Earlier this week, on the eve of International Women’s Day, I had the pleasure of attending a fantastic and inspiring event held at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, in partnership with TD. The large, glass room was filled with the buzzing sound of excited chatter from the prominent crowd of successful women of all ages in attendance.
The evening event was assembled for the official release of the new joint report from TD and the Rotman School that uncovered insights about how women across the country perceive the challenges and opportunities in advancing professionally. Excitingly, this provides an in-depth, honest and critical look into how women across Canada perceive the challenges and opportunities in advancing their careers.
Titled 10 Lessons: Women @ Work Managing Career, Family & Legacy, the report is the result of a year-long research project and essay competition that engaged nearly 400 working women from across the country. The finding revealed 10 key themes on how women can achieve success. Unsurprisingly, different women have different perspectives to what professional advancement means and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all point of view!
As a young woman running her own business, I know what a busy day can be like, and the pressure that “doing it all” can bring. Sometimes I feel like I’m juggling a phone meeting while turning on the laundry, sending off an urgent email while getting dressed, and running out the door for an appointment while simultaneously organizing dinner for the night. And I don’t even have kids, yet. On top of what we juggle on a daily basis, as women we have to think about our careers, our future, our family, our investments, and how everything we do will affect our lives and success. I found it incredibly inspiring to learn about the 10 lessons from Women @ Work. Here they are below:
1. Communicate Your Aspirations
2. Get An Education
3. Be Financially Prepared For The Unexpected
4. Develop Business Acumen
5. Understand The Trade-Offs Of A Career Break
6. Rethink Guilt – Focus On The Positive
7. Be Confident – Take Career & Life Risks
8. Find And Learn From Trusted Mentors and Mentees
9. Network, Network, Network!
10. Think About Your Legacy
These lessons come with in-depth information and inspiring quotes that you can read in the TD and Rotman School’s public report that’s available online HERE.
According to Walid Hejazi, an Associate Professor at Rotman School, one of the key findings from the report is the “significant role education and financial preparation play in contributing to solutions and future successes in furthering women’s careers.”
I think, as women living in Canada, we are so lucky to be highly educated, and need to be just as smart about our personal finances and investments as anything else that we take seriously in our lives. To give you an idea, real financial preparedness includes: having a clear picture of what you own, owe, earn and sped, having a solid long-term financial plan, and having an appropriate emergency (at least six months of expenses). It might sound cheesy, but it makes me feel proud to be involved with a bank that puts so much time and energy into empowering, encouraging and educating women about investing and taking control of their finances. In a round-table discussion I attended with TD last year, it was so inspiring to have an open and honest conversation with an eclectic group of women of all ages and backgrounds about their financial planning.
My personal library includes a vast number of memoirs by successful women whom I admire. I love reading about their lives, their careers, their families, and the highs and lows that they’ve faced throughout their lives. In a way, this new report is like reading a concise memoir compiled by 400 successful Canadian women to pass on their amazing knowledge and insight into managing their careers, families and legacies. Women @ Work may just be a report, but I think it’s an empowering reference for any #Girlboss to have at her desk.
Thank you for having me, TD!
Please note this post has been brought to you in partnership with TD, all thoughts and opinions are my own.