Niagara’s female role models being celebrated
Niagara women will be recognized for their dedication and success during the Women in Business Awards celebration.
Each year about 40 women are nominated for various awards, including for emerging business, community spirit and arts and culture. The awards celebrate the individuals and organizations that have excelled in a specific business, profession or organization.
Mishka Balsom, president/CEO of Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, said the awards are important because they focus on the true value and diversity of business. The awards showcase those people and businesses that are succeeding in productivity and profitability and who are championing change in Niagara.
Not only do the awards showcase the great talent and work within the region, it also allows young women and girls the opportunity to find leaders and role models in their community.
“Young women need female role models. Given that the top ranks of many professions still seem stuck at a figure of less than 20 per cent for women at the top, it is particularly crucial for young women to find successful role modes,” Balsom said.
For many women in business, or other professions, Balsom said they often feel a sense of self-doubt despite having the educational background and expertise to assume a leadership role. Many women are either not given the opportunity to lead, or the self-doubt prevents them from believing they are qualified to lead. Balsom said the only way we as a society can change this is by creating more opportunities where women are recognized for their accomplishments in various professions.
When it comes to Niagara business, Balsom said, women are helping to shape the landscape.
Studies have shown that companies that have a more genderdiverse management team outperform less diverse teams by 17 per cent, she said.
“In Niagara, we have an endless number of female role models in all industries, from agriculture to hospitality, retail to innovation and more.”
Margie Spence of Royal LePage Niagara Real Estate will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for her 30 years of hard work. Throughout the three decades Spence has created the largest real estate brokerage in the region, with more than 400 employees.
When the awards are handed out Friday, Nov. 17, Spence will also be recognized for her leadership and charitable work. She has supported Gillian’s Place, South Niagara women’s shelters, Habitat for Humanity, Niagara Health’s OneFoundation and local food banks.
The Women in Business Awards celebration will be held at the Crowne Plaza in Niagara Falls from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are available at gncc.ca and cost between $57.50 and $65.