Press Release .PDF


HALTON, ON – Halton’s culture of mentorship was on display once again on March 27 as the Halton Industry Education Council (HIEC) presented the ninth annual Women as Career Coaches event at the Burlington Convention Centre. More than 650 adult women and female students were on hand for a night of intergenerational inspiration.

'The [Women as Career Coaches] event hosted by HIEC last night was a huge success again,' raved one woman in attendance after the event. 'Truly inspirational and motivational!'

CP24 host and anchor Pooja Handa returned to the stage as the night’s emcee, joined this year by coemcee and spotlight speaker Tamara Lopez, a host at TVCogeco and recent recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work with Canadian Border Services. Tamara provided the women in attendance with a real-world mentorship success story, detailing how, following a meeting at last year’s WACC, Pooja has served as a mentor to Tamara, helping her explore a career in broadcasting.

The audience of about 325 adult women and 325 students also heard from three other spotlight speakers over the course of the night, representing a wide range of career pathways. Speakers included Maria Locker, founder of Mompreneur Showcase Group Inc.; Erin Fast, owner of Fast Cleaning Services; and Priscilla Ladouceur, architect and part-owner of Hossack & Associates Architects.

Along with inspirational videos and several opportunities for the women to share stories, compare generational experiences and inspire one another, the night concluded with a Q&A panel featuring all four spotlight speakers. Moderated by Jane Allison of the Hamilton Spectator, the panel covered topics like life-work balance, finding your passion and how to overcome life’s challenges.

Students left feeling energized by the speakers and the night’s key message of 'just because you wander, doesn’t mean you’re lost.' Of the panel, one student commented, 'I just wanted to let you know that you are all so beautiful and strong!'

Opportunities for the community to experience the benefit of intergenerational mentorship will continue. On April 18, the Burlington Convention Centre will host Men as Career Coaches, a companion event that will put the focus on the local male population. Registration is still open at hiec.on.ca/macc. That event will be followed by a number of sector-specific mentorship events, as HIEC embarks on a new project called Career Coaches Unlimited, supported by a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

HIEC would like to thank the many supporters and sponsors of WACC, including event supporters the Ontario Women’s Directorate, the Hamilton Spectator and EF Educational Tours. Earlier this year, HIEC issued its annual community challenge, asking the community to donate $30,000 for mentorship initiatives. To date, more than $16,000 has been raised. This generosity and support has helped WACC inspire so many in the Halton community. To learn how you can support HIEC’s mentorship programs, visit www.hiec.on.ca.

Photos from the event:

Emcee Pooja Handa, host and anchor for CP24, on stage at Women as Career Coaches 2013

Co-emcee and spotlight speaker Tamara Lopez on stage at Women as Career Coaches 2013

The panel of spotlight speakers at Women as Career Coaches 2013 included, from left, Tamara Lopez, host of Spotlight on TVCogeco; Maria Locker, founder of Mompreneur Showcase Group Inc.; Erin Fast, owner of Fast Cleaning Services; and Priscilla Ladouceur, architect and part-owner of Hossack & Associates Architects


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