Women As Career Coaches 2011

Young Women Find Their Passion at Seventh Annual
Women as Career Coaches Event with Special Guest Jeanne Beker

HALTON, ON On March 24, 2011 the Halton Industry Education Council (HIEC) hosted the seventh annual Women as Career Coaches (WACC) event with special guest and 'fashion guru extraordinaire' Jeanne Beker. The more than 700 attendees, made up of female high school students and adult women the evening's career coaches were there to talk about finding their passion, and take part in an inspirational evening of intergenerational mentorship.

'What an amazing and truly inspirational event. I am really glad that I was able to come and speak to both the career coaches and students,' said one Career Coach. 'I learned tonight, that it's never too late to follow your dream.' For students, the evening was a learning experience. 'Because of tonight, I'm ready to pursue my dreams and never give up,' said a student attendee. 'I know that I have to the potential to achieve my dreams.'

During the evening both students and career coaches were able to participate in table discussions about career paths, personal goals and life lessons. The audience also listened to four spotlight speakers from the audience, who spoke about their varied and fascinating career journeys. These speakers included Cathy McCrory a Sargeant with the Commercial Crime Section in the RCMP; Tina Hart a Stone Mason with Hartt Stone; Elyse Simpson, a musician and founder of Jangle Records; and Dianna Dinevski, a Research Executive Assistant with Sheridan College.

The evening came to a close with the help of highly anticipated guest speaker Jeanne Beker, longtime host of FashionTelevision and one of the most iconic and influential women in the fashion industry. Jeanne took the guests on a journey as she discussed her career path and how being passionate about her career helped her get to where she is today. Jeanne's message to the young women in the audience was clear: 'the more you do, the more you can do.'

WACC was created through the shared belief that young women need access to adult role models who are willing to share their career pathways, encourage positive self-esteem and promote the goals and dreams of youth. The program works by bringing together adult women from diverse backgrounds in the workforce, and female students, grades 9 through 12, who are exploring their career options. The night's program was built on the theme of finding your passion, and WACC's key message - 'just because you wander, doesn't mean you're lost' which struck a cord with all attendees, who left who left feeling empowered and inspired.

WACC has grown over 150% over the past seven years. Last year the event began to see participants from the first WACC event return as career coaches. The event has gone full circle, creating a culture of mentorship in Halton that will have lasting impact.

HIEC would like to thank the many sponsors and supporters of WACC, including event partner the Ontario Women's Directorate and Keynote Sponsors The Hamilton Spectator and The Hudson Bay. Their generosity and support helped WACC inspire so many students and adults in the Halton community.

HIEC would also like to thank everyone who participated in the $25,000 Community Challenge that was launched in January. The community support for the challenge, which generated sponsorship for both WACC and HIEC's Men as Career Coaches event, was truly inspirational. To learn more about WACC and HIEC's many other programs, please go to hiec.on.ca.

Women as Career Coaches - Press Release .PDF