Advancing Women East conference inspires, empowers and makes connections

Around 450 women from across the country and the U.S. came together  in Toronto to talk agriculture, leadership, network and be inspired in October.

The two-day event focused on subjects such as personal branding, leadership, entrepreneurship  among others in the agriculture sector.

Ogilvy and Mather’s Katherine Surgenor spoke at the conference.

She says without a doubt this is the best conference she has ever attended.

“I sat through absolutely every session, every speaker had an interesting topic they were engaging, they were so relevant and I learned something,” said Surgenor.

Tonya Haverkamp, an egg farmer from Listowel, Ontario, says she’s been blown away by the conference and recommends it as a great way for women in the industry to network and be inspired.

“It’s a super great event for women in agriculture, whether you are on the farm in the barns doing the manure to whether you do cash crop or involved in the ag community whether it’s in other jobs businesses banking anything.  I think any woman if you are involved in the agriculture industry with anything, I think it’s important and to feel connected with other women in the ag industry,” Haverkamp said.advancingwomenwest_2017_emailmasthead

Portia MacDonald – Dewhirst, Executive Director at Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council, says this conference is motivating for women.

“They see role models, says MacDonald-Dewhirst, adding this is what this conference provides.

“They are seeing some of the senior women in very important positions, women that have been accomplished and have risen through the ranks that are running businesses, that are running boards, that are really making a difference and that’s important for the younger audience, it’s also important for those in those positions to network and work some of their other colleagues, so the conferences are terrific”

MacDonald – Dewhirst says those who haven’t attended need to make a point of it.

“They need to come to a conference like this, it’s a terrific opportunity to expand your network to learn about what’s going on in the industry it’s exciting and new be part of the conversation and to really expand and to really grow moving forward.”

York University, Associate Professor of Human Resource Management, Marie-Hélène Budworth says it’s a wonderful place to start making connections.

“To start meeting people you don’t necessarily meet every day, but in your industry, who can help you, help support your career path and help you support your broader industry, says Budworth adding, “there were wonderful connections and resources to have as a way of learning more about the space you are working in.”         The next conference will be held in Calgary, March 6 and 7, 2017.