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March 8 may mark International Women’s Day, but organizers across Ottawa have planned a full week’s worth of events aimed at empowering, inspiring and equipping women in the nation’s capital.

“We are gearing up for something fantastic,” says Sonya Shorey, Invest Ottawa’s vice-president of marketing and communications. “It’s exciting times.”

Invest Ottawa has partnered with organizations across the city to create 22 events focused on women in business that will run from March 4 to 8.

The Kanata North Business Association, working with Mitel and Stratford Managers, will host a lunch hour panel examining the impact of diversity and gender equality on business results. The panel, titled It’s about business! (not about women in business), aims to arm attendees with the tools, techniques and strategies to implement change and realize real business results within an organization.

The panel will be moderated by Louise Reid of Stratford Managers and includes:

  • Amy MacLeod, corporate diversity officer and vice-president of strategic communications at Mitel;
  • Martello CEO John Proctor;
  • Thusha Agampodi, engineering manager at Magnet Forensics; and
  • Qlik developer evangelist Tamimi Ahmad.


Shorey says the goal of International Women’s Day events is to create and offer tangible outcomes for women in all industries through meaningful engagements. The events also include a female angel investor breakfast, a roundtable aimed at engaging women in cyber defence and a Women’s Leadership Summit, among others.

(A full calendar can be found on Invest Ottawa’s website.)

“We are creating an entire week’s worth of impact and opportunities together as a community in a way that we never have before,” Shorey says.

She adds that expanding to a week is hopefully only just the beginning and results in tangible takeaways that organizations, individuals and the wider community can build on throughout the year.

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