Earlier this week, I met virtually with the BC Prior Learning Action Network (BCPLAN) board of directors for our monthly meeting. One vein of conversation was a comment on a presentation about women in an industry that has low female participation. Some mentioned how uncomfortable they felt about having it presented by an older Caucasian man who seemed tone deaf to the challenges faced by women. The presentation was two months ago, and even though many had recognized their discomfort at the time, no one had voiced it until our meeting. We decided right then and there that it is our responsibility to ourselves, BCPLAN, the working environments in which we lead, and to those who are not yet in leadership positions to speak up for diversity in gender, in culture, ability, and race.
Women in leadership bring better business performance
I was delighted to read this morning that the International Labour Organization had released a report called the Business Case for Change (May 2019) where it posits that women in leadership is good for business. As much as I would like to promote my own feminist agenda, the quest for balance and diversity in the work world is, I think, the key takeaway here. It's something that we strive for at ASPECT acknowledging that there is still a lot of learning to be done.
Diversity at the ASPECT Conference
Our goal every year is to put together a program for the ASPECT Conference that promotes learning about the diverse needs in our sector. We try to draw presentations from all specialized serving groups as well as providing professional development opportunities for front-line workers, administrators, community developers, and leaders and emerging leaders.
One of the topic workshops we are trying to fill is a session on adopting Truth and Reconciliation into a work environment. Last year, Rhonda Terbasket from the Okanagan Training and Development Council delivered a session on First Steps to Reconciliation. Sadly, Rhonda passed away earlier this year and we are looking for an ASPECT member or stakeholder to volunteer to present at the conference. In payment, we are able to offer a free conference registration valued at $425. Help us continue to make the ASPECT Conference a diverse learning experience that represents all our members.