Speaker Series - vancouver

Understanding Unconscious Bias

What you don't know and how to fix it

Event Details:

Should you wish to be put on a waiting list for any openings, please email RSVP@wxnetwork.com.

While prejudice and discrimination remain pressing issues in workplaces around the world, the more elusive challenge facing many organizations is unconscious bias. This is not a new concept, so why have both public and private organizations struggled to address it? Learn the theories behind biases, and the tactics to limit their impact. We must challenge our existing beliefs. In doing so, we can outsmart our brains and make less-biased decisions, both in the workplace and in our social lives.

Learning Objectives:

  • Increase the learners’ awareness of the concept of Unconscious Bias
  • Assist learners to recognize bias within themselves
  • Enable learners to recognize the impact of their personal bias on others
  • Ensure the learner understands bias is natural, but needs to be managed
  • Enable the learner to manage their own bias


8:00 am – 8:40 am – Registration, Breakfast and Networking

8:40 am – 10:00 am – Panel Discussion

10:00 am – 10:30 am – Optional Networking


Prem Gill
Chief Executive Officer
Creative BC
2016 & 2017 Top 100 Winner

Prem Gill portrait

Prem Gill is Chief Executive Officer of Creative BC. The agency is designated by the Province of British Columbia to focus on uniting, sustaining and growing British Columbia’s dynamic and diverse creative sector including motion picture, music and sound recording, interactive and digital media, and magazine and book publishing.

Prem has been named one of Canada’s 100 most powerful women, Vancouver Magazine’s “Power 50” and received the Community Catalyst award from the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. She brings more than 20 years of experience from the digital media and entertainment industries to her current role as CEO, where she is responsible for delivering a wide range of programs and services that will expand BC’s creative economy to reach its economic and creative potential both at home and globally.

Before Creative BC, Prem spent eight years with TELUS, most recently in the role of Director of Production & Original Programming. Her commitment to the advancement of BC’s creative economy can be seen through her achievements there, including the successful development and launch of the StoryHive program and TELUS’s Optik TV community channel.

For many years, Prem has championed Canadian creativity as a representative and spokesperson to media, industry and government at all levels. Previous roles and responsibilities have included government and regulatory affairs, independent media consultation, cross-platform marketing, communications, research, public affairs and multicultural programming.

Prem is currently on the Board of Directors of The Bell Fund, a not-for-profit organization.  The Bell Fund’s mission is to support Canadian Media content makers in creating for and connecting with, audiences here and everywhere.

Alden Habacon
Diversity & Inclusion Strategist, Workshop Facilitator, Public Speaker, Interculturalist

Alden Habacon portrait

Alden E. Habacon is one of Canada’s leading diversity and inclusion strategists and facilitators. He speaks worldwide and is well known in this field and highly regarded for his work around inclusive leadership, unconscious bias, intercultural training, and allyship. He specializes in training for male-dominated workplaces, such as tech, banking and tech, and works with leadership in a wide range of professions and sectors, including social services, various government agencies, the legal community, and the Vancouver Airport Authority.  He is currently leading an inclusion audit of BC’s digital media industry for DigiBC.

He is the Visiting Diversity & Inclusion Fellow at the University of Delaware and former-Director of Intercultural Understanding at the University of British Columbia. Prior to UBC, he led the national diversity strategy for the CBC Television Network.

Michele Mawhinney
Vice President, People and Sustainability
Vancouver Airport Authority

Michele MawhinneyMichele Mawhinney has played a prominent role in Vancouver Airport Authority’s commitment to be an exceptional employer and a leader in sustainability. She joined Vancouver Airport Authority shortly after its formation as a not-for-profit, community-based organization in 1992 and

has spent almost three decades championing best practices in human resources. Her ongoing efforts have been integral to the organization’s success as one of BC’s Top Employers—for 13 consecutive years—and its reputation as a diverse and inclusive workplace.

As Vice President, People and Sustainability, Michele is responsible for employee and industrial relations, health and safety, employee training, environment and supply management. She oversees the organization’s strong focus on employment equity, with the goal to have a workforce that reflects the communities it serves, and her efforts have led to Vancouver Airport Authority being named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers. In addition to her ongoing work to improve employment practices, she has been involved in a number of transformational initiatives including the implementation of the historic, 30-year Musqueam Indian Band – YVR Friendship and Sustainability Agreement, which launched in 2017. Under the agreement, she is involved in the Relationship Committee and works with Musqueam to address employment and contract opportunities.

Michele holds a BA in Psychology and a MA in Industrial Relations from Queen’s University.

Shannon Byrne Susko
Serial Entrepreneur/CEO, Coach/Best Selling Author/Director
Metronome United
2018 Top 100 Award Winner

Byrne Susko, Shannon portraitShannon has more than 20 years of experience building and leading high-growth technology companies in the financial services industry. She is co-founded, served as CEO, and led the sale of the two companies less than six years apart: Subserveo, Inc (Founded in 2008 * Sold 2011) and Paradata Systems Inc. (Founded in 1995 * Sold in 2006).

Shannon is an expert in strategy and execution. She is well known for her ability to lead and execute with her team in implementing a repeatable Strategic Execution System – creating it in her first company and validating in her second company by the speed in which the company was built and sold. She now coaches CEOs and leadership teams from around the world who want the same success using the same system.
Shannon founded her CEO coaching and worldwide speaking business in June 2011. She is the co-founder of Metronome Growth Systems (Jan 2016) which is a cloud-based business platform for best practice high growth businesses, their CEOs, leaders and Business Coaches. She founded Metronome United in July 2018 to support 60 international coaches in their quest to implement the 3HAG WAY and Metronome Growth System Framework to impact high growth companies and their teams.

In July 2014, Shannon wrote and released Amazon Best Selling – Entrepreneurship: “The Metronome Effect: The Journey to Predictable Profit”. Verne Harnish coined it the “Street Version” of his best selling book – Scaling Up. Shannon release her second book in April 2018 – which was recognized and Amazon Best Seller – New Release: “3HAG WAY” and a 2019 – Finalist in Business: Entrepreneurship in the International Book awards.

Shannon was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40, and was awarded the Sarah Kirke Award for Canada’s Leading Women Entrepreneurs in 2006. Shannon was named Deal Maker of the Year in Vancouver in 2011 and was in the Top 3 Mid- Market Deals on Wall Street that year. In 2017 – Shannon was recognized as one of Canada’s 150 Women and in 2018 one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada – RBC Champion.

Shannon has a BComm, BSc, from Saint Mary’s University and MCSc. from the Technical University of Nova Scotia. She is married with three children 14, 15, 16 and resides in beautiful Whistler, BC.

Tracey Arnish
Chief Member Experience Officer
Coast Capital Savings Credit Union

Tracey Arnish portrait

As Coast Capital Savings Chief Member Experience Officer and Head of Community Leadership, Tracey is responsible for Coast Capital’s Retail Banking business including; Branches, Wealth Management, Retail Operations and Contact Centre, overseeing a portfolio of over $16 billion. Additionally, as the head of Coast Capital’s Member Experience and Community Leadership programs Tracey also leads the enterprise initiatives in support of Coast Capital’s differentiated member experience and community giving strategy, that position Coast Capital for expansion as they begin to grow across the country. This includes ensuring that the 10% of profits that Coast Capital invests each year in the communities it serves supports their vision of supporting youth. In this capacity Tracey provides leadership for over 1000 employees across the enterprise, supporting over 550,000 members.

Known for her global thought leadership in identifying and developing talent, Tracey brings over 20 years of executive experience and is passionate about building a strong corporate culture that connects people with the organization’s purpose in support of a superior member experience. She has contributed her experience to a number of publications and analyst reviews.

Having worked nationally and internationally, Tracey has experience in both the private and public sector with organizations such as SAP, Air Canada, Translink, the Vancouver Canucks, and the British Columbia Transmission Corporation.

Giving back to the community is a core value for Tracey. Supporting children and families battling pediatric cancer is an important personal priority for her, as is her work in championing women at all stages of their careers. She sits on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement British Columbia and is Chair of the Board of Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon. A mentor to both women inside and outside of Coast Capital Tracey is the executive sponsor of Coast Capital’s Business Women’s Network, having led the creation of this network in 2017. She is also a speaker on topics related to women in leadership and has facilitated sessions in Europe, Asia and across North America. As the founder of Coast Capital’s international volunteer program, Power to the World, Tracey is able to take her passion for supporting the development of women to countries around the world and was most recently in Nepal working with the country’s largest women’s co-operative.

Tracey holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Simon Fraser University and lives with her husband and two children in North Vancouver.


Hyatt Regency Vancouver
English Bay Room
655 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 2R7

Silver Partners:

      Loblaw Companies Ltd logo     Scotiabank logo


October 3, 2019
8:00 am - 10:30 am
Vancouver, BC
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