Institutional challenges can get in the way of initiatives.
That’s one of the views of one of four panellists who were on hand for the Leadership Development for Women initiative on Feb.10.
Lisa Roots, a professor in the Police and Public Safety Institute faced personal and institutional obstacles as she was trying to get Rick Mercer to come to the college for the Spread the Net challenge. Roots said that her competitive spirit was helpful to overcome the challenges and get Algonquin in the competition.
Roots echoed faculty member Sherry Poirier’s message of having a supportive team in order to achieve your goal. Spread the Net has won three years in a row.
The initiative, which is in its second year, prepares and empowers women for future leadership opportunities. It gives women the confidence to apply for jobs that they wouldn’t normally apply for, said Sara Jordan, the founder of the initiative.
Panellists included Jay Smith, Roots, Julie Viau and Sherry Poirier.
Poirier, a nursing professor, faced adversities as she planned to take students to abroad for the Breath of Life Project in Tanzania—an interprofessional team from the college consisting of nursing, paramedic, early childhood education, dental hygienist and child youth workers students—to train the local birth attendants in newborn resuscitation with children and youth on a health and wellness project.
Poirier’s message was that of passion, teamwork and lifelong learning.
According to Poirier, to be successful, a person needs to figure what they want, find the right people and map out the skills needed to achieve the goal.
Julie Viau, the Apprenticeship and Academic Budget officer in ACCE, is another employee who goes beyond her job description. She said that reward should not be what motivates someone to do something.
“Do it because you want to do it,” said Viau. “You will get the reward later.”
According to Viau, when told no, find another way.
The final panellist, Jay Smith, an environment studies professor, spoke about imagination and believing in yourself and your team.
“You don’t need to know the outcome of the risks you take,” said Smith. “Take leaps of faith.”