The Women’s Legacy conference was a huge success!
The event at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre started late on November 21, 2013 at around 10:15 a.m. to a rousing spectacle of Liza Minelli performing a dance number. Of course, comedian Jessica Holmes removed her wig and revealed long blonde hair and a great sense of humour. She had the audience in stitches throughout the day.
VIP members were awarded the best seats in front of the stage in a cordoned off area. I was able to get a fairly good seat on an aisle where I could see the speaker and also view the stage from the large screen.
Amanda Lang was the first speaker and discussed her new book, The Power of Why. Lang is a great fan of innovation. She believes the best way for Canadians to become more productive as a nation is to become more curious. We have all been two-year-old toddlers who asked why. This is how she knows we all have the ability to be great innovators. Lang went on to describe the ways we can become curious again. I found her talk very inspirational.
The next speaker was Kim Marr, broker and author of Your First Home, who was also hosting a women’s finance seminar the following Saturday. Marr described home ownership as a sure-fire way to ensure you have equity to pursue your dreams. Since women live longer and there is now a 40% divorce rate, it’s inevitable that we will need to fend for ourselves financially. Women, therefore, need the financial tools to become more independent.
The well-spoken Julia Gillard, the former Prime Minister of Australia, gave a brief overview of her journey, then a question and answer with the audience.
Jann Arden was an inspiration. Arden shared her stories of her journey to stardom, which was not easy. She describe how it took her years to achieve success and how she just had to keep believing in herself even though she wasn’t the typical face/body type for the industry. Arden was told she was 30 pounds away from stardom (?!). Sharing intimate details about her brother’s incarceration for murder, Arden stated that her family’s belief in her and her brother was comprised of the idea of hating the sin, not the sinner. We were treated to Arden singing a few lines a capella of “Good Mother,” which really touched me. Arden received a standing ovation.
We then heard from Susan Cain, author of the popular book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I really enjoyed her talk on TED. Cain discussed the power and necessity of introverts in society. Despite Cain’s message being valid, I thought she needed to slow down in her delivery, stop pacing the stage and take a sip of water.
I left the Women’s Legacy in Toronto event feeling inspired by the messages delivered by these exceptional women. It was definitely a productive and enjoyable day!