By Jen Schaeffers, Founder NetworkinginVan
I am excited for 2013. I love a brand new year. 2012 was a great one for me – I had a little boy, Ronan who is now 6 months old. I am finding that “balance” at home, being on my second maternity leave and keeping my brain engaged and active in the “business world”. So far I feel I am doing a good job of it, but the itch to go back to work is starting…and it’s getting, well…rather itchy.
New year! New events! New ways to develop and evolve myself both personally and professionally. Nothing jazzes me up more than meeting a group of likeminded women that want to take on the world. For me, it’s like being at a U2 concert in the front row – I just get all fired up and the wheels start turning.
I attribute so much of what I deem as my success to the relationships I have developed in the last few years. And the majority of those great relationships have been built with women that I met at the events I list out below. It was because I put myself out there, took risks, introduced myself, followed up…and voila, I’ve made at least 20 new friendships with women I find inspiring, strong and brilliant. I am very grateful.
If you haven’t been paying attention to our calendar, then remind yourself to come back and check weekly…because the events are rolling in and they are nothing short of stellar.
Five of my “must attend events” if you are a woman in Vancouver:
1. Women’s Executive Network Top 100 Summit (WXN, Most Powerful Women in Canada): I had the privilege of being part of the WXN Top 100 Mentorship program in 2011 and was matched with mentor Patricia Graham. I cannot recommend this program enough. The Top 100 Summit & Luncheon brings together the Vancouver winners of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada for a day of sharing, learning and development. So mark your calendar for January 31, 2013. For more details, click here.
2. Business in Vancouver’s Influential Women in Business Awards: March 6, 2013. I love the crowd at this event. Talk about networking with the best in Vancouver. Past recipients have included: Christine Day (CEO, lululemon athletica), Janet Austin (CEO, YWCA Vancouver) and Tracy Redies (CEO, Coast Capital Savings). I always walk away from this event feeling inspired by these incredible women who have made it to the top and still find the time to give back to their community. Ticket details here.
3. Forum for Women Entrepreneur’s Gala (FWE): The theme this year is “La Dolce Vita” (ie. the sweet life). I had the pleasure of attending last year’s event thanks to a donated ticket from Lisa Martin (check out her Thrive Kit for success + significance + harmony). It was a blast! Hundreds of women (and men) coming together to celebrate life as an entrepreneur, fundraise and most importantly have fun. February 18, 2013. More details & tickets here.
4. Professional Women’s Network (PWN) events: Michelle Pockey is the National Chair of PWN and is one of the most highest achieving women I know. Check out the profile I ran on her last March in our “Women Making a Difference” feature. On January 22, 2013 join PWN for their event “Workplace Wellness – Bringing your best to your business and personal life“. It’s sure to be a fantastic event!
5. Minerva BC events: On Jan 17th, Minerva will host a screening of the documentary “Miss Representation“. If you haven’t seen it, you must. If you have seen it, see it again! I have watched it at least 10 times now and I find myself inspired and much more self/media aware than I was before I saw it. The Minerva Foundation for BC Women also hosts a variety of other events throughout the year. I encourage you to check out their website and list of programs/events here.
I wish you much happiness and success for 2013. And remember, if you can’t afford to attend all of these events, volunteer! It’s a great way to network, give back AND be a great example for the women who may be looking up to you.