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WCMAspire Session 2: Communication & Managing Up

Thursday, January 20th 2022
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual Program, ON

As women, and women with multiple intersectionality’s, we must start any discussion about engaging with confidence, by unpacking how we have been “socialized” to play or engage. We must start with why we need to have the conversation at all!

The reality…while more women are playing in competitive sports for example—alongside and with men—by-in-large, we actually learn to play “differently”. That difference manifests at puberty and leads to the fact that men are likely to apply for roles they see themselves as being 60-70% skilled to take on, while women hesitate to apply without at least 80-85%. Depending on our country or culture of origin for example, other norms and values can come to influence our own perception of who we should be, how we should speak up, and how to interact with those with greater power.
Instead of perceiving difference as a negative however, I encourage you to embrace it and flip the discussion around. 

Let’s understand why communicating to those with power feels hard, why terms like “soft skills” has been gendered, and how these dynamics can actually be reframed as a source of confidence.

This interactive and engaging session will focus on:

  • Deepen your understanding of why communicating “up” feels hard
  • Reframe your thinking… about the source of confidence.
  • Start playing the game your way

Kanina Blanchard


Kanina Blanchard has extensive experience working in international business, the public service, non- profit, and consulting. Having lived and worked on four continents she is recognized for her ability to adapt, lead teams and projects, and navigate complexities across various sectors, geographies, and cultures. With expertise in the areas of organizational and communication challenges as well as issues, crisis and change management, her greatest passion is in the area of leadership development, education, and coaching. From CEOs and C-Suite executives to emerging leaders, and from the next generation of professionals to those seeking to leave a leadership legacy, Kanina focuses on supporting those seeking to grow and develop their character, competencies, and commitment. Kanina brings more than 30 years of practical, dynamic, and real-world experience to the table along with a deepening array of research and academic credentials that grounds her consulting practices in the creation of transformational and sustainable change. As a consultant she is committed to provide clients with targeted and customized strategic solutions to challenges that impact organizational and leadership brand, reputation, and bottom line. As an academic, her focus and research is on responsible leadership, women in leadership and on supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

WCM Aspire Program

WCMAspire, launched in 2018, consisting of 5 sessions over a 8-month period, designed to provide participants with tools to achieve their career goals and accelerate their careers. WCMAspire is designed for entry-level female professionals currently employed in finance industry. WCMAspire events are eligible only to those who have been accepted into the event series. 

What is your reaction to the fact that the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women will be chaired by a man?