Wisdom Mentoring – “a Highlight for me in my 25+ year Career”

Meet Karry!

Karry Murphy portrait

Karry Murphy – Advisor, Recognition Initiatives for VIA Rail Canada, participated in our 2018 Wisdom Mentoring Program. Here’s her story:

“This past year (2018) has been a highlight for me in my 25+ year career. The WXN [Mentoring] program provided me with many “first experiences” which assisted in my development over the past year.

I was excited when I received the name of my mentor which included her position and company name. My mentor is with Canada Post. My father worked for Canada Post for over 36 years, I remember thinking to myself – “this must be fate”. I wrote to my mentor to introduce myself and her reply made me feel welcomed and excited for what the next few months would hold for me.

I recall my first in class session with WXN. Walking into the conference room, not knowing anyone and starting make introductions with other mentees. Everyone was filled with excitement, opportunity and a bit of nervousness. By the end of the first day, we were talking like we’ve known each other for years. Sharing career, personal stories and experiences.

My first one on one session with my mentor brought a new kind of nervousness to me. Knowing that I would be meeting with a CFO of a corporation and the need to fill up 45-60 minutes. I prepared myself with several questions prior to the call. Topic of interest to me was career advancement vs. personal/family commitments. I asked “What type of moves did you make during your career that required you to physically move for a promotion? Subsequently, what was the impact on your family?” We discussed this topic at length. She gave me some advice that proved me well when I was faced with this type of decision recently. My mentor reflected on her company and her employees who may be in a similar situation; how she could make some changes to consider the needs of the millennial generation. Making it a win-win topic for both of us.

Throughout this year, I’ve learned the importance of relationship building. This skill was key while launching a key initiative for our company as I worked with several different departments who held crucial functions to the launch of the program. Based on what I learned from my mentor and the in-class sessions, I was able to build upon my negotiation, network building, presentation and communication skills (both verbal and written) at many levels in the organization and with suppliers outside our organization. I experienced a new appreciation working closely with an executive of a company on making the best use of their time and learning how to communicate with the senior level team.

In the WXN program, we explored career planning at length. I’m happy to say the timing could not have been better. I was offered a new role managing the program I had launched as well I was nominated and won one of our company’s annual Distinction awards  which celebrates innovation, creativity and achieving success in project delivery. Career highlights for me to work extremely hard on program that I felt so passionate about, successfully launching and maintaining the momentum to inspire culture change.

Thank you WXN as mentoring gave me the courage to explore new territories and opportunities! 2018-2019 will be a year for the history books and looking forward to what this new chapter will bring my career.”

The Wisdom Mentoring Program matches women with influential mentors, who can help them make their ambitions a reality.  Join the community of over 1000 women who have already taken their careers to the next level through this unique development opportunity.

Learn more about Wisdom Mentoring!


About Karry:

Karry Murphy is Advisor, Recognition Initiatives, for VIA Rail Canada.

 

On being named a Top 100 winner – Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia’s thoughts on leadership, her family and her supportive team

Ulrike Bahr-GedaliaWhen I heard there was an opportunity to share our thoughts with the WXN community through a blog post, I (literally) jumped (from happiness) at the chance. For four consecutive years, I’ve been honoured as a Top 100 Winner, and every time my first thought is… wow – really? Wunderbar – mazal tov!

Being recognized on a national stage for my leadership is truly humbling. When we heard the news of my Hall of Fame acceptance, my family (who are my biggest supporter and greatest accomplishment in life) and I were full of joy and gratitude. Having a strong support network has been something I am eternally grateful for, and I am thrilled to say this network does not end with my family. My awesome team and Board Chair, who have supported me throughout this entire adventure, were equally thrilled. At the time of writing this, I cannot share the news with many others as I wholeheartedly respect the embargo, so it does feel like a second birthday when the news is made public and official!

This award goes far beyond something that happens once a year – being a part of WXN means being a part of a diverse community that is committed to making Canada a better place – and their CEO certainly leads by example. I’m honoured and proud to be associated with such inspiring leaders from all walks of life and look forward seeing this community of leaders grow into an even more diverse representation as it relates to ethnicity, race, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, regional representation, and more.

This award provides a platform to recognize and profile some of the most influential and inspiring female (and male!) leaders nationally, but as I sit and really reflect on what it means to me, I believe it acts as an anchor and reminds me to stay true to myself. Authenticity is a core value of mine, and having won this award is not a status, nor status symbol for me, but it’s a nod from my peers, acknowledging the impact of leading with consistency, positivity, and authenticity. My path is clear and I will do what I’ve always done: continue to drive positive change, be impactful and influential, and remain humble, approachable and authentic – with a lot of grace, gratitude and greatness!

Thank you again to the WXN Top 100 Committee not only for the award but the chance to share my thoughts!

We’re very proud that Ulrike is a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Hall of Fame Inductee. Her work in tech and her continuous contributions to the WXN community make her a true ambassador for women in Canada.

Ulrike will be part of our Speaker Series panel on April 9 in Halifax, speaking on Empathetic Leadership. For more information, visit the event page.

Do you know a woman breaking down barriers in the science or technology industry? Click here to learn more about the Top 100 Manulife Science and Technology Award Category, recognizing female leaders in STEM roles who are challenging the status quo for knowledge and female empowerment.

 


About Ulrike:

Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, President & CEO, Digital Nova Scotia

Bahr-Gedalia, Ulrike portrait

2018 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Hall of Fame Inductee

With a career spanning five geographic regions, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia is a multilingual, award-winning innovator, entrepreneur and TEDx speaker with over 20 years of global experience in the private, public, non-profit and academic sectors. Originally from Germany, she has held senior executive roles at prominent multinational high-tech corporations, SMEs, and start-ups and is currently the President and CEO of Digital Nova Scotia (DNS).

In recognition of her unprecedented leadership with DNS and lifelong advocacy for equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility, Ulrike has received numerous awards and features, including the WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame, highlighting her as an inspiring role model for youth, women, immigrants, and under-represented groups in STEAM. Ulrike volunteers with multiple academic, non-profit and industry organizations on a local and national level, speaks six languages and moved from Israel to Nova Scotia in 2002. Ulrike is married with a son and daughter. Her mantra is “The biggest risk is not taking any risk”.

 

On being named a Top 100 winner – the two women who inspired Caroline Riseboro

When I was told that I’d been selected as one of WXN’s Most Powerful Women last year my first thought was of my mother and grandmother —  two women who always serve as my original and continual inspiration, who were trailblazers in their own rights.

My grandmother came from a working-class family in England, and during the War she had to leave school at 14 to work. When she married at only 19, she was told she couldn’t work anymore. But she always knew she wanted a better life for herself, so with a tiny bit of money she started a business in the late 1950s and it became quite successful.

My mother was also a strong and brave business owner and always took chances. She was willing to constantly change and evolve to advance her career.

Both always pushed against the grain – and every day I try to channel that defiant spirit. Whenever I face barriers or feel deflated by the sheer amount of discrimination women and girls face around the world, I try to tap into that spirit and remember how far we have come. And how much we owe to women like my grandmother and mother, who were willing to defy normal and demand a fair shake.

I felt the award belonged to them.

This year, after receiving the honour once again (joining the Top 100 Alumni, made up of a stellar group of women) my first thought was of all the women I have had the pleasure of both mentoring and learning from throughout my career, particularly the incredible Plan International Canada girl ambassadors and advocates I have worked with over the last three years in my role as CEO & President.

Women and girls, who just like my mother and grandmother, continue to face barriers, hurdles, and glass ceilings when pursuing their dreams – despite it being the 21st century.

Women who dream of defying.

I read a quote by Steve Jobs recently that really resonated with me. “If you want to make everyone happy don’t be a leader, sell ice cream.”. Women and girls are always conditioned to be nice – to be liked above all else. This is something I have personally struggled with. At the same time, men and boys are taught that to change the world they should be prepared to ruffle feathers.

The women and girls I work with are constantly and unapologetically ruffling feathers. When normal is girls denied equality, they refuse to accept this status quo, they choose instead to defy normal.

But this can be lonely, often punishing work. That is why groups like WXN play a critical role in the advancement of women’s rights. Through my membership in WXN I have witnessed first-hand the incredible power of solidarity and sisterhood. It provides a space where us fellow feather-rufflers and defiant woman can come together and grow our strength and resilience.

As the inimitable Maya Angelou once said, “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” Imagine the power women exercise when we knowingly stand up and stand together for our collective rights.

With my mother and grandmother behind me, I feel powerful. With a sisterhood behind me, I know I am unstoppable.


Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO of PLAN International Canada, is a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in the CIBC Trailblazers & Trendsetters category for 2018. She has been recognized as a woman who has made a major impact in her field, in turn making a great contribution to Canadian society.

To learn more about our 2019 Top 100 Awards, visit our Top 100 page.


About Caroline:

Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO, PLAN International Canada

2018 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
CIBC Trailblazers & Trendsetters

Caroline Riseboro is the President & CEO of Plan International Canada – the leading NGO in Canada advancing the rights of children and equality for girls. As the youngest person to ever lead a major Canadian charity, Caroline is a passionate advocate for gender equality and is well-respected for her commitment to tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues.

She has a proven track record of leading organizations to new heights by challenging the status quo. In 2017, she was recognized as a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner and was awarded the Bronze medal in the Woman of the Year – Government or Non-Profit category at the Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Caroline regularly writes and speaks on the topic of gender equality and under her leadership, Plan International Canada has delivered record- breaking results.

Prior to joining Plan International Canada, Caroline was Senior Vice-President, Marketing & Development at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation, and held many senior roles at World Vision Canada, more recently as Senior Vice-President of Marketing and Engagement at World Vision Canada. She was the first and youngest woman in the agency’s history to serve in this senior role. Before joining the non-profit sector, Caroline began her career in advertising and communications.

Caroline’s influence in the sector extends through her voluntary leadership roles. She sits on the Board of the Humanitarian Coalition and CAN-WaCH, is the President-elect for the Association of Fundraising Professionals GTA chapter, and has sat on numerous task forces including with Imagine Canada and the Canadian Marketing Association’s Not-For-Profit Council. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from McGill University and is pursuing a Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership from Carleton University.

You can reach Caroline on Twitter at:
@criseboro
@PlanCanada