Women in Leadership


To support women in formal and informal leadership positions, and to encourage the next generation of potential women leaders.

As part of Brock University’s ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and the community in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, upcoming meetings have moved to an online format.

Meeting Schedule


  • Nicole Regehr will share her insights on leadership as Director of Development & Violence Prevention Programs, Gillian’s Place.
  • Nicole will speak about intimate partner violence – recognizing and responding in the workplace. For women experiencing violence in their homes, the social isolation imposed by the covid-19 pandemic created dangerous living situations. Now, as women return to work, begin to visit salons again, etc., it’s important that we know how to respond and how to access supports for our colleagues and ourselves.
  • Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
    +1 289-273-8065   Canada, Saint Catharines-Thorold (Toll)
    (888) 862-4985   Canada (Toll-free)
    Conference ID: 788 777 161#


  • The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn have hit women particularly hard.  Kate Bezanson, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Associate Professor of Sociology, will review the barriers and potential long term consequences of this particular recession for women’s labour market participation, and policy steps that would assist in averting a gender regressive recovery.
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  • Julie Rorison, Brock’s Manager of Community Relations, will present.
  • Brock’s new Community Engagement Strategic Plan builds on the University’s strong history of community engagement by faculty, researchers, staff and leaders across the University. Community engagement has become a vital part of Brock’s identity and supports the institutional strategic priority to enhance the life and vitality of our local region and beyond. The Office of Government and Community Relations will present the plan and its goals, and discuss ways to work together with women in leadership to continue to build a culture of engagement at Brock.
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  • Michele Donnelly, Assistant Professor of Sport Management, will present.
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On May 21, Sandy Howe, Associate Director of Experiential Education and United Way committee co-chair, led a discussion on the links between volunteerism and leadership.

Sandy was joined by Jocelyn Titone, Marketing & Communications Coordinator with the Goodman School of Business and Kristen Smith, Manager of Community Outreach Programs with Student Life & Community Experience.

The three women encouraged everyone to consider ways to get involved and mentioned some specific organizations where they have volunteered.

To get started, Kristen recommends InCommunities, the Niagara Volunteer Connections Database, where you can explore opportunities tailored to your interests, location, and available time commitment.

Several participants also shared their own suggestions for volunteer opportunities in the meeting chat.

If you have additional suggestions, please let us know and we will add to the list below. Email mpetkovic2@brocku.ca


Learn the history of this initiative

In the beginning was SWAAC
Bringing the energy to Niagara
Expanding within Brock University


Celebration of International Women’s Day 2019

Invisible, No More

On March 8, let’s write the stories of overlooked women for more gender equality in the digital sphere.

The #WIKI4WOMEN initiative calls everyone to take a few minutes of their time to create, enrich or translate, in as many languages as possible, Wikipedia profiles of women committed in the fields of education, science, culture, social and human sciences, and/or communication and information.

No matter where you are in the world, all you have to do to join #WIKI4WOMEN is:

  • Create an account on Wikipedia
  • Start working on women profiles

To learn more about this initiative, visit the UNESCO website

This Is My Niagara (TIMN), a student-run initiative in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture & Film at Brock University, is an organization with a mission to inspire a movement towards connecting young talent with small and medium-sized businesses and non-profit organizations in Niagara, as well as showcasing the Niagara Region as a unique place to live, work and play.

On Tuesday, March 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Pond Inlet, TIMN will be hosting its annual CONNECT 2019, a networking event for Brock students, local business operators, entrepreneurs and young professionals.

The event will include three influential guest speakers – Lydia Collins, Leah Feor and Jennifer Harper – raffle prizes, food and drinks and networking opportunities for attendees to enjoy.

This year’s theme is Women in Leadership.

Please RSVP by March 10 here

The Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada organization was founded in 1987 to provide a forum and a collective voice for women in senior administrative ranks in Canadian universities, colleges and technical institutes. The primary purpose of SWAAC is the promotion of female leadership in Canadian universities, colleges and technical institutes through:

  • Developing and enhancing leadership skills
  • Mentoring future leaders
  • Recognizing exceptional leaders
  • Networking and communicating
  • Promoting equity, diversity and inclusion

SWAAC 2019 in Waterloo April 25-27!

Click here to learn about the program and register

The 2019 Laura Secord Walk will be taking place on

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019 (the actual anniversary of Laura’s courageous trek in 1813)

This year, we’ll be walking in support of War Child Canada and their important work to help today’s victims of war.

Did you know that Brock University’s Rodman Hall is one of the landing sites of this historic trail? The Laura Secord Legacy Trail is part of the Trans Canada Trail network, soon to be rebranded with the name “The Great Trail.” Friends of Laura Secord Honourary Chair, Valerie Pringle is Chair of the Trans Canada Trail Foundation and will be on hand to install the first co-branded sign on June 22.

The Laura Secord Walk will be a great way to honour a courageous, determined woman of great fortitude who helped set the stage for all the strong women who followed.

The Niagara Leadership Summit for Women (NLSW) takes place on

Saturday, October 26, 2019 at Brock University

The NLSW presents an inclusive environment to encourage and celebrate women leaders in our community and opens the conversation surrounding women’s issues in Niagara. The event is hosted by the YWCA Niagara Region and Brock University.

Everyone, regardless of gender, should have the courage and confidence to be the leader they are and want to be. Leadership is not about being ‘at the top’ – there are leaders all around us who make a difference every day.

This event offers many valuable opportunities for women leaders and allies to connect, share common goals and evaluate challenges, and network with like-minded community leaders.

Every year, outstanding local speakers and presenters are invited to the NLSW. The call for proposals is now closed.

For more information, please visit the NLSW website

As we had hoped, Brock is well represented in this year’s program, including:

  • Robyn Bourgeois, Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Andrea Blais, Lab Manager for the Zelisko Research Team
  • Loretta Davis, Captain and Coach with the Brock Niagara Penguins
  • Students Kailene Jackson (Political Science and Sociology) and Hope Tuff-Berg (Political Science)
  • Olivia Poulin, recent Brock graduate and entrepreneur
  • Shannon Kerwin, Associate Professor of Sport Management

Blogging Opportunity!

Interested in blogging on any of the topics listed?

Contact Kristen Smith

Manager, Student and Community Outreach

at ksmith2@brocku.ca

The University of Regina hosted the 2020 SWAAC Conference (March 4-6), exploring the theme of Living Your Truth.

SWAAC was founded in 1987 to provide a forum and a collective voice for those who identify as women in senior administrative ranks in Canadian universities, colleges and technical institutes.


Background, Goals, Accomplishments and Next Steps

Presented January 2020


Learn about past speakers and topics discussed

From volunteerism to becoming a leader, the WIL meetings cover a range of relevant topics for women and allies alike