Women in Leadership Summit 2021 has been finalized. Please find keynote and session descriptors below!

Women in Leadership Summit 2021


Session Info

Join us on March 6th for the Women in Leadership Summit 2021: Resilience

The Women in Leadership (WIL) Committee was established to provide supports that that enable the advancement of women in educational leadership within school jurisdictions as well as the Association.  There are three main ways the WIL committee accomplishes its mandate: through policy recommendations, the organization of an annual Summit, and research on the career progression of women in educational leadership. 

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic the WIL Summit planning committee chose the theme of the this year’s Summit to be “RESILIENCE.” Within the context of public education, resilience refers to the ability of systems and individuals within those systems to experience jarring setbacks and find a way to bounce back from that adversity.  The speakers for this Summit will share stories that relate to this theme and the organizers are excited for all of the sessions, keynotes as well as break out sessions.    

This day-long conference kicks off at 8:45 am with opening remarks from WIL Chair Kathy Hoehn, followed by keynote speaker, Marni Panas. Attendees will be able to choose from 10 different speakers/subjects for their 3 breakout sessions. An opportunity also exists for some attendees to take part in a special focus group discussion. The day wraps up with our second keynote speaker, Sandra Woitas, followed by the summit closing remarks.

Here is a brief breakdown of this year's presenters:

Marni Panas (Keynote) - Diversity and Inclusion
Panas is dedicated to creating safe and welcoming, and inclusive environments  especially for the LGBTQ population in large public and private organizations, all levels of government and departments, health care, educational institutions, corrections and law enforcement. She was also part of the work that led to Gender Identity and Gender Expression being added as protected grounds from discrimination to Alberta’s Human Right’s Act.

Sandra Woitas (Keynote) - If I had known earlier in the pandemic that it was the last time I would be in a restaurant, I would have ordered two desserts
Albertans have come to realize it's not the bankers, hedge fund managers or CEO's we've come to rely upon during the pandemic. It's our front-line workers - supermarket cashiers, cleaners, day care workers,  nurses, LPN's, teachers, educational assistants, principals and support staff - mostly women. This keynote will address the best way to care for others is to first care for yourself.” 
Melissa Purcell - A Call to Action for Advancing Indigenous Women in Education:  Restoring Balance through Truth, Justice and Reconciliation   
Throughout this session you will examine historical and contemporary issues, challenges and inequities for Indigenous women, including action to support reclaiming power and place. 

Myra Rybotycki - Financial Wellness is selfcare: Women, Wages and Wealth
Financial planning is life planning. This session provides a plan of action, whether you are taking that first step into financial independence or finetuning your financial wellness goals.

Dr Konni deGoeij - Building a Climate of Trust: A Leadership Essential
When you have trusting relationships between team members and leaders, you have the foundation for building a successful organization or school.  

Dr Lenora M LeMay - Using Hope to Build Resilience
Dr LeMay will highlight how her work over the last 20 years, as a hope-focused practitioner and scholar, has contributed to her own and others' experiences of becoming more resilient. 

Sarah Clark - Leading in a Storm
This session will speak to how we support ourselves and others during uncertainty, transition and change.  

Laurie Dirsa - Chasing Giraffes while Slaying Dragons
Laurie Dirsa shares her experiences about teaching with cancer, getting married, surviving an emotionally abusive marriage and teaching and finding the strength to keep bouncing back.

Kelsey Beier - Grief in Education
Because of the global pandemic, teachers have been tasked with the role of instruction while simultaneously experiencing feelings of grief in and outside of the classroom walls. My hope is to validate these feelings of collective grief while offering suggestions on how to mourn in a meaningful and thoughtful way.

Dr Kathy Toogood - Inspiring Leadership in Uncertain Times
During this time of teaching and leading in COVID, we have been reminded of the things over which we have no control. In order to survive and thrive, we need to focus on those things that we do control and influence. 

Shannon Dube - Out of the Ashes and Out of the Waters - How a Northern Community Is Finding Its Way
In this session, Shannon Dube, will share the circumstances and stories of the community of Fort McMurray, emphasizing all that the city has been through, as well as the teachers. 

Arshleen Johl - What Will Your Legacy Be?
The session aims to allow participants the opportunity to reflect on how often they empower themselves, other women and allies. Participants will learn multiple strategies to build up themselves, other women and allies.   

Focus Group - COVID19, Caregiving, and Careers of Alberta Teachers and School Leaders study 
There will be three focus groups held during the Summit to discuss the experiences of teachers and school leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Each focus group is capped at 7 participants and is open to teachers and school leaders who identify as female.

To register for this year's summit, follow this link.