HIEC celebrates its 5TH Annual Women As Career Coaches

'Just Because You Wander, Doesn't Mean You're Lost'

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Women as Career Coaches gives young women the opportunity to learn about careers and pathways through mentoring.

Women as Career Coaches offers women of all ages an opportunity to connect and inspire each other by sharing their dreams and experiences. Since its establishment in 2005, attendance has more than doubled with last year's event drawing over 600 attendees. The program works by bringing together adult women from diverse backgrounds in the workforce and female high school students who are exploring their career options. These intergenerational connections are extremely beneficial for both groups of women - students become better informed about career decisions, while their female mentors share their own workforce challenges and successes.

HIEC was thrilled to welcome returning emcee and CP24's News Anchor and Traffic and Weather Specialist, Pooja Handa who shared her career path with attendees during the program. Capping off the evening was, the well recieved third time returnee, speaker Dr. Karyn Gordon. She Presented her keynote titled 'Inspiring Youth to Reach Their Career Potential.' Dr. Gordon has worked as a parent/teen coach, motivational speaker, author and radio host, and is committed to understanding the social, physical and emotional issues faced by today's youth. Dr. Gordon has been part of this event since its inception, and continues to be an inspiration to attendees.

Each year, the event brings a new level of inspiration to attendees, working as a source of career motivation for women of all ages, both student and career coach. As one career coach put it after last year's event, 'I now understand that it is never too late to dream.'

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Keynote Speaker Karyn Gordon latest work: Dr. Karyn's Guide to the Teen Years.

Dr. Karyn Gordon returns! Presenting a dynamic new plan to the audience '7 Strategic Questions to Inspire Youth to Reach Their Career Potential'. The presentation was built on the premise that anyone can find a 'job' but a 'career' should reflect individual skills, personality and passion. To achieve career potential, we need to learn how to ask the right questions.

The openness and honesty demonstrated by the Spotlight Speakers was extremely well received. The spotlights created a sense of empowerment and reassured students who were feeling pressure to make decisions that would impact the rest of their lives. Many students commented on how they were relieved to know that they could change their career directions as they navigated through their own career journeys. The spotlights also reaffirmed the evenings theme.

Throughout the course of the evening, attendees also had the opportunity to hear from 4 different "Spotlight Speakers" who told their stories and explained their pathways in terms of the Engage Principles. Spotlight speakers included:

  • Maureen Lush - Retired Teacher
  • Erin Barton-Chery - Director of Development and North American Programming, Free the Children
  • Jen Johnston - Firefighter, City of Burlington
  • Caroline McGuire - Pilot, Air Canada

The Spotlight Speakers had a huge impact on the audience. Although there was a range of speakers, which included different ages, post-secondary destinations and interests, one thing all the women had in common was that their career journeys did not follow a straight path. All of the Spotlight Speakers were open in discussing how their career paths had taken them in many directions and how each of them had come up against different obstacles and challenges over the course of their journey.

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