Niagara Leadership Summit for Women another sold-out event
The message was one of support, inclusivity and confidence at this year’s Niagara Leadership Summit for Women.
The event, now in its fifth year, was hosted by the YWCA and held at Brock University on Saturday,
The theme was Make Your Move. Together.
Kim Karin Milan, a Toronto-based writer, was keynote speaker.
“I really wanted to talk to women and girls about the ways we can support each other and help amplify women’s leadership and wanting to make leadership models that are not just about one particular kind of woman or girl but also for women and girls of different levels, racial background. Something that is really authentic and diverse,” said Milan.
She also talked about creating spaces for those leaders to find themselves and grow.
Social media is big contributor to women’s and girls’ challenges in our culture today, Milan said. Often, they feel enormous pressure to create a beautiful, successful life on social media. Facing pressure to look and act a certain way, own the right things and rack up ‘likes,’ all the while facing judgment from others.
When a space is created where women and girls can get out from behind the screen and face each other, talk and learn about each other, those pretences often fall away, she added.
“Spaces that create the opportunity where young women and young girls can come together are so important because it really challenges a lot of the media representations that we see where girls are petty, or they don’t support each other or they don’t care.
“Once you get them together in spaces like this where there is no other distraction they are able to really recognize that they do care about each other — we are not all being judged based on what we look like we are also being judged for our character,” said Milan.
“Girls need to feel valuable for who they are and that they are intelligent, important and they don’t have to pick either beautiful or smart, or tough or intelligent. You be can all of those things at the same time.”
The summit has sold out every year. This demonstrates to Rorison the need and want for it.
“What we hear from people is that they feel re-energized. There’s been a lot of negative media, a lot of tough stuff happening and when we can come together and release that and focus on what we can do to work together it really re-energizes people,” she said.
“We keep getting this amazing feedback and selling out, we gotta keep going, we have work to do.”
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