Black Canadian Women Role Models Leadership Conference

Written by BFAN Network Team

This event was held in October at Queen’s Park, Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Toronto. A ‘Strictly By Invitation Only’ event, geared towards moving female leaders forward. The event was arranged and hosted by the Diversity Advancement Network.


“Thank you so much for taking out time to be a part of history….the vision is now much bigger. We will be using this to encourage others within our network to do similar later this year and in years to come.”  – Paul Ade, Executive Director, Diversity Advancement Network

“You can do whatever you put your mind to. It starts with a dream. The key: execute the dream in the right order.”  – Jacqueline Dixon, CEO New Era Communications
“Females need to appreciate the things done by other females” – Margarett R. Best, Keynote Speaker, Former MPP, Legislative Assembly of Ontario: 
Margarett’s speech was based on two main themes

Women in Leadership

Research indicates that females are better at personally developing themselves, multi-tasking and have a proven track record in balancing work commitments and family life. In the majority of cases they take a leadership role in ‘office household’ duties and are the primary family representatives in the area of community outreach.

Several challenges faced by females include being held to higher standards and a lack of support for career progression. Margarett emphasized the need for a strong support structure, as a prime ingredient for realizing one’s full potential and achieving professional and business success.

International Day of the Girl Child

The date is October 11, 2016 as passed by a United Nations resolution 66/170. Records show there are 1.1 billion girls in the world today and it was created to represent the unique challenges girls face around the world. Rights to safety, education, adolescent support, healthy lifestyle as a platform for going into the next phase of life as a young woman embarking on defining her contribution to the world.

Margarett went on to state that “everyone of us has a responsibility to uplift another girl and help her to be the best she can be.

Shirley Chisholm gave a testimony on how being a Black Canadian Award Role Model has had a positive impact in her workplace.

“When we think about how to support the next generation of young Black girls, I think that mentorship plays an important role” Sandra Dawes, Professional Certified Life Coach

Sandra stated “October 11 is International Day of the Girl Child. When we think about how to support the next generation of young Black girls, I think that mentorship plays an important role. Growing up, I was told that if I did well in school and got a degree that I would be on the path to success, but I’ve learned that there’s so much more to it than that! I know that I would have benefited from a mentor to guide me. We don’t know what we don’t know, and having a mentor who is willing to share their knowledge and experience is gift that keeps on giving.

We need to support our young women so that we can share our experiences to guide them in a way that empowers them to truly realize their greatest potential. There are so many amazing opportunities to take advantage in this constantly changing world. I believe that we have an obligation to show the next generation of young Black women that anything is possible, that they sky’s the limit and support them in the pursuit of their dreams.

We don’t have to figure it out on our own. It’s important that we show young Black girls that it’s okay to ask for help and be there to support them when they do. Remember, a rising tide lifts all boats!”

The conference itinerary included individual pictures and networking, conversations plus Q&A with invited speakers plus group pictures. Each Black Canadian Women Award Role Model was presented with a signature ‘Black Women Awards Scarf’ at this exclusive, informative and memorable event.


Next Steps:

To host a similar event in Ottawa, Kingston Jamaica and Lagos Nigeria as the “Global Women Leadership Forum.”

*** Update***

On December 8, 2016 it was announced that Viola Desmond would be the face on the Canadian $10 bill.

Her story is captured in the articles and videos below

Viola Desmond’s legacy remembered in Nova Scotia

Viola Desmond to be featured on Canadian $10 bill


4 thoughts on “Black Canadian Women Role Models Leadership Conference

  1. Kudos for the great empowerment. Please also add Kenya on the lists of next steps To host a similar “Global Women Leadership Forum.”


  2. It’s great to know that we are taking steps forward towards empowering our female leaders. However, i would have like to see this event open up to more leaders vs. An exclusive event by invitation only. Please let us know the criteria to make the list for next year’s event. Wishing the organizers well and hope that your mission/vision statement continues to make positive impact around the world!!


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