Top Advice from the Women in Business Luncheon

Women in Business Luncheon | BCBusiness
(From left) Tracey Orr, Rita Rogers, Renu Bakshi, Kasondra Cohen and Suzanne Siemens at the eighth annual Women in Business Luncheon.

Vancouver’s female business professionals share the best advice they ever received

In today’s world of business, more and more women are becoming leaders and mentors within their respected fields. Dozens of business-savvy women gathered on May 30 at the eighth annual Women in Business Luncheon in downtown Vancouver, an event put together by the Women in Leadership Foundation and TD Bank Group.
The annual luncheon acknowledges the successes of women in business and provides an opportunity for them to network, as well as gain insight from other entrepreneurs, industry leaders and students. Hosted by news anchor and communications strategist Renu Bakshi, the event also included remarks from prominent business leaders, including Rita Rogers, venue general manager at FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015; Kasondra Cohen, founder of Face of Today; Suzanne Siemens, co-founder of Lunapads International; and Tracey Orr, vice-president of Global Trade Finance at TD Securities. The women shared stories with the audience that addressed the question, “What is the best advice I ever got?”
Rogers shared the philosophies she chooses to live her life by. “It is what it is,” she says. “Sometimes things are out of our control and we need to recognize that, because that will make us happier people.” She also spoke of how “practice makes permanent,” meaning that the more you do something, the more it will become second nature to you. She adds, “That way the effort is lifted out of it, the technique is transparent, the execution is seamless.”
Rogers also touched on the importance of supporting one another and not tearing each other down. “Women in leadership roles can add a lot of good to the world. We just have to be careful that it doesn’t turn into an immature form of what happened in high school,” she says. “There’s a lot of support, but I also think there’s a lot of jealousy that happens.”
Through the organization Face of Today, Kasondra Cohen, daughter of Vancouver socialite and Army and Navy CEO Jacqui Cohen, helps underprivileged youth achieve success. Cohen believes that everyone deserves an equal opportunity. Diagnosed with dyslexia and a learning disability in her youth didn’t stop her from achieving her goals. “My passion has always been in philanthropy and making a difference,” says Cohen. “Every person should have someone in their life who is a mentor to inspire them to strive for greatness.” The best piece of advice she ever received? “You have never failed if you have tried.”
Suzanne Siemens of Lunapads International, a company that provides sustainable alternatives to disposable feminine hygiene products, also shared one of her tips for success. “Be open to feedback and advice,” she says. “In order to be a good leader, you have to listen.”
TD Securities’ Tracey Orr offered this advice: expect change, because life is always throwing curveballs. “Take it one day at a time, one task at a time. And never reply to an email in the heat of a moment.”
All proceeds from the event will go toward the Women in Leadership Foundation Mentorship program, which helps women across Canada develop their leadership skills.