On International Women’s Day, we take a special moment to shine a light on the contributions and achievements that women make to our communities and organizations every single day.
But this is also an opportunity to have intentional conversations about the stereotypes, barriers, inequities, and biases that women face every single day—especially women who hold intersectional identities (Black, Indigenous, LGBTQ2S+, etc.), who face even deeper impacts of these challenges.
So, today, we’re bringing you a conversation with an expert in advancing women in business and leadership to bring the focus on International Women’s Day a little closer to home.
Shannon Pestun, a former business banker in Calgary, has been working to advance women’s entrepreneurship, helping women access the finance and social capital they need to start and scale their businesses, for well over a decade. She led ATB’s first dedicated women’s entrepreneurship strategy and has scaled her expertise to help women entrepreneurs across the country through her work with the Women’s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub.
In today’s conversation, Shannon shares her insights with us on the current state of women’s entrepreneurship in Canada and in Alberta as well as best practices to close some of the most common barriers women experience when starting and scaling businesses and/or moving into leadership positions within companies or on boards.
In this episode:
- About Shannon
- The state of women’s entrepreneurship in Canada and Alberta
- Representation of women in solo business vs. SMEs
- Funding gaps for women entrepreneurs
- Social and knowledge gaps for women entrepreneurs (and leaders)
- Increasing representation of women in leadership and boards
- Importance of representation for future leaders
- Net benefit and risk to advancing gender equality
- Advice to business leaders and policy makers
- Advice to future leaders and entrepreneurs
- Opinion: Supporting women entrepreneurs is crucial to Alberta’s economy
- Women’s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub
- See it. Be it. Entrepreneurship Database
- The Finance Cafe
- Osler: 2021 Diversity Disclosure Practices: Diversity and leadership at Canadian public companies
- Globe & Mail: “The Power Gap: Corporate Canada is still a boys’ club, data analysis show – and COVID-19 could make it more so”
- ATB Entrepreneur Centre
About The Brief
In this series, co-hosts Scott Crockatt and Brittany Brander explore the big challenges we face as Albertans; celebrate stories of growth, innovation, and prosperity; and discover bold ideas to make life better for Albertans.