Conference offers women leadership lessons

A government conference on women in leadership roles saw women gather to give their perspective on women in leadership roles – including advice to smile, pray and get lots of rest.

About 350 female leaders from across the province gathered at the St. John’s Convention Centre for the Women’s Leadership Conference on Wednesday.

“We’re focusing on more women in leadership roles and I think that’s what we accomplished today,” said Status of Women Minister Carol Anne Haley.

While the event was generally well received, a male speaker from the Dale Carnegie Institute offered a booklet with some advice that didn’t go over so well with some in attendance.

Taking principles from the book “How To Win Friends And Influence People,” published by Carnegie in 1936, some advice offered included, “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain,” to “smile,” and to pray, which was noted as the “perfect way to conquer worry.”

Some noted the advice presented in the book is outdated, and not meant for an audience full of some of the most influential women in the province.

“I wanted to hear what women had to say, I wanted to hear what their experiences were, the lessons they had to share. I’m not here for a Carnegie session. The organizers didn’t put priority on women speakers,” said Kelly Hickey, owner of Strong Women Co.

“I think there’s room to improve for next year. In general, I want to take positives away from this.”

Mary Shortall, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour, said she found some of the advice ill-placed.

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