Women's Leadership Forum

Axis Connects is hosting the Women's Leadership Forum with Keynote Speaker Shachi Kurl on November 9th, 2022. Learn more about the Forum agenda, and stay tuned for updates.

An overview of the forum/one-page resource is available below.


8:00 – 9:00AM

Registration / Networking 

9:00 – 9:05AM

Opening Remarks

9:05 – 9:50AM

Keynote Address

  • Topic: The Road Ahead for Female Leaders in Alberta

Shachi Kurl will be sharing thought provoking possibilities for aspiring and current female leaders and will dig into the issue of female representation in leadership roles in Alberta (and beyond).

Shachi Kurl, President of the Angus Reid Institute and consistent contributor to CBC’s “Power and Politics”, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Globe & Mail, Ottawa Citizen, and many more.

9:50 – 10:20AM

Get Smart Fast - Session 1:

  • Topic: Harnessing Female Leadership to Build Calgary's Future

    Calgary is at an exciting time with new industries and opportunities emerging and expanding. The key to leveraging these opportunities will be the attraction and retention of talent, and particularly ensuring that we create platforms and pathways for everyone to participate and contribute. The role of female leadership in Calgary has gained greater importance and the presentation will discuss how our city is evolving and how women can continue to amplify their impact. Leadership lessons, learned from personal experience, are also discussed to provide practical take-aways on how to navigate your leadership journey.

Dr. Elizabeth Cannon, President Emerita, University of Calgary | Corporate Director | Author

10:20 – 10:35AM

Coffee Break 

10:35 – 11:05AM

Get Smart Fast - Session 2:

  • Topic: Sustainable Leadership

11:05 – 11:15AM

Transition Break

11:15 –12:00 PM

The Path to Executive Leadership (C-Suite)

11:15 –12:00 PM

Persuasion and Influence | the Art and Science of Getting What You Want (All levels)

Persuasion and influence are the most effective ways of getting more of what we want in the world;  in business and in our personal life. Some people are very persuasive; others are not. All of us have room for improvement. During this session, Jim Parkinson will discuss the core elements of persuasion and the science behind effective influence, including ways to be more persuasive to achieve more, faster.

Jim Parkinson, Principal and Founder of Porter Sloane

11:15 –12:00 PM

An Inside Look at Board Succession (Board Level)

Marnie Smith, Managing Director, Russell Reynolds Associates

11:15 –12:00 PM

Building Your Personal Brand (Mid-career)

12:00 – 1:00PM

Senior Executive Hosted Lunch Discussions

1:00 - 1:30PM 

Get Smart Fast - Session 3:

  • Topic: The Path to Net Zero

1:30 - 2:00PM

Male Allyship Workshop

  • Topic: The Role of Men to Support Women in Leadership Roles

    Gain insights into the importance of male allyship through this interactive panel discussion with the 2020, 2021 and 2022 Calgary Influential Women in Business Awards Male Champion honourees.

Jim Dewald, Dean at Haskayne School of Business

Jim Davidson, Board Director

John Osler, Partner at McCarthy Tétrault LLP

Heather Culbert, Moderator

2:00 – 2:15PM

Transition Break 

2:15 – 3:00PM

All Levels: Our Economy and Where it’s Going

Helima Croft, Managing Director and Global Head of Commodity Strategy at RBC Capital Markets

2:15 – 3:00PM

C-Suite: Leading in the Digital Era

2:15 – 3:00PM

Board Director: Hot topics/challenges in Board Governance

The responsibilities of boards of directors continue to evolve and increase. While oversight of strategy, CEO succession, financial reporting, risk and culture remain core to the work of a board, issues such as  corporate purpose, rising stakeholder expectations, shareholder activism, ESG (climate change) and EDI are all clamoring for the board’s attention. In an environment already challenged by the aftermath of the pandemic, rising  inflation and geo political risks, how do boards juggle these competing priorities and make decisions in the best interest of the corporation? This session will not be a lecture, but rather a discussion intended to elicit best practice, tools and  guidance for directors.

Linda Hohol, Board Director

3:00 – 3:15PM 

Coffee/Snack Break

3:15 – 4:00PM

Mid-Career: Influence Without Authority

Jackie Rafter, President/Founder, Higher Landing Inc.

3:15 – 4:00PM

C-Suite: Future of Work/Transformation 

Jen Isotti, Principal, Leadership Development, Korn Ferry

3:15 – 4:00PM

Board Director: Moving the Dial on ESG 

4:00 – 4:15PM

Closing Remarks  

4:15 – 6:00PM

Reception: Connection ‘Hour’ 

Thank you to our sponsors