Women on the North Coast are seeking equality in opportunity when big industry arrive in town. On Wednesday, Feb. 18 the Women’s Leadership Network (WLN) was officially launched to set the wheels in motion.
The founder of the network, Miranda Mandarino is a social performance analyst at BG Canada who wants benefits from the resource industry to be distributed equally among women and men.
“From a business stand point, resource industries have a ‘resource curse’ where the (occupation) benefits often go to men and the challenges go to women,” Mandarino said.
The WLN came together two years ago when Mandarino was in Prince Rupert. She found in her conversations with women that they wanted a network to continue the dialogue. The homegrown network is made up of 60 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women with a range of careers.
The launch event was held at The Crest Hotel where a room full of women and a few men listened to short speeches from superintendent of School District 52, Sandy Jones, Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain, Port Edward councillor Christine Mackenzie, president of the Chamber of Commerce, Rosa Miller and a video message from Premier Christy Clark.
Jones has spent the past 35 years as an educator. “I like to imagine a world where we seek to help everyone shine,” she said. “Someone once helped me see my potential and it’s important I should do the same.”
At the launch, the executive board was announced: Kristina De Araujo, Michelle Bryant-Gravelle, Miranda Mandarino, Rosa Miller and Shelby O’Brien.
Miller offered a personal story to the crowd about learning how to skate and taking a coaching clinic so she could coach her two boys in minor hockey. “I’m in this group because no one is every going to tell you that you can’t do something.”
The executive board will start implementing the network’s goals for 2016 including establishing programs for women across all sectors in the community. To join the WLN ontact Miranda Mandarino at firstname.lastname@example.org