Mentoring Women Leaders in North-central Alberta

A Bonnyville leadership conference by women for women is getting a $33,250 boost from Status of Women.

Finding career success and leadership opportunities can be especially difficult for women living in poverty and those with disabilities, as well as for Indigenous women and women who are returning to work after raising children.

The Town of Bonnyville wants to change that with a Sept. 9 conference focused on helping women find long-term, stable employment. Women leaders will share their personal stories of overcoming barriers? such as language, poverty, racism or family violence?to inspire and mentor others in their career paths.

“Finding role models and mentors can change our lives. Everyone has a story, and by sharing their personal triumphs, women mentors can encourage our ambitions, ask us tough questions and offer guidance. I have benefited from mentors in my life, and am so pleased to support this conference for women in north-central Alberta.”

Stephanie McLean, Minister of Status of Women

The Town of Bonnyville has partnered with the Dr. Margaret Savage Crisis Centre, Acces emploi nord-est, Bonnyville Community Learning Council, Alberta Health Services Health Promotions and the Bonnyville Friendship Centre to host the conference. Speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Women are still underrepresented in leadership positions in Alberta, especially on municipal councils. Bonnyville has one woman on council, representing 14 per cent of positions.

“Bonnyville is very excited to be hosting a conference where women can share their stories of overcoming barriers with those who may be struggling. It will inspire all women to share their own story of overcoming. This grant from Status of Women to put on the conference will inspire more women to see themselves in jobs and opportunities they may have thought were out of their reach.”

Diahann Polege-Aulotte, community programmer, Bonnyville and District Family and Community Support Services

The conference is open to all northeast central Alberta women interested in attending. This geographical area includes, but is not limited to, Bonnyville, St. Paul, Cold Lake, Lac La Biche, Elk Point, Municipal District of Bonnyville and 4 Wing Cold Lake, Kehewin Cree Nation, Cold Lake First Nation, Frog Lake First Nations, Elizabeth Métis Settlement and Fishing Lake Métis Settlement.

About Status of Women grants

Status of Women’s first-ever grants program funds 34 innovative projects by not-for-profit and charitable organizations for a total of $1.5 million in the 2016-17 fiscal year.

Successful projects, such as Bonnyville’s “Everybody Has a Story” conference, work to end violence against women and girls, help women get good jobs and training and increase the number of women in leadership roles.