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Calling women in business to MDM Centre

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Nicholas L. M. Allen  Oct 25, 2023  - ©2023 by Crowsnest Pass Herald

This event is open to all women, and women who have never attended an event with a guest speaker are encouraged to visit.

The Crowsnest Pass will be home to a workshop for women in business on November 2 at 6 p.m. There will be a guest speaker talking about ‘The ways guilt and shame can limit a women’s potential in business, relationships, leadership and life’ during the event at the MDM Community Centre.

Brandy Fehr, the community economic development and marketing coordinator for Community Futures, said they were inspired to hold a women-specific evening for women in business after realizing that many businesses and organizations are women owned or led throughout the community.

“Although there are more women entrepreneurs in certain sectors, there are women who are over-coming stereotypes in traditionally men-dominated industries such as science and technology, construction, transportation, large scale manufacturing and the primary sector,” explained Fehr.

However, according to Fehr, women face significant challenges. These can include a lack of access to funding, pressure to outperform, highly competitive environments, biases and stereotypes, feeling they have to prove their credibility and fewer role models, mentors and networks.

“Other communities have been hosting these events for some time now, so we are excited to kick off the first of hopefully many of these types of events here in Crowsnest Pass,” said Fehr.

She believes women in business are important because of the large barriers they face and need to break down when it comes to balancing kids, families and their professional lives. 

“Studies show that women entrepreneurs approach risk taking a lot differently than the traditional profit and rapid growth way, they approach risk taking with a more holistic long term business approach compared to men,” said Fehr.

Although financial success is important to them, she said women also measure success in terms of forging and maintaining successful and sustainable client relationships, achieving a better work/life balance and promoting local communities.

The guest speaker, award-winning coach and writer Sarah Lajeunesse, will be talking about how guilt and shame play a key role in perfectionism, people pleasing, inaction and a woman’s need for acceptance and approval. The purpose of the event is to show how this can limit one’s ability to model self-esteem and leadership on clients, customers and patients.

Fehr said women who attend will learn how to release the inaccurate perceptions women have developed about themselves over time, along with the “life-altering realization that there exists a different, more empowered state of being than what many of us thought was possible or were taught to believe.”

One of the challenges women face are fewer role models, mentors and networks. 

“We are hoping [that] hosting events like this will help to bridge those connections. This will just be a fun evening where women can get together, enjoy some refreshments, appetizers, share lots of laughs and create relations with other women throughout the region,” said Fehr.  

This event is open to all women and Fehr encourages attendance for anyone who has never attended an event with a guest speaker.

“I always come home from events like this with at least one good take away, which makes it worth every penny. Our guest speaker will cover topics that we can all relate to through life. Some may look at the title of the event and be scared off easily by the words shame or guilt but in reality, there are times in life when we all face these challenges,” said Fehr.

Fehr explained she is looking forward to the guest speaker, as she is busy travelling internationally and was able to fit the event in. 

She said it’s quite expensive to put the event on with costs including the guest speaker, venue rental, insurance and more. 

“It is a small price to pay if we are able to have a great attendance and have women leave with a sense of empowerment, boosted self-esteem, connection to their peers throughout the community and hopefully a clearer path on how to prioritize their health and wellbeing,” said Fehr. 

They hope there is enough interest to continue hosting these events a few times a year in the future. Tickets are available until noon on November 1 for $20 which includes an evening’s worth of entertainments. Visit to learn more about Community Futures and the work they do in the community.

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