Over the past four decades, while gaining life and business experience as a woman in leadership, Brock alumna Deborah Rosati (BAdmin ’84) has kept the University front of mind.
Through various engagements with Brock, the Corporate Director, entrepreneur and Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant has continuously supported the University to ensure today’s students benefit from the same transformational student experience she once did.
Building on Brock’s existing Women in Leadership initiative, Rosati has made a generous gift of $100,000 to support the creation of a new Women in Leadership mentorship program.
“Research shows that female leaders do better and have more influence if the collective, the structure in which they exist, is supportive of bringing women into these positions,” said Ingrid Makus, Dean of Brock’s Faculty of Social Sciences. “Deborah’s support in expanding opportunities for women in leadership at Brock represents that the University’s commitment to supporting positive change is backed by students, faculty and alumni alike.”
The mentorship program will foster an inclusive and diverse community that will provide mentors and mentees with partnership and engagement opportunities, while sharing necessary knowledge and skills to succeed as a leader among both men and women.
While the mentorship program is unique to the University, it isn’t Rosati’s first.
Her generosity in establishing the Brock program was inspired by her own social purpose company, Women Get On Board Inc. (WGOB). In 2021, WGOB saw major success in launching a similar mentorship program that matched aspiring corporate mentees with accomplished corporate directors (mentors).
“Deborah is an inspirational leader who believes in paying it forward and paving the way for other women to grow into their full potential,” said Sonia Dupte, the University’s Executive Director, Development and Campaigns. “Her generosity not only supports Brock’s commitment to growth and development of our staff and community, but also ties in a new experiential learning opportunity for our students.”
Rosati’s goal for the mentorship programs at her company and now at Brock holds the same intention as most of her work: to inspire, elevate, support, encourage and motivate women in leadership.
Despite spending most of her professional career leading and serving on boards and in executive positions where she was one of few, if not the only woman around the boardroom table, she has earned numerous nominations and awards over the years, including recently being honoured as WXN Top 100 Canada’s Most Powerful Women.
Through her recent gift to Brock, Rosati looks to make the landscape more diverse and inclusive for women entering board and leadership roles.
“The only way to lead is by example,” Rosati said. “My hope is that by giving back to my community in ways that are meaningful and by stepping up as a woman leader, I will inspire others to do the same.
“The goal of my support is not only to enable and motivate the next generation of women leaders at Brock but also to encourage other existing women leaders to invest in the future of the next generation of us.”
The mentorship program, set to launch this fall, will accept applications for both mentors and mentees from Brock students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the wider community. Responsible for overseeing the program will be a sub-committee of diverse individuals that have been actively involved in the Women in Leadership sessions to date.
More details will be available on the Women in Leadership website as they become available.