PowHERtalks Vancouver - Authenticity By Drew Stewart

This past Saturday we attended the Vancouver PowHERtalks event, where Christina was one of the featured speakers.  The speakers at this event surpassed my expectations and really delivered their message in a way that has stuck with me in these following days. There were eighteen different speakers, with each bringing a different story/topic to the stage. However, all of the talks were connected in that they had an undercurrent theme of authenticity. As pointed out by the MC of the event, @JYCFinancial(who did an amazing job entertaining the audience and adding further depth to the speakers) this commonality within their message was subtle and done without the speakers discussing it ahead of time.

PowHERtalks Vancouver Group.jpg

While I enjoyed all of the speakers, I would like to give a special shout out to @Maggiwoo@WhisperYVR, @Heather2020 , @Victoria_BPP and @ginaknowsbest. Their talks were engaging, personal and resonated with me despite me as a man, not being the target audience.  Lucky for the people who could not attend, videos of all eighteen women will be available on the PowHERtalks YouTube channel soon.

In the tradition of saving the best for last, I wanted to reflect on Christina’s talk regarding conflict. What makes this topic so great is that it is truly universal and for most of us, unavoidable. We all encounter conflict. Whether it be in the workplace or in our personal lives, it is something that we all have to deal with and how we deal with it can have very serious effects on our lives. Christina did a wonderful job articulating how conflict can be a great opportunity for something better. She’s creating a Conflict “Revolution.” Let’s change the way we see conflict as something negative and head running for the hills to avoid. So often, avoidance leaves us with all those same terrible feelings and awkwardness we experience when we actually confront conflict but it doesn’t give us any of the benefits. It generally ends up with us hating the outcomes because on the other side of that avoided conflict we didn’t get what we wanted. We were not authentic and we simply rolled over and convalesced. Christina does a much better job articulating the benefit of conflict with her PowHERtalk and we will post it on our website as soon as it is available, I strongly urge you to check it out and be part of the Conflict Revolution.

Lastly, another special shout out to @sanjenko  for putting on another great event that we are proud to sponsor and be a small part of. For more information regarding PowHERtalks, please visit www.powherhouse.com

Group Photo Credit to Laura Grizzlypaws and Christina’s photo courtesy of Krysten Merriman

He Says/She Says - Drew Takes a Look Back at the Sechelt PowHERtalks Event

What is something that everyone has? Well, there are literally quite a number of things we each have in common but for the purpose of this blog, we will go with : An opinion

In the spirit of opinions, Christina and Drew give their own thoughts about the latest PowHERtalks event in Sechelt, finding out that they each had their own different ''lightbulb" moment.  


This past weekend, I went to a female focused TED-Style talk series and the words that resonated with me most and changed my day to day mindset, came from a man.  Some would say this is logical given that I am a man and could appreciate the male point of view more easily. Others may think I completely missed the point of the 18 female speakers. Trust me, I definitely didn’t and came out of the event as a bigger champion for women than when I entered.

The event is the PowHERtalks Speaker Series, of which Praxis performance Group is a proud sponsor. The Sechelt event was the second in the series, following up on the inaugural event in Nanaimo. This series features remarkable women lending their stories, voices and experiences in a TED-style speaker series aiming to connect 1,000+ women in six communities across Canada. In addition to being a sponsor for the event, Praxis also had a booth set up where we could interact with a variety of women and emphasize the importance of team building and collaborative working environments.  Go for the speakers but stay for the business connections was my foremost thought.

I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to get out of listening to the speakers themselves. I think of myself as extremely “progressive” and a supporter of women in all that they do but still this wasn’t going to really resonate with me was it? Truth be told, some did and some didn’t but with the volume and difference of the speakers I’m sure my experience was no different than most in the audience.  At about the halfway point of the speakers and before a break, a representative of Community Futures addressed the audience to talk about their special offer to female driven start-ups and businesses of low interest loans. Part of what motivated him to be there and so proud to offer such a great opportunity was because he has a four year old daughter. At that point, my ears shut off and I was completely in my head. Have you ever had words you read or are said to you that metaphorically slap you right in the face and you cannot believe you missed the importance of them the whole time? That is what happened to me when he spoke about his daughter. He didn’t talk long about her, it was just a brief mention but it inescapably changed my perspective.

I have two daughters, ages three and six. My family (which includes my eight year old son) are absolutely everything in my life. However, until now, I had believed in women’s rights and supported equity in pay and their voices in the boardroom meetings mostly in support of my wife. I had never really even thought about how it impacted my daughters.  This completely changed the lens which I viewed the second half of the speakers. I fast forwarded several years in my mind’s eye imaging them on stage telling the same stories that were being told by these remarkable women and it become much more personal to me. 

What makes this speaker series unique, at least to me, is that each speaker has an ‘’ask.’’ This is something the speaker is asking of each audience member in order to go from being inspired to taking action in their life. Examples of asks range from supporting their business or potentially investing or buying their book.   Others can be more holistic and ask individuals to listen to their heart of life their best selves.  In the spirit of the ‘ask’ I am asking other fathers of daughters out there to attend the next PowHERtalks event in Vancouver on Jan. 30th. Be part of the change to get women to same level of respect, responsibility and authority that men enjoy, especially in the workplace.  Parenting can often be a thankless act but helping change the way the world views women is one thing your daughter will be eternally grateful for.


She Says - Christina Looks Back at the PowHERtalks event in Sechelt

He Says/She Says - Christina looks back at the Sechelt PowHERtalks Event

What is something that everyone has? Well, there are literally quite a number of things we each have in common but for the purpose of this blog, we will go with : An opinion

In the spirit of opinions, Christina and Drew give their own thoughts about the latest PowHERtalks event in Sechelt, finding out that they each had their own different ''lightbulb" moment.  

Do you think that one sentence can change your life? I do. In many ways, time and again, one idea or one simple thought that we stumble across can change our behaviour; it can make us think and move in a new direction.

Last Saturday I spent my afternoon in Sechelt, BC at a female focused TED style talk that is heading across Canada called PowHERtalks.  I was a speaker at the inaugural event in Nanaimo a few weeks before (See That Blog Here) but for this one, I had the luxury of only participating as an audience member and with Praxis as a proud sponsor. And what an opportunity it was. 

Eighteen women sharing their perspectives through the lens of their professional and personal selves.  They shared information, inspiration and ideas woven through the stories of their lives.  I learned and grew and was inspired in many ways that day, but ironically it was one simple sentence that may have had the greatest impact.  And it was a sentence that I myself had said aloud many times before, but hearing it come from someone else in that moment and on that day has shaped me.

I was listening with intention but my mind turned to action when I felt that one speaker speak directly to me – Tara Roden, Head Gold Professional at the Blue Ocean Gold Club. 

Tara spoke about the importance of choosing words carefully to write your own story.  “Be aware of the words you use,” she said. When she said this I felt like my head literally snapped up and to attention.  Just that morning I was speaking with my amazing six year old daughter.  I was telling her that when she says “I can’t,” that she won’t, and when she says “I can” that likely, she will.  This wasn’t the first time her and I had had this conversation and it wouldn’t be the last.  My daughter is a very sweet and easy-going girl; she takes life as it comes.  Great, right?  Absolutely and sometimes No – Absolutely, in that she the happiest person I know and she rarely sweats the small stuff, and No in that people in her life often walk right over her.  As her mom, it’s my job to prop her up and give her the tools that she’ll need to navigate life as adult.  That’s my job. My intention in telling her about “I can’t” and “I can” that morning was not to change her (she’s perfect just the way she is, because that’s who she is) but rather to give her an awareness of how the words we use inside and outside of our heads shape our perspective.

So, Tara and I were on the same page – but with one major difference. I was telling my daughter everything I thought she needed to know on the subject – but was I walking my talk? Was I setting the best example? Was I living up to the expectation I placed on my child? Not always.  Those doubts and self-depreciating comments creep into my brain more often that I’d care to admit. Sitting there listening to Tara, I wondered how good I was at batting those limiting thoughts away before speaking them out loud?  I wasn’t sure of the answer, but I did resolve myself to paying attention to my own “I cant’s” and “I cans” going forward.  In fact, given Tara’s golfing focus, I imagined myself grabbing my nine iron and smacking every “Can’t” that creeps into my head into oblivion. 

I went home that day full of ideas and with an expanded network or strong women but the most impactful lesson was one I already knew but needed to hear out loud that day. 


He Says - Drew Takes a Look Back at the Sechelt PowHERtalks Event