Impact and influence: an internationally-minded renewal of IWF Montreal

The Montreal chapter of the International Women’s Forum is relaunching its new season on the 23rd of September

On the last 14th of June, it was an honour and a privilege to be named by my peers the new president of the Montreal chapter of the International Women’s Forum. The IWF is a group of over 7000 members from over 33 countries, bringing together accomplished and passionate women that want to exchange ideas, learn, inspire, and build a better model of leadership.

The challenge that lies before us is to push this global network even higher and further while keeping our feet firmly on the ground of our own local milieu here in Montreal and Quebec. With the support of my local as well as the national executive, our vision is to take advantage of our francophone roots here in Montreal and use our culture and language as a tool of dissemination and innovation for our chapter.

On top of making sure that we continue to cultivate a vibrant francophone presence throughout the renewal of the Montreal chapter, I also want to renew our commitment to diversity and inclusion. The members of the IWF are themselves experts and ambassadors on the best practices to ameliorate the representation of all women and thus better respond to the demands of a world of work in continuous flux. We can count amongst our members the Minister for International Relations and the Francophone World Nadine Girault (follow her on Twitter @NadineGirault), the former President for the Société de transport de Montréal Louise Roy who now heads CIRANO, Monette Malewski, recognized by IWF Canada as a Luminary in 2018 and peace activist for the Einstein Project, as well as Mary Larson, the cofounder of the Montréal IWF chapter, amongst many other accomplished and respected women.

The world needs women in positions of positive influence with a commitment to sustainable development. The climate catastrophe and social equity are issues of primary importance to me, where the solutions go hand in hand with the education and empowerment of young women in every sector, especially those in the sciences and technology. As vice-president of government relations for a multinational company in energy technology, a traditional industrial and government context where decision-making roles are primarily given to men, I am personally very aware of the stakes and motivated to be a part of the solution.

In parallel with my work with the IWF, I am also a member of an industrial collaboration initiative with the Minister of Natural Resources Canada called PARITÉ d’Ici 30 / EQUAL by 30, a global platform under Canadian leadership that asks companies and governments to ensure the presence and participation of women as well as to commit to fair leadership principles and take concrete measures to eliminate the gender gap in the renewable energy sector. The transition to clean energy is the foundation of our future wellbeing, here in Montreal and across the globe — a subject that I will revisit in future blog posts in great depth!

It’s with these objectives of equality in mind that we are endeavouring to relaunch the Montreal chapter of the IWF with the following vision, missions, and values:

VISION

  • Women are fully represented in positions of highest decision-making authority in Canada and exercise their leadership globally.   

MISSION

  • That the IWF brings together accomplished women across Canada to develop and exercise women’s leadership and to leverage our global network.

VALues

  • That both our vision and mission are underpinned by our key values of integrity, professionalism, camaraderie and respect.

I met Anik Trudel during our years studying law, and we kept in touch after our internships at one of the most demanding law firms in Canada. Today, Anik Trudel is the director of Lavery, the largest independent law firm in Quebec. With an integrated team of 250 professionals, they give a 360 degree approach to organizations when proposing innovative and personalized legal solutions, completely adapted to the specificities of each situation.

This fall, Lavery has generously offered to host us on the 23rd of September to relaunch our programming and welcome our new recruits in the presence of our long-time and distinguished members. I am very excited to attend our first conference luncheon to announce our calendar for the next year. (As the IWF is an invitation-only organization, if you want to find out more about joining, do communicate with iwfcmontreal@iwfcanada.com.)

It’s going to be a busy end of summer! On top of mentioning our event on the 23rd of September, I want to note a few other notable events on the calendar. From the 24th to the 25th of August, our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in attendance at the G7 in France, where one of the stated goals of the event is to commit to strategies to reduce gender inequality. I’d also like to remark that France has decided to maintain the G7 Advisory Board on the Equality between the sexes that was launched under Canadian leadership.

On a more personal note, I have been invited to speak in Toronto on the 29th of October on the topic of diversity in the field of energy at a women in tech conference. More details coming soon: I’ll keep you all in the know when I have them. Update 2019/08/30: Here is the official website for the CAN-TECH Law’s Annual Conference. Hope to see some of you there!

A little later in the season, I also want to plug the first annual edition of the Cocktail des presidents et des femmes leaders on the 6th of November, which will celebrate the growing importance of women to Quebec’s economic vitality. The cocktail is presented by Desjardins, and I invite you to check out the link above for more information

One last reminder that Equal by 30 is always looking for new signatories. Don’t hesitate to communicate with the campaign here to find out more.

Thank you for reading and have an amazing end of summer!

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