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Local Journalism Initiative

It’s all about confidence: Thriving in a COVID environment the theme of International Women’s Day event

BROCKTON – Area residents – both women and men – will have the opportunity to attend a virtual Women’s Day event featuring keynote speaker Diane Crawford, on March 8, 6: 30-7: 30 p.m. The event is part of the AWE (Advancing Women Economically) webinar series to assist local women in business. Brockton’s community development co-ordinator, Paulette Peirol, said the Women’s Day event is the highlight of the AWE series. “This is really exciting,” said Peirol. It’s hosted by the regional economic development group Saugeen Connects, which is a partnership of Saugeen Economic Development Corporation and five member municipalities – Brockton, Hanover, West Grey, Minto and Wellington North. Peirol commented on the fact Saugeen Connects involves three counties. The Women’s Day event, entitled Removing Barriers to Success: The 5 Cs, is free of charge and is taking place via Zoom. Pre-registration is required – contact [email protected], or call 519-799-5750 (toll-free 1-877-335-7332). Diane Crawford of The Voyage Inc. is a leadership development specialist and international speaker. Peirol said the keynote speaker’s research has allowed her to focus on the “five Cs” that allow women to grow and thrive during COVID-19. The first four Cs are confidence, collaboration, communication and connections. The fifth, said Peirol, is COVID. Included in her presentation are practical tips on controlling beliefs that hold women back. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the entire world, but moving forward is possible, with a new set of skills and a supportive network. The keynote speaker will cover the impact of COVID 19 then discuss some extremely practical actions we can all take to move forward and thrive. Crawford’s information indicates individuals with a high level of confidence have a belief in their ability to succeed and in their unique skills, and a low fear of failure and willingness to be outside of their comfort zone. At any time, many women struggle with confidence, but the current pandemic has challenged even the most courageous of us. In her talk, Crawford will share information about the power of confidence, recognizing how well we have done so far. She will then move into practical approaches to develop more confidence. The idea of self-limiting beliefs will be examined, along with how we have the power to reframe those beliefs. In the second part of her talk, Crawford share information about the value of a collaborative approach, and the benefit of connections along with powerful communication tools. Crawford has a diverse background. Originally from rural Manitoba and Saskatchewan, she has lived in other parts of Canada and overseas. In 2020 she developed and delivered a pilot Women’s Leadership Development program for Afrimac, which is a program to support women in West African countries. Afrimac is supported by governments of the European Economic Union and local affiliates and is aligned with the objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Some of the challenges faced by these women included the traditional role of women, lack of business expertise, poor access to resources, rural and isolated locations, lack of confidence and connections. Also, in 2020 she developed and delivered a Women’s Leadership Retreat held in Grey-Bruce and is preparing more for 2021. Along with delivering keynote speeches at Women in Leadership and Business conferences, Crawford was asked to be on their advisory board due to her passion for women’s leadership development. She has been a regular keynote speaker at the Human Capital Institute conferences across the U.S., as well as many other speaking and training engagements with organizations across Canada. Her support for women entrepreneurs is also reflected in her support of SheEo, an international network of women who show their support to other women entrepreneurs in several ways including a financial commitment Since relocating to the Grey-Bruce area, Crawford has looked for ways to be involved in the community and is a supporter of the United Way and a member of the Owen Sound Chamber of Commerce. Crawford has a varied business background and skill set. From managing her own start-up to directing a team of over 400 professional staff, she has honed her coaching and people development skills. She offers first-hand strategies to manage the dynamics of change, build self-awareness, understand values, leverage strengths and create vision. Prior to starting her company, The Voyage Inc., Crawford held several senior leadership positions at The Co-operators: underwriting, finance and administration. In addition, she successfully operated her own insurance agency for several years. She has been a high achiever throughout her career but more importantly has developed and positively influenced many others. A captivating storyteller and international speaker, Diane has enlightened audiences from small businesses to large international conferences. Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times

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