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Sobey Women Offer Leadership and Evidence

Drs. Margaret McKee and Wendy Carroll were among the speakers at the Aon women in business breakfast and panel discussion held October 2.

Left to right: Dr. Margaret McKee, Jessica Severeyns, Meghan Brodmann, and Dr. Wendy Carroll.


Some current facts about women in business:

  • Women comprise only 5.2 % of CEOS in S&P 500 companies, and 11 % of top earners.
  • When there is only one woman at a management level, that woman is likely to experience far more microaggressions like needing to provide more evidence of competence (51%) or having judgement questioned in area of expertise (49%).
  • The Canadian public sector has achieved employment equity: 54% in 2015, up from 36.8% in 1987.

Dr. Wendy Carroll worked with a group of MBA students to develop a rolling slide deck filled with these pieces of evidence to form the context for the discussion at the event, "Be Bold! An Aon women in business breafast and panel discussion," held Wednesday, October 2 at the Harbourfront Marriott in Halifax. 

View the slide deck with citations: AON Breakfast Information Slide Deck

Dr. Margaret McKee, Associate Dean Academic, Graduate and Undergraduate Programs, opened the morning. She discussed her involvement with both the Institute of Corporate Directors (Dr. McKee helps organize the Directors Education Program we offer) as well as the 30% Club, which aims to have women comprise 30% of the seats on corporate boards. Thirty percent is the minimum critical mass for women to have their viewpoints truly heard. Underlying her message was the critical importance of evidence in making decisions. She then introduced the Christine Lithgow, CEO of Commercial Risk and Health Solutions at Aon, who served as moderator for the panel discussion. Panelists were Terrie-Lynne Devonish, COO, Commercial Risk Solutions, Aon; Ariel Gough, co-founder, Bailly; Victoria Labillois, owner, Wejipeg Excavation and co-owner, Wejuseg Construction; and Jennifer Gillivan, President & CEO, IWK Health Care Foundation.

MBA students Meghan Brodman, Jana Buchanan, Laura Jacobi, Mallory MacKenzie and Jessica Severyns, who worked on the slide deck, attended, along with Graduate Career Services Manager Karn Nichols, who reported being extraordinarily inspired by the event.