Ni­a­gara’s fe­male role mod­els be­ing cel­e­brated

The Niagara Falls Review - - NEWS - MICHELLE ALLENBERG MAl­len­berg@post­media.com

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.

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