Women getting down to business 

By Russ Cooper

The John Molson Women in Business Club (WIBC) is marking International Women’s Day a bit early this year.

On March 6, the first annual Women in Business conference will be taking place throughout the EV building from 5 to 10 p.m.

The conference is an opportunity for staff, alumni, students and the public to have informative discussions and build relationships.

The organizers of the one-day conference hope to fill all 80 available spots with undergraduates from Concordia and elsewhere, young entrepreneurs and professionals.

"We really want to reach out to the community to connect people," says WIBC VP External Ana Marinescu, who will also serve as the conference's emcee. "It's all about businesswomen coming and sharing their experience with those attending.

"The conference will inspire students and provide real life examples of how young business women are taking their own future into their hands. There's a bright future ahead for women in business."

Bookended with a networking cocktail get-together and a silent art auction, the conference will feature five keynote presentations, as well as a panel of five leaders from Montreal's business community. Guest speakers will be Dana Ades-Landy, Senior VP, Major Accounts Commercial Lending, Laurentian Bank of Canada; Mairead Lavery, VP Strategy and Business Development, Bombardier; Lorna J. Telfer, Partner, McCarthy Tétrault; and our own President Judith Woodsworth.

“If you look at the presenters, we all come from different backgrounds and organizations. What’s nice about it is that we'll be able to share different experiences," says Kathy Stanczyk Thibault, Principal at Mercer, the world’s largest HR consulting firm. Thibault will also be a guest speaker at the conference.

“There are a lot of women in the workforce, but there aren’t a lot of women in top positions," she says. "As a first conference, it’s important to set the tone for subsequent years. Maybe we can help women not to make the mistakes made in the past."

While lightheartedly careful not to reveal all of its contents, Thibault says her presentation, "Did your mother tell you these 10 things? Truisms for Success" will focus on simple aspects that any smart businessperson might

"There’s a part of business acumen that is just common sense. Like number three – ‘fish where the fish are’,” she says. "It's things like that that we in business tend to forget.’”

The WIBC was established in Sept. 2005 by graduate students in the JMSB's MBA and Diploma in Administration programs to provide students, colleagues, alumni and professional businesswomen opportunities to network and interact.

Since Fall 2007, WIBC has mentored 20 MBA students with prominent businesswomen from Montreal's business community.

"I'm very proud of our accomplishments in the last two years," says Marinescu, who also served as the WIBC president in 2007. "This year, I knew that focusing on a major event that had the potential to reach a much larger audience and become a tradition for the club and our school was perhaps the best legacy to leave." www.jmwibc.com.


Concordia University