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Empowering Future Leaders: International Women's Day Panel

Empowering Future Leaders: International Women's Day Panel

By: Nicholas Catania, Principal of Blyth Academy Mississauga  

In celebration of International Women's Day, Blyth Academy Mississauga recently hosted a thought-provoking breakfast panel aimed at empowering students and highlighting the achievements of women in various fields under this year’s theme, “Inspire Inclusion.” The event welcomed all members of the Blyth Academy community, with students and staff from various campuses joining virtually. It drew in students, staff, and community members alike, fostering a spirit of dialogue and inspiration for all. 

The morning began with a warm welcome from Ms. Wilson who emphasized the importance of acknowledging and celebrating the contributions of women throughout history and in today’s world. The panel, comprised of three accomplished female leaders with diverse backgrounds in our community, shared their experiences, insights, and advice with our young audience. A light breakfast was also served on campus for those in attendance.  

Terri Ellis, Partner and Canada Alliance Leader (RSM), spoke passionately about breaking limits that women often place on themselves, sharing anecdotes from her own journey as a woman in corporate Canada. Her words resonated deeply with students aspiring to pursue careers in traditionally male-dominated fields, encouraging them to persevere and defy expectations, and to start building networks early and now. 

Danielle Norris, SCMP, Director of Marketing (RTOERO), shed light on the importance of seeking mentorship and support networks for women in the workplace. She emphasized the value of ‘bringing yourself to work’ in a professional setting, inclusive of your thoughts, experiences, and perspectives. She advocated for young women to continue to break barriers, be authentic, use their voice, and create space.  

Joanne Richard, P. Eng, Chief of Staff (Sanofi Pasteur), shared her past challenges and experiences breaking barriers in the engineering field while emphasizing the importance of female leadership and collaboration. She continued to promote the values of embracing diversity and celebrating uniqueness as a leader, emphasizing the ways in which diversity is the key to success in leading, working with, and creating more effective teams.  

Throughout the event, students had the opportunity to ask questions and engage directly with the panelists, fostering an interactive and dynamic exchange of ideas. From inquiries about work-life balance to discussions about overcoming adversity, the conversation touched on a wide range of topics relevant to young women navigating their paths in today's world. 

In commemorating International Women's Day, Blyth Academy not only celebrated the achievements of women but also reaffirmed its commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment where all students can thrive. By amplifying the voices of women and providing platforms for dialogue and empowerment, our school continues to shape the future leaders of tomorrow. 

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