January 31, 2012 — Catalyst events provide our best opportunity to share our research with Canada’s business community, and for us to learn from their experiences in building diverse and inclusive workplaces. In her first year on the job, Catalyst Canada events manager Jessica Dolmer has brought a fresh eye and a new perspective to our organization and our events. We’ve asked her to share some early impressions and insights with CanCon. —Deborah Gillis
“A year already?” When the Catalyst team asked me to write a guest Cancon about my first year on the job, I couldn’t believe I had already been working for Catalyst for a year.
Events are a large part of the Catalyst culture, and we take pride in our reputation for excellent speakers and provocative topics. Participants in events like Catalyst Connects or last year’s Engaging Men as Champions have an opportunity to mingle with and listen to some of the most successful men and women business leaders.
Catalyst is more than an organization—the network of members, supporters, and advocates stretches across the country, and includes every sector of the Canadian economy. People attend Catalyst events because they know they’ll leave with something tangible to take back to their companies and their lives. They’ve heard what is actually happening and what others have actually done – the how, the why and the results of business initiatives to advance women.
One of the perks of my job is meeting interesting, successful business leaders. After a full year of working on Catalyst events, I am still amazed and impressed by the calibre of people who are willing to step up and lead discussions. Dynamic, genuine business leaders—people who have made a difference— share their experiences and stimulate discussion and debate. It is a testament to the importance of the Catalyst mission that people are not only happy to be part of our events, but often rearrange their schedules to sit on panels.
The highlight (as well as the biggest challenge) of my first year was probably The Catalyst Canada Honours. My colleagues told me it would be a very special evening, but I wasn’t prepared for the energy and passion of the 600 business leaders who gathered to support the advancement of women.
As I reflect over the past year, I can tell you one of the best things about Catalyst: the great people who provide amazing support and who are extremely skilled at their jobs. The level of trust and honesty at Catalyst give me the confidence to ask the “dumb” question, to speak up with suggestions, and to take risks.
As an employer, Catalyst follows its own advice. As an employee and member of the team, I look forward to the challenges to come.