She & Her – Women in Leadership Symposium

She & Her - Women in Leadership Symposium

Two of Sudbury’s leading females want to help you celebrate International Women’s Day at She & Her – Women in Leadership Symposium. This is the first year the event is taking place and they already have an amazing group of ladies lined up for their panel and key note. We spoke with the organizers to find out more about the event.

What is She & Her? 

She&Her – Women in Leadership Symposium is a celebration in honour of International Women’s Day (March 8th)! She&Her is an evening of thought-provoking, inspiring and empowering conversation with a few of Sudbury’s leading females. The event will feature a panel discussion about what it means to be women in leadership, followed by a keynote presentation on the importance of empowering and inspiring our younger generation to aspire to lead. The event will also give leaders in our community the chance to meet and and get to know each other over a cocktail and a few appetizers!

She&Her is also in support of Canada Learning Code. All proceeds from She&Her will be donated to the local Sudbury Chapter. Canada Learning Code’s goal is to ensure that all Canadians – particularly women, girls, people with disabilities, Indigenous youth and newcomers –  are given equal opportunity to build our future.

How did you and your co-organizer come up with the idea to start She & Her and organize this event? 

She&Her co-founders, Hailey Short and Samantha Davidson always knew they had to channel their passion for women empowerment.

Hailey: I’ve always been passionate about empowering women; I just didn’t know where to start. She&Her came to fruition this fall, when a group of like-minded women (all of whom are best friends!) created this initiative. Our vision is for She&Her to be a support system to ultimately encourage women to lead both professionally, and personally. We hope this inaugural event will help kick start it.

Sam: As a small business owner, having a strong network of women to work alongside and learn from is extremely important. There are so many incredible women doing impactful things in our community and She & Her is a chance for us to hear from them and celebrate them. Whether they’re in our lineup of speakers or attending the event, our goal is to create a space to bring everyone together and build meaningful relationships.

Together, we are capable of doing amazing things and if She & Her can be the place to spark ideas or relationships, while raising money for a great cause, then we’ve accomplished our goal.

Who are the panelists and what topics can we expect to hear them discuss?

We really wanted to tap into various industries to get a wide range of perspectives. Our four panelists are Meghan Juuti – founder SUP Yoga and Lovely Human School, Chrisanne Daniel – Graphic Designer, NORCAT and Chapter Lead Canada Learning Code, Ashley Larose – Director of Customer Relations and Business Development at Science North, and Amanda Kingsley Malo – Founder, PoliticsNOW. Our panel discussion will focus on what it means to be a woman in a leadership role, how they got to where they are, lessons they’ve learned along the way and what their plans are for the future. Essentially, our goal is to inspire other women (and men) in our community to become leaders.

What does being a leading female mean to you?

A leading female is someone who is passionate, engaged and ambitious and who brings the best out of those around them. A leading female is willing to advocate and stand up for what they believe in, both personally and professionally.

Given the state of politics right now, She & Her is very timely. We’ve always embraced being a female, but not all women are so lucky. With the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, we need women in leadership roles to speak for those who might not have a voice. Being a leading female means being advocating for gender equality- breaking the glass ceiling, and ultimately becoming a role model for future generations.

According to Catalyst, “28.5% of key management personnel positions were held by women in 2015-2016, one-quarter of organizations had no women in those positions in the previous year” – although this is an improvement, there is still a lot of work to be done.

Do you think it is important for woman in Sudbury to rally together and lift each other up? What are some ways we can encourage them to do this?

Greater Sudbury is fortunate to have such a tremendous group of leading females; this made it extremely difficult to narrow down our panelists!

But yes, we think it’s extremely important for women in our community to have an outlet to share, collaborate, and support each other.   Over and above the She & Her event, we’re in the process of creating a more regularly accessible space for women to get together and share their successes, barriers, ideas and opinions to motivate and inspire each other. Stay tuned, the plans are in motion!

You and your co-organizer would both be considered leading females in Sudbury so we would love to hear some tips for others. How did you get to where you are today?

Hailey: Growing up, I had great female role models in my life. I always knew I aspired to be someone who created opportunities, and worked hard to achieve them. My biggest outlet has been my volunteer work over the past four years. I’ve always enjoyed giving back, but nothing is more satisfying than actually seeing you’re making a difference in other people’s lives. I would attribute my passion for volunteering and giving back to where I am today. Tips for others? Learn to say no (Im still doing this!), and really focus on what you’re passionate about. Find something that really ignites a fire inside of you, that will keep you motivated (even if it’s outside of your career).

Sam: Referring to yourself a leading female can be daunting. To me, being a leader doesn’t only refer to someone who is managing a team or climbing the corporate ladder- it’s someone who has made the decision to take charge of their own life and make a positive impact along the way.

So far, my biggest risk was starting my own business. It was a very scary step, and some days I still question if it was the right one, but that vulnerability is what keeps me working hard and pushing forward. Being in charge of my time and success is a liberating feeling. My biggest tip would be to surround yourself with likeminded people who believe in you and your dreams. In moments of doubt or question, having this group can be a game-changer.

What else can we expect from She & Her?

We are both so excited about She&Her, but right now the only thing we can say is… stay tuned! She&Her is going to be more than our annual International Women’s Day event…we’ve got big plans for She, Her and Us!

For details and to purchase your tickets for the event, please visit


Emily Franceschini is a current nomad, former full-timer and lover of all things purple. She is currently in Australia pursuing her travel dreams while working for Our Crater. In a past life, Emily worked as a marketing manager and spent her free time searching for the perfect cup of coffee. Now all of her time is free time and she's spending it exploring the world.

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