3rd Annual Women’s Roundtable Women Coming Together to Transform and Empower Women September 13, 2017 5:30-9:00

Held at Stewart McKelvey  -900 Purdy’s Wharf – Tower One , 1959 Upper Water Street,  Halifax, NS

The Organizers  for this event are Black and Immigrant Women Network, International Women Forum, Maritime Elite Girls Basket Ball Academy, Lana McLean- Capitol Health Authority, and Ashante  Leadership & Professional Development Services.

3rd annual event slides 5

What an amazing evening with magnificent groups of women. I was impressed with the group of phenomenal women and the power of sisterhood with one voice we will not stand alone.   This amazing platform covered an array of women from different Diasporas.   We had the privilege of networking and seeing the uplifting  success by women in the province of Nova Scotia and internationally.  We must be mindful that we are all running the same race to empower women.   Diversity is imperative and is a growth magnet.

Become that United Front as Women  that overturn denial, stone walling, gloss over, barriers,  and the isms. Which comprises of sexism, genderism, racism, heteroecism,  ageism, classism, systematism, and ableism?  Remove marginalization and empower all ethnicities.

Standing still is not an option but embracing all women and their diversities is a montra. Continue to mentor and inspire women of all ages.   Let’s not dismantle one another but uplift and empower from the bottom-up.  Young girls continue to believe they are not capable of being a prodigy.

However, I  have seen many women all ages connecting, creating, networking, taking a stand, and becoming fearless and empowered. When you get an opportunity to speak and have a voice stand-up and out. Try new things and become convinced that you can do it.

Leadership comes from all of us.

Which one are you?

  • Democratic Leadership
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Team Leadership.
  • Cross-Cultural Leadership
  • Facilitative Leadership


Guest Speakers:

Christine Hansen on the right side of me.  Cynthia Dorrington on the left of me.

Guest speakers Cynthia Dorrington and Christine Hansen

Christine Hansen, CEO  and Director of Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission Global experience, working with ministers from different countries, US congress, Deputy Treaty, Law divisions, Criminal Law,  Courts and tribunals, She worked with Legal affairs,  she was a part of the Build the Better World Award.

Cynthia Dorrington, President, Vale Associates.  She travels across Canada and globally, doing management projects, performances management, harassment management, SAP technology, Halifax partnerships, and police chief advisory.


The Event started with a welcome from Candace Thomas, a partner at Stewart McKelvey, is co-chair of their committee on achieving greater diversity within the legal profession. She is Queens Counsel appointed.

Candace Thomas

Ann Divine – Founder and CEO, Ashante  Leadership & Professional Development Services.  Opened with remarks about how we come together and learn from each other.  What are great are the women’s diversities, education, ethnicities, and platforms.    Black and Immigrant Women were established in 2012 and the history of it was captured.  Ann looks forward to her new wave for women as she steps into the  Centraide Canada’s Board of Directors for United Way Canada. She also acknowledges Sharon Murdoch who is stepping into the role of Electoral Commissioner on minority representation in Nova Scotia. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/electoral-commission-on-minority-representation-in-nova-scotia-kicks-off-1.4282163.

Women are doing phenomenal things and are striving to do better as a race is irrelevant.  Women take pride in their communities and care enough to give back through many driven forces.

Women are being heard voices are they no longer allowing the gloss over effect.  A prime example is the women at this roundtable forum.


Barb International Women’s Forum ( IWF) representative was  speaking about being in the trades and being part of this International Women’s forum which is Global.    She was impressed to see the number of women who are making changes locally and internationally.   We around the table are doing things and need to work together.  International Women Forum strive to be diverse and bring more women on board and to provide mentoring.  In Nova Scotia there are 100 women in senior roles.   Worldwide there are 1500 women in senior positions.  Empowering  women is about coming together as one collective diverse pot of women using experiences and changing the face of business.

They recognize women all over the world Globally and they all bring expertise and have set international platforms.   Women should buddy up with other women that can help them reach their goals and aspirations.  Mentoring is an integral part of leadership.  As leaders we must empower, encourage, and influence young women.


Leslie States is the Founder and Director of The Maritime Elite Girls Basketball  Academy ( (10 years) MEGA Basketball).  Tracey Jones-Grant is Team Manager and one of the Coaches. They are not just focusing on Basket Ball they are also focusing on Life’s negativities for young girls, good citizenship, esteem, and the primary focus is on education.   Students are tutored through BEA and the library.   The young girls are to keep a daily journal and it is private.    They are to network with others, and to learn from each other.  It is about empowering young girls.   They have girls from Springhill, Bridgewater, and other areas.   They are invited to the universities and use only female role models.   They only staff all women as well.  They had their 1st round table Career Night 2017 which created questions, and an opportunity to dialogue, and explore careers.




The Journey Reflecting and Reminiscing experiences:


Christine Hansen experience was unconventional.  She was an associate lawyer at the age of 25.  She was sent to work in 2001 in New York City on behalf of United Nations.  Her career pivoted as a diplomat sent to New York as a representative for United Nations on very important issues.  She worked on Capitol Hill on terrorism prevention, national criminal courts, working for many international congresses.  She was the Deputy Director at age 35 as a diplomat and worked closely with top representatives for Canada and other Countries.

The environments were high pressured and she manages to work smart not hard.  She strategically advocated on global affairs and Human Rights.  Even though she traveled and worked globally she manages to return to Nova Scotia in a new role of Human Rights CEO and and Director of Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. She is a mentor for young women influencing them to have a voice.

Advice for women:

  • Being smart is not enough you must do the work that interest you
  • Be confident
  • Fellowship with women
  • Scanning and horizon for opportunities
  • Forge more opportunities
  • Be adaptable
  • Take Risk
  • Learn from mistakes
  • Become resilient
  • Work Life Balance
  • Don’t focus on short falls
  • We as women need to speak out

You get ahead by working as a team not alone.  Her family was a great support system and her spouse believes in what she was doing.   In most cases women are not raising their hands to take on new roles.   It is up to us as mentors to empower them.


Cynthia Dorrington – Parents believe in education and drilled it can’t be taken away from you once you have it.   She focuses on telecommunications even though she has many platforms.   The staff where she worked was like family.  She moved into roles that only men would apply for while venturing out.   1982 she was in information technology training people terminology and had to retrain other in new compilations. She went to Dalhousie.   At the time she was only person of color into the Technological SAP area for work in her class. She did this for 6 years and trained in Ontario  and United States as the only female.  She worked on the  Bata Program that was sold to the world for Y2K.  Nothing is for males anymore you do any and everything you put your mind to.

She worked for an international call center.  In some cases she worked with dysfunctional entities, and helps other to overcome trust building team balance.

2004 she started a business and in 2005 she was subcontracted by Ghana-Africa entrepreneurship program still used today.  It was challenging doing international work.   She did a trade mission in Belize and other Caribbean locations.

People are what make companies work collectively together.   She is a certified trade supplier and worked for GM supply chain engagement.   You must create economic vibrancy.  Also, worked between the US and UK trading missions.


Advice for women:

  • Look at challenges as experiences
  • Learn from your experiences and about yourself
  • Givelocity is important
  • Build community foundations
  • Find and extension of yourself
  • Engaging and working with people is critical
  • Become inquisitive
  • Look at different road maps


She managed to work on 4 boards in influential roles.  It is up to you to not be afraid of fear they are experiences which you overcome and learn from.

Even though there were times I was not  taken seriously I still plugged away until I gained respect of my male peers.  Find a strategy for people in diversified work places.   Look at employment equity perspective.


Who were your mentors?    Using sisters and business women as sounding boards,  who are entrepreneurs and have insight.  Using family, community women, professionals, and international individuals based on your business.    Fathers also have influence us as well.   They have been a big part of our journey.

How does this affect your relationship with family and partners?   Partners don’t always come on board until later.   We must appreciate our families and extended families.   Balancing work life is so important.  Most spouses are supportive 100% and have become domesticated in the scheme of things.

 What has impacted you?  Use family as a primary support system.Engage in Mentors and mentoring.  Coaching others and seeing their outcomes.  Other women to increase the impact they want to accomplish and become successful.   Sponsoring others and watching them flourish and going beyond their expectations. Success is defined in many ways. Refine define your own successes not what others think.

How do you get more people involved?   Don’t act like a man be your authentic- self.  This also depends on the industry and culture which can be changed.  Continue to dialogue with other females in the roles of business. Don’t be afraid of success or money.   Keep trying and keep doing.   Fathers give advice because they also want to empower you.   Success comes in different shapes and sizes.

Be aware of reflecting, and being mindful of others, and yourself.  The team carries your collective success.

What about setting boundaries?   No your capabilities, and don’t extend yourself.  You want to be more productive and complete.   Watch shortfalls and consistently re-shape yourself.   We are pleasers and may hit walls by taking on to much at once.  Know what you will not allow in your workspace from all aspects of respect.  Some people need to be retrained on this.

Being Humble?  Always be humble because things can rise and they can also fall. Remember everything you do and exceed is because of others and should be recognized as such.   No one gets a head on their own will.   Remember you had to walk through the path of others before you (your parents, community leaders, mentors), they are stepping stones.

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