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2017 TMA NOW Leadership Program

TMA NOW aims to help the next generation of female professionals break their own glass ceilings – across the country and around the world – through education, networking and mentorship.

This mission was perfectly showcased on January 12 and March 30, as more than 60 insolvency professionals gathered in Toronto for a unique two sessions of networking and interactive presentations. Both sessions were led by Professor Tiziana Casciaro, who guided dynamic discussions on gender bias and how it can unfairly impact professional development.

Bennett Jones LLP played host to the January 12 session where the discussion explored how women leaders are perceived by men. A lively debate examined the different stereotypes and biases that apply to women leaders. Participants walked away with useful strategies to overcome these differences.

The second workshop, held at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP,  on March 30, highlighted the differences between typical male and female professional networks. A questionnaire was circulated in advance of the workshop to guide discussion and expose unconscious biases. Once again, the session concluded with practical takeaways to assist female professionals to successfully develop their own networks.

The interactive nature of these events offered an excellent opportunity for members of the insolvency community to network across industries. Plenty of time for mingling and small break-out discussions allowed for the exploration of shared – often frustrating – experiences in a supportive, non-threatening atmosphere and fostered a stronger sense of community. Participants left feeling empowered, with an eye to putting their new-found knowledge, networks, and strategies to work.

These events were accredited by Law Society of Upper Canada for CPD professionalism hours.

Tiziana Casciaro is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Rotman and the Professor in Leadership Development at the University of Toronto. Her research explores how structural and psychological forces jointly shape behavior in organizations