Empower conference leaves those in attendance feeling inspired

Event marked International Women's Day and featured visiting speaker Courtney Kirschbaum

Courtney Kirschbaum speaks at the Empower conference. (Nolan Chapman/The Omega)

On Wednesday March 8, the TRUSU Lean-In Leadership for Gender Equality Club hosted their EMPOWER International Women’s Day Conference at TRU’s Grand Hall in the Campus Activity Centre. The event explored health, wellness, gender equality and leadership. The Empower conference provided the opportunity to shop local vendors, network with Wolfpack Athletes, students, business people and community organizations.

The keynote speaker for the conference was CEO Courtney Kirschbaum, an award-winning international speaker known for smart, insightful content and an engaging, frank manner in her talks. Kirschbaum is a TEDx speaker whose work can be seen in Fast Company, CIO and Business News Daily Magazine.

“I was so inspired by the organizer – Emi Ohama’s idea for International Women’s Day; being about empowerment and unity between men and women. It has been so positive and people have felt comfortable and able to say what is on their mind – having an open dialogue,” Kirschbaum told The Omega.

“The presentations by the school students were mind blowing and out of this world. Also, Steve’s presentation hit the right tone. He really brought the facts. He grounded his presentation with his knowledge on gender equality and composure.”

The presentations she refers to were by Steve S.J. Lee, a United Nations policy advocate and local high school students led by TRU’s own Madison Ellis, the TRUSU Lean In club executive director of its SD73 leadership project.

“Today was a really great experience. I spoke at the conference myself and I got to watch the girls that I mentored speak as well. They did such an outstanding job. Their presentation was so powerful,” Ellis said.

Madison said that having young women as a part of the conversation is so valuable when addressing gender inequality.

“I was blown away by all the speakers today. People attending have really enjoyed themselves. You couldn’t really ask for a more successful event.”