Closing the Gender Leadership Gap in BC

December 07, 2023 07:25 AM AEDT | By 3BL
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Research shows that investing in women’s education and leadership development positively impacts communities at every level.

To realize this leadership potential, however, some women need a little boost.

Minerva BC is dedicated to helping to close the leadership gender gap by advancing the leadership of self-identified women and girls. For over two decades, the non-profit based in Vancouver, BC has helped women across the province reach their goals through education, mentorship, and leadership training.

“We are committed to changing the face of leadership,” says Ashley Milbury, Youth Programs Manager at Minerva BC. “We work with women and girls to realize their core values and key strengths, helping them step into the fullest versions of themselves as leaders.”

Minerva BC puts this into practice through its Learning to Lead program, which for over two decades has provided self-identified girls in high school with the opportunity to increase their confidence and explore their leadership potential. The mentorship opportunities woven into the programs build a network for participants as they move throughout their academic and career journey.

“For a very long time, there’s been a pretty narrow idea of what it means to be a leader,” says Milbury. “We’re trying to expand that definition.”

Enbridge is committed to building vibrant and sustainable communities near our operations, and has supported Minerva BC since 2021. Our recent $10,000 Fueling Futures grant helped Minerva BC with program expansion and hosting a one-day, in person Learning to Lead workshop in Prince George.

“This funding came at a really pivotal time when we wanted to grow our impact in the north,” says Milbury. “There has been so much interest in this program, and we’re thrilled to be able to expand our offerings places such as Prince George.”

In addition to Learning to Lead, Minerva BC runs other skills and development programs like its Making Space for Youth Leadership program, which brings together women leaders from diverse backgrounds and different industries to engage in a two-way exchange of knowledge.

“Many of our mentors, regardless of whether they’ve been enrolled in our programs, are really inspired to offer something that their teenage selves would have benefited from,” say Milbury. “They want to help give that advice that they wish they had known at that time—just to help make that path a little bit smoother for the generation coming up.”

The ultimate goal is for participants to leave the program with greater self-awareness and the inspiration to take on new challenges and opportunities.

“The participants in our programs come here so ready to take on the world and tackle any challenges—and we get to create a space where they can start to tap in and uncover who they really are,” says Milbury.

“I feel lucky just to play a role in creating a space where their brilliance is going to emerge. It always does.”


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