BPW Virtual Club President:
Check out the BPW Virtual Club Blog!
Visit BPW Virtual Club on Facebook.
Virtual Club Membership Form
BPW Virtual Club Celebrates 5th Anniversary - click here for "My How You've Grown"
Welcome to the BPW Canada's Virtual Club home page! We are very excited that you have taken interest in what continues to be an ongoing organice experiment in virtual connections and possibilities! To ensure the maximum use of this page please note the following:
- The President's Blog hyperlink will take you to a regularly updated blog where current information is posted. Here you can keep up with new information such as our teleconference series! We also post key news items as they become relevant.
- Our Facebook page is a great place to obtain quick updates and to find out a bit more about the club. For instance, you can view our photo albums on this page.
- The rest of this main page is dedicated to major announcements such as the yearly schedule for the teleconference series, and to archiving the evolution of the club. Please explore it at your leisure!
If you are interested in contacting us or becoming a member please contact the president, Amber Sigurdson, at
for more information! We look forward to "seeing" you again!
Click here to read summaries of past teleconferences.
Spring 2013 Teleconferences - Click here for detailed list and registration.
- February 21, 2013 -7:00 p.m. E.S.T. - Health Care In Canada & US …What we can learn from each other!
- David K.W. Lee, Senior Policy Analyst with Health Canada & Michelle Melchiore, Physician Assistant Masters Degree Program at Pace University in New York City discuss the Canadian health care system & The Affordable Health Care Act in the US.
- Click here to register.
- March 14, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. E.S.T. -War and Peace in the Workplace.
- Jeanne Martinson introduces her latest book War & Peace in the Workplace
- Click here to register.
- April 11, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. E.S.T - Little Women for Little Women in Afghanistan.
- Fundraiser & young activist Alaina Podmorow speaks about Little Women for Little Women in Afghanistan
- Click here to register.
- May 9, 2013 - 7:00 p.m. E.S.T. - Kids for Kids in Darfur
- Patricia Parker talks about Darfur and her project Kids (Baby Goats) for Kids and the issues women face in that part of Africa in Darfur
- February 11, 2012 - Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) - February 11, 2012.
- November 17, 2010: Vi Andersen, National Resolution Chair, BPW Canada and BPW Virtual Club
- BPW Canada Voice on Women's Issues: The Resolution Process
- January 19, 2011: Doris Hall, BPW Canada President.
- BPW Canada's President's Remarks - Being President, So Far.
- February 16, 2011: Looking at the Global Summit
- March 16, 2011: Dr. Natalie Beauchamp.
- Creating Wellness and you!
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- October 2010
Our October presenter was Amy Gill - “Get Your Paws of our Clause”. She had recently completed her MA in history at the University of Ottawa. Although her studies involved social movements and political development within the federal system, her research and talk centered on the Canadian women’s movement.
She addressed how Canadian women were able to establish a network of organizations at the national, provincial, local and grass roots level.
In particular she reminded us of the struggle to secure women’s equality during the 1980-1982 constitutional debates regarding the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
At that time Doris Andersen, then head of the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women resigned in protest when a government conference regarding women’s concerns was cancelled. Her actions caused a second conference to be held, resulting in a new wording of ‘equality’.
After her presentation, Ms. Gill answered questions from the teleconference participants. Some comments were made regarding the importance of maintaining an interest and vigilance concerning women’s equality issues with women, young women in particular. It was a pleasure to listen to her presentation, and the discussions that followed.
- September 2010
An Advocate for Women in Science and Engineering – Dr. Monique Frize by Crystal Sissons, BPW Canada Virtual Club President
On September 15, 2010 BPW Canada’s Virtual Club kicked off their 2010-2011 teleconference series! Our first speaker was the distinguished Dr. Monique Frize who spoke on women in science and engineering. Dr. Frize started her presentation discussing the history of women’s opportunities and discrimination in relation to education and science. She described key women whose contributions to science stood out over the centuries including Hildegard von Bingen and Laura Bassi.
In regards to the contemporary situation, Dr. Frize related that a notable degree of progress had occurred since 1989. Despite this progress, ongoing challenges have kept women’s participation especially in disciplines such as engineering and physics below that of men. Dr. Frize noted that as a result ongoing vigilance by advocates is still required. In 1989, she assumed the National Science and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERCC) Chair for Women in Science and Engineering. This important appointment occurred in the same year as the tragedy of the Montreal Massacre at École Polytechnique. Due to this event, Dr. Frize and many others were further galvanized towards active initiatives aimed at improving the situation for women in science and engineering. Some of these initiatives studies and reports such as the 1992 More Than Just Numbers report (available here), and the increase in 1995 from one chair for women in science and engineering to five regional chairs across the country.
Dr. Frize has also been a leader for change in this field at the international level. In 2001, she became the founding president of the International Network of Women in Engineering and Science (INWES). Dr. Frize also recently published a book documenting women’s challenges in science and engineering, and the various initiatives undertaken to improve the situations, opportunities and atmospheres in which they learn and work. The book is entitled: The Bold and The Brave, and is available from the University of Ottawa Press. One of Dr. Frize’s future initiatives include the research and publication of a second book looking at key women in science and engineering throughout time and examining their passions. This coming spring she is also working on a workshop to assess the progress since the 1992 More Than Just Numbers report. BPW Canada Virtual is very grateful for the time Dr. Frize was able to spare to discuss her work, and looks forward to celebrating her future successes!
To view the PowerPoint presentation click here.
- April 2010
Multigenerational Workplace Teleconference
BPW Regina member, Jeanne Martinson from Martrain Personal Development led a teleconference April 22, 2010 based on the four generations that are currently in the workplace, traditionalists, baby boomers, generation X and generation Y. Due to each generation having been exposed to different experiences by the nature of when they were born, this can lead to conflict in the workplace over different expectations and values. Click here to read the entire report.
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- March 2010
Social Media Teleconference
Courtenay Pitcher of Lava Marketing in Vernon, BC was our guest speaker on March 18, 2010. Her topic was “How Social Media Can Help Your Business”. She started out with a background on different types of social media, concentrating on the top four (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Blogs). Click here to read the entire report.
- November 2009
Virtual Discussions on Osteoporosis by Allana Nicholas-Barnett, BPW Virtual Club - VP and Programs & Projects Chair
The November 19, 2009 Business and Professional Women Virtual Club third teleconference was on the topic of Osteoporosis and the guest speaker was Ms. Christine Thomas. Christine is a former Chair of the Ottawa Chapter of Osteoporosis Canada, and is a personal survivor of the disease. The format of the teleconference was very interactive with Christine aptly responding to questions from the conference participants. She recounted her personal experiences with the disease, from her initial encounter with the disease, the impact on her as a woman, a mother, a professional, and as a person at the prime of her life (only in her 40's). Christine also recounted the impact of the disease on both her immediate and extended family. All of these accounts were used to add a personal flavour to the otherwise sobering facts about the effects of osteoporosis on women. She also touched on the various progresses in Osteoporosis research to date. She concluded the forty-five minute presentation with a positive synopsis of how she currently lives with the disease and her hopes and aspirations for the future.
Christine Thomas intends to write a book in the near future, detailing her experience with Osteoporosis. All proceeds from the sale of this book would be directed to Osteoporosis Canada.
To learn more about Osteoporosis, please visit the Osteoporosis Canada website at http://www.osteoporosis.ca/.
Christine, on behalf of BPW Virtual Club, thank you for a very informative and motivating discussion about Osteoporosis. You have helped us become more informed about a disease that predominantly impacts women.
Good Luck on your future endeavours.
- October 2009
More news about Virtual reality!! By Kathy Laing BPW Virtual Club
On October 22, 2009 the BPW Virtual Club held its second teleconference. This teleconference was an information session, as well as a celebration of the eightieth anniversary this year of the Persons Case. Our own member Crystal Sissons, delivered a PowerPoint presentation. Crystal received her PhD in History in 2008, - so who could have been a more appropriate presenter!
Crystal gave background information about the dedicated women who were the instigators of the actions that resulted in Britain’s Privy Council overturning the Canadian Supreme Court’s Decision that had stated that women were not included in the definition “persons” in the British North American Act (BNA Act) of 1867, and therefore could not be appointed as Senators. Thereafter in Canada this decision was referred to as the Persons Case. These dedicated women from Alberta were Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards. They eventually became known as the “Famous Five”.
Crystal and I had been able to attend a” Famous Five” luncheon in Ottawa earlier in the month at which the winners of the Governor- General’s awards were present. It was an inspiring event.
As indicated in Crystal’s power presentation the ‘Famous Five” were made honorary senators on October 13th 2009 – finally!
Just another bit of interesting information – In 1938 The Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs presented a large plaque honouring the “Famous Five” to the government. The plaque hangs in a prominent place in the ante-room of the Senate Chambers (East Block) on Parliament Hill. So when you visit Ottawa – be sure to see it! Also on the this website it is worth a look too.
The next Virtual Club teleconference will be held on November19th. This month is designated as Osteoporosis Month, and we are pleased to announce that Christine Thomas, Past Chair (for seven years) of Osteoporosis Canada, Ottawa Chapter, will be the teleconference presenter. Christine will provide information about Osteoporosis, as well as her personal experience with the disease when she was only 42 years old.
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- September 2009
A new departure in virtual reality! By Crystal Sissons
On September 17th, 2009 the BPW Virtual Club entered the teleconference world with its first themed discussion. This new initiative will run throughout the year, with a range of different topics. With each session a presenter gives a half an hour presentation, and then the virtual floor opens for questions and answers.
The BPW Virtual Club was fortunate to have Kathy Wong of CARE Canada as its first presenter. Kathy is the Campaign Manager for CARE’s “I AM Powerful” campaign. With the assistance of a detailed power point presentation, sent out to members in advance, she brought enthusiasm to the discussion that made the phone lines spark with energy. Kathy pointed out the various projects that CARE is currently working on which assist women with gaining an education and improving their livelihoods. She also highlighted upcoming projects that CARE is planning to celebrate the power of women in Canada and around the world. On behalf of BPW Virtual Club, thank you Kathy once again for an excellent overview of CARE Canada! For additional information click here to view her PowerPoint presentation.
It was a wonderful evening, and a great new adventure. The upcoming topic will be Persons Day in October.
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BPWC-VC - Christmas Greetings to Deployed Canadian Military by Allana Nicholas-Barnett, BPW Virtual Club - VP and Programs & Projects Chair
December marks the beginning of BPW Virtual Club's - "Christmas Greetings to Deployed Canadian Military". Each member of BPWC-VC chooses one of the current deployment sites, then posts a message on the message board, writes a letter, or sends a card, to "Any Canadian Soldier".
They may also write a letter to someone that they know who is currently deployed. This initiative was stated by BPWC Virtual Club in 2007 to let Canada's deployed personnel know that the members of BPW-Virtual Club were thinking of them during the Holiday season.
If you would like to let Canadian Forces members know you "appreciate their service", please visit the Canadian Forces website at http://www.forces.gc.ca and select "Write to the Troops" for more information.
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Who We Are
The Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women Canada (BPW Canada) is an organization with a 80-year history that addresses the economic, political, social and employment conditions affecting working women. BPW Canada recognizes that women have different needs and time constraints throughout their careers and life stages. There are also a number of women engaged in work situations requiring mobility or living in areas without a local BPW clubs or who are otherwise unable to physically attend BPW meetings but still seek involvement in advocacy work for women as well as sistership and networking opportunities. On April 29, 2006, BPW Virtual Club was chartered to meet these growing needs.
What We Do
Due to the unique nature of BPW Virtual Club, the four pillars of BPW Canada are advanced in a different format.
Advocacy is accomplished by proposing and debating resolutions on public policy issues important to women, and lobbying the national government for change. BPW Virtual Club had its first resolution accepted at the Biennial Convention in Toronto in July 2006. This involved supporting Stephen Lewis in his efforts to get a new women-focused agency established at the United Nations.
Leadership is similar to other BPW clubs across Canada. Working on the executive or committees gives members skills that they can transfer to their business and personal lives. Our executive consists of a President, a Secretary/Treasurer and a Membership Chair. Our current committees are membership, newsletter, resolutions and personal development.
Personal Development is also different in an electronic or virtual forum, as we have meetings with guest speakers via teleconferences. Professional growth is accomplished with virtual seminars, such as the BPW Canada Career Skills modules, and with group discussions through MSN Messenger, blogs, Facebook and email..
Networking is also a challenge when members do not meet face-to-face. Networking is done electronically, with other BPW Virtual members, as well as other BPW clubs across Canada. Membership in BPW Virtual also allows participation in BPW International, BPW Canada, provincial and local clubs. Mentoring is also possible within BPW Virtual by members supporting and giving guidance to each other.
How We Work
One of the principal advantages of BPW Virtual Club is that women can access the club when time permits and from the comfort of their home or office. Our membership participates in interactive monthly meetings, and also communicates regularly by e-mail. BPW Virtual also publishes a quarterly e-newsletter, which features the club’s current activities.
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