How is the world different when women take the lead? What are the unique challenges they face in the world of policy and politics? How can we strive for better leadership by bringing more diverse and inclusive perspectives to the table? These are some of the questions raised as part of the Women and Leadership Series, sponsored by the David Peterson Public Leadership Program.

“The goal of the series is to invite women to share their experiences and explain how the obstacles they confronted shaped their approach to leadership,” explains Mel Cappe, professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. “It’s about appreciating the value of diversity and inclusion – you can change the nature of your work and the policy outcomes you’re working towards by taking into account different perspectives and learning from them.”

Since 2014, the Women and Leadership Series has hosted speakers from a variety of professional backgrounds, fields, and political leanings – distinguished guests including Louise Arbour, Margaret Biggs, Kim Campbell, Christine Hogan, Cynthia Morton and Katie Telford. In January, Christy Clark, the former premier of British Columbia, insisted that inclusivity and gender parity can allow people to reach their full potential, and urged young women to take action if they want to make the world a better place. On February 28, the Munk School will welcome the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, former Chief Justice of Canada, the first woman and longest serving Chief Justice in Canadian history.

The lecture series has inspired students to tackle today’s biggest challenges and to embrace a multiplicity of different voices in order to bring about change. “In each lecture, I have come away with the reaffirmation that women and our unique skill sets and talents will be at the centre of how we, as a society, will address the major issues of our time,” says Kelly Husack, a first-year Master of Public Policy student who has attended three lectures since entering the MPP program in September. “These lectures provide a space that normalizes female leadership and recognizes its unique qualities as valuable across sectors.” Husack will always remember the piece of advice Clark gave to audience members last month: “Have the courage to take risks. Fail. Find your own path. And forgive people who have done you wrong.”

February 12, 2019

Register for the next event with the Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin