstacles, she expressed concern about the high number of girls who stop exercising during their teens. “I’m not talking about girls, women who are involved at the Olympic level, but just to participate, to be on the move,” said Edeh, pointing out the benefits of sport, including increasing self-esteem.

“We must encourage women; we must be bold; we need to be loud,” said Edeh, who sits on the Athletics Canada board and serves on the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Committee. “When I’m on television, I’m loud. Sometimes you have people tweeting, ‘Why is she so loud?’ I don’t care, I don’t care. I think girls need to see that so they can say, ‘I have an idea. I think this app is really going to work. Where can I take this?’. I want them to be constantly bold and louder and think wider.”

we
Serial immigrant entrepreneur and consultant Karla Briones was one of the guest speakers at Elevate International’s Entre-Nous event on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at the Rideau Club. Photo by Caroline Phillips
we
From left to right Rima Aristocrat, president of Willis College and board member at nonprofit Elevate International, with Solange Tuyishime Keita, president and CEO of Elevate International, at the Entre-Nous event at the Rideau Club on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
we
From the left, professional wardrobe consultant Mary Ciancibello, who also works for Global Affairs Canada, with Lindsay Firestone, ddirector of community engagement and development for the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Foundation, during the Entre-Nous event at the Rideau Club on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
we
From left to right Andrée Paige, director of communications and marketing for Commissionaires Ottawa, with Delphine Haslé, executive director of the Perley Health Foundation, during the Entre-Nous event at the Rideau Club on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
we
From left, Helen Hirsh Spence, Founder and CEO of Top Sixty Over 60, with SheBoot co-founder and Capital Angel Network member Julia Elvidge at the Entre-Nous event at the Rideau Club on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Photo by Caroline Philips
we
From left to right Brenda Rothwell, Ambassador for Great Gifts at The Ottawa Mission, with BGC Ottawa, Director of Great Gifts and Communications, Jessie-Lee Wallace, who is also an OCDSB school administrator nominee for Zone 9, and Sylvie Corbin, Chief Gifts Officer at The Ottawa Mission, at the Entre-Nous event at the Rideau Club on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips
we
From left, Jeff Todd of The Foundation WCPD, with Deirdre Freiheit, president and CEO of Shepherds of Good Hope, and Laurel Gillespie, CEO of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, at the Entre-Nous event held at the Rideau Club on Wednesday held, June 22, 2022. Photo by Caroline Phillips

[email protected]

Leave a Comment