The Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) is ULI Toronto’s internal committee that promotes the advancement of women in real estate and development, and serves the purpose of bringing women together and supporting each other in the business world. In particular, WLI is focused on increasing diversity across the spectrum by enticing women to join NFP and private boards, advisory boards, and related committees. However, WLI sees a growing problem at the Board of Directors level, as achieving gender diversity at this level has stalled. With new rules aimed at increasing gender diversity on public boards, many organizations will increasingly be looking for talented women to heed the call.
ULI is supporting this initiative by hosting this web-link to provide resources to women seeking opportunities on boards and to those seeking qualified women to serve on their boards.
ULI/WLI will also be organizing events to provide resources and information on this issue. The first introductory session was held on November 21st 2016, at a sold out members only lunch sponsored by McCarthy Tetrault. Speakers included Aretha Phillips, Manager of Public Appointments at the City of Toronto, Deborah Rosati, Corporate Director and Co-Founder of Women Get On Board, Manisha Thacker, WLI Committee, Rahul Bhardwaj, Institute of Corporate Directors, Katherine Lee, Board Member, BCE Inc. & Colliers International Group. The second event sponsored by Cassels Brock LLP, was held on the evening of May 8th, 2017. A panel of representatives from the three orders of government (municipal, provincial, and federal) considered how professional women in the multi-sector real estate industry can put themselves forward for service on public boards. Speakers included keynote Karen Stintz, president and CEO of Variety Village and a former Toronto city councilor. The panel included Anne Sado, President at George Brown College, as the moderator and included the following panelists: Aretha Phillip, Manager of Public Appointments at the City of Toronto; Shelley Potter, Deputy Chief of Staff, Planning & Administration at the Office of the Premier of Ontario; and Danica Shimbashi, Privy Council Office at the Government of Canada. Further events will take place in the coming months.
Companies and agencies looking for highly qualified women candidates to serve on boards, agencies and commissions can refer to the WLI Championship Team website which highlights many of the female leaders in our community.
Building Your Board Profile, Women Get on Board
How to Prepare for Corporate Board Roles, Women Get on Board
Serve Your City, Mid-Term Public Appointments, Boards & Associations- City of Toronto
Government of Ontario– Upcoming Vacancies
Federal board positions – Government of Canada
Women Get on Board
Institute of Corporate Directors
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please keep in touch .