Panel talk to explore women in business

The rise of female entrepreneurs and underrepresentation of women in high profile business roles will be at the centre of a panel discussion held at Brock University next week.

Women in Business Matter, being held Wednesday, April 4, is the fourth in a series of panel talks organized by Brock University’s Goodman School of Business. Previous Business Matters discussions have focused on the music industry, corporate social responsibility and innovation in business.

This year’s panelists will discuss topics related to women in business, including gender balance on boards, the federal ‘gender equality’ budget and women’s approach to entrepreneurship.

Panelists include Bonnie Lysyk, Auditor General of Ontario; Tayler Book, Co-owner, Beechwood Doughnuts; and Shawna Chen, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, Goodman School of Business. Mishka Balsom, President and CEO, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, will moderate the discussion.

Lysyk has extensive audit, finance, risk management and governance experience and has previously served as the Provincial Auditor of Saskatchewan and Deputy Auditor General and Chief Operating Officer of Manitoba after holding senior positions in both the private and public sectors during a 25-year career.

Book, a Brock alumna (BA ’14), developed an unexpected love for entrepreneurship and marketing after founding Beechwood Doughnuts, a popular vegan doughnut shop in downtown St. Catharines. A strong proponent of the power of word of mouth and social media, Book cultivated a loyal online following from the moment Beechwood opened its doors in January 2015.

Chen, this year’s recipient of Goodman’s Untenured Researcher of the Year award, researches strategies and actions for startups from idea generation to venture growth. Before joining the University, she co-founded three internet startups and one private equity investment firm.

Goodman School of Business Dean Andrew Gaudes says the event will help bring to light the underrepresentation of women at higher levels in organizations and on boards.

“Our panel is a great combination of entrepreneurial spirit, business research and the auditor general for our province who has a history of working in senior-level organizations in what could be deemed as non-traditional areas for women,” he said. “We will all be able to learn something from their insight and their ability to lead and effect change in their respective areas.”

The event starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Space is limited, but registration is still open online.

The Women in Business Matter event is supported by the Wilmot Foundation and is part of the D.G. Wilmot leader series.

What: Women in Business Matter panel discussion

Who: Bonnie Lysyk, Tayler Book, Shawna Chen, Mishka Balsom

When: Wednesday, April 4 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Scotiabank Atrium, Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, Brock University

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