The Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women


Winter 2011

President's Message BPW Canada AGM International Congress BPW Montreal
BPW New Brunswick Equal Pay Canada Workplace Bullying Insur/Self-Employed
Shine a Bright Light Council of Women Census/NHS  

President’s Message - Doris Hall

Another year has come and gone!  I hope that 2010 was a good year for all and I wish everyone success and prosperity in 2011.  I look forward to a great year working with you in BPW.  There are many events to look forward to, the Committee Meetings on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations in New York in February, provincial conferences/AGMs in the spring across the country, International Congress in Helsinki, Finland in June, and our National AGM in Ottawa in July.  I hope to see many of you at these events.

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BPW Canada AGM - July 22 and 23, 2010

Mark you calendars to visit Ottawa, Canada’s capital city on July 22 and 23 to attend our National AGM and share in the decision making of BPW Canada and connecting with your BPW friends.  We have booked The Westin Hotel for the event which is near the market, parliament buildings, shopping and the entertainment district.  We will strive to accomplish the business in good time and allow an opportunity for you to enjoy the city.

Click here to book your room at The Westin Hotel.

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International Congress - Helsinki, Finland – June 17-21, 2011

You can now register for Congress and your hotel accommodations on-line, click here.   Please send This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.details of your itinerary if you are attending so that all can connect in Helsinki.  This is an opportunity to participate in a worldwide event where BPW Canada will be represented by delegates and present three resolutions from the last two conventions.

BPW Montreal - “Negotiating an Equitable Salary and Social Benefits”

BPW Montreal

From left to right/de gauche à droite, Mary Ozcan, President, Léa Benegbi, Executive Director of La Passerelle and Maria Peluso, Past President.

On Thursday, October 21, 2010, BPW Montreal held a seminar entitled “Negotiating an Equitable Salary and Social Benefits”.  Thanks to Past President, Maria Peluso, we were able to hold the event, free of charge, at the new state-of-the-art John Molson School of Business which is part of Concordia University.  Twenty-four members and guests were in attendance.

The seminar leader was Léa Benegbi, Executive Director of La Passerelle, a Career Transition Center, that offers individual coaching and group workshops for people over 40 and over 55 who are seeking to change careers.

Several good interview strategies were elaborated.  Following are a few:

  1. Before the interview, know what is the minimum salary you are prepared to accept.
  2. Know your value; i.e. education, experience, volunteer work, etc.
  3. Always let the employer make the first offer.  If the employer asks you what salary you want, steer him/her away by asking a few questions.  Eventually, the offer will come.
  4. If the employer cannot pay you the salary you want, try to make it up with improved social benefits or ask for a review at the end of three to six months.
  5. Never, never accept the first offer, as it is always the least amount the employer is prepared to pay.  This is the biggest mistake women make when they are interviewed. 

BPW Montreal - Annual Tea and Silent Auction November 28, 2010

In a private room in Le Sanctuaire provided by member Barbara Burman, Members and guests were brought gifts for the auction.  Eight hundred dollars was raised and sent to the Women’s Centre of Montreal for their annual holiday basket food drive.

As well as having fun bidding on the auction items and enjoying each others company, we also initiated five new members of which three are Young BPW.

BPW Montreal Fundraising

Mayya Volodina, Mary Ozcan, Présidente, Yasenya Aseli and Alicia Salazar.

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BPW New Brunswick

Congratulations to the newly elected Board of Directors for BPW New Brunswick.

BPW New Brunswick

Back Row: Shawna Gagne – Young VP, Charlene Savoie – Treasurer, Maureen Craig McIntosh – Secretary

Front Row: Fairlie MacPhee 2nd VP, Sharon Hale – President, Bethany Thorne-Dykstra – 1st VP

BPW Canada Launches an Equal Pay Day Campaign

Sending a Clear Message...

Economic Equality Means Business

BPW Canada Equal Pay Day

BPW Canada has launched their 2011 Equal Pay Day Campaign encouraging Canadian women to become informed about how they can prepare themselves to deal with and potentially put an end to gender-based discriminatory pay practices.  Practices that limit their advancement to higher paying jobs and undervalue their contribution.  

Today women in Canada on average are required to work an additional 2 ½ months into the next year to earn the same income that men earn doing the same job working the regular  12 months of the preceding year.

To join BPWC in creating a buzz and to learn how social media can help us send a clear and strong message that when it comes to Economic Equality BPW Means Business click here to link to the BPW Canada Income Equality page.

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One Woman's Experience of Bullying in the Workplace - Jos Herman, President, BPW Saskatoon

Excerpt from Submission by Jos Herman, President, BPW Saskatoon – One Woman’s experience of Bullying in the Workplace

Pam Bowman (left) and Monica Kreuger participated in the Powerless to Powerful Conference by RICHARD MARJAN, Saskatoon StarPhoenix


Pam Bowman was always the problem at work.  They said she was stupid, unreliable, and unprofessional, and was disliked.  She couldn’t even boil water properly.

A victim of workplace bullying, Bowman spent about 15 years facing increasingly hostile treatment from co-workers, leading to serious health problems, the collapse of a career in veterinary technology and a seemingly endless fight for her right to a safe and healthy workplace.  “It was just chronic stress. It was like going into a war every day. What was going to happen next?” she said in an interview this week.

Earlier this year Bowman reached a settlement with her former employer, freeing her to move on to a new, entrepreneurial phase in her life. She now plans to start her own business to help people facing workplace bullying and help employers understand the consequences of such an activity. “It’s a serious health and safety issue and it’s not as benign as people would like to imagine,” she said.  “It’s a really horrible situation all around for everybody, it’s not productive and from a business point of view, it’s really bad.”

To view the rest of the article click here.

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Employment Insurance Benefits for Self-Employed


BPW Canada has been advised by Service Canada that the Government of Canada has launched an initiative of benefits for the self-employed.  The program is voluntary but one has to register for it.  For further information click here.


Quebec to shine a bright light for Canadian women

Excerpt from Montreal Gazette Tue Jan 4 2011, Page: A14, Section: Editorial / Op-Ed

"Liberal Premier Jean Charest arrived in power determined that women take their rightful place at the cabinet table and in the boardroom. In an interview last fall, Charest said that when he became leader of the Quebec Liberal Party in 1998, he insisted the party offer female candidates for the National Assembly ridings they could win. (Boosting the number of female candidates by offering them losing seats is a favourite trick of political parties not really committed to getting women elected to public office.)

In 2006, Charest legislated gender parity on the boards of Quebec's crown corporations. Before the law was passed, the corporations protested that there were no suitable women. Afterward, there seemed to be no problem finding them.

Legislated efforts to promote gender equality may strike many Canadians as a step too far. Canadians want to believe in -and work in -a system based on merit. But for a meritocracy to be truly legitimate and worthy of support, impediments to equal opportunity need to be brushed aside, as Quebec is doing.”

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National Council of Women of Canada

BPW Canada is associated with the National Council of Women and we share information back and forth with them.  The National Council of women was formed in 1893 and “continues to voice concerns, ideas and points of view from a wide range of members across Canada,” says president, Mary Scott.  “These include the gun registry, the long form Census, the shipping of radio active steam generators on Lake Huron, and Bill C23...the truth the Sentencing Act”, to name a few.  It is now 117 years old and going strong.  Click here to visit their website.



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Census and the new National Household Survey (NHS)


The new form of census will take place in May 2011.  An accurate national census is very important for planning of services such as schools, daycare, police services and fire protection. The NHS data is needed for the implementation of community services such as housing, roads, public transportation, skills training for employment and family services.  Please click here to read the notice from Statistics Canada to help you make your decision to participate.