Black Diamond Group honours International Women’s Day

News & Events
March 10, 2022
Tuesday, March 8 marked the 111th International Women’s Day, an observance designed to recognize and celebrate social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The theme in 2022 is “Break the Bias,” which, according to the International Women’s Day organization, is about striving for a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination and where differences are celebrated.

At Black Diamond Group we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace where women can confidently pursue their careers. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are celebrating the many bright, talented and inspiring women from across the company.

Jenn-Grosz.jpgJennifer Grosz, Human Resources Business Partner

Why do you think it’s important to observe IWD?
It is important to recognize and appreciate the progress we have made and how fortunate we are in Canada, and how things still need to change in other locations across the world. To celebrate equal rights and how everyone working together brings the best outcomes. Diversity is such a strength and drives our key values at Black Diamond Group, such as innovation and collaboration.

What does it mean to you to "Break the Bias"?
It means to recognize your own personal biases, as well as those we see in society and look past them. To see individuals as unique, and that gender identity doesn't define someone's potential or capabilities. We can achieve whatever it is we work towards if we put the effort and persevere. We also need to lift others up so that they can be empowered and supported to achieve their goals, whether they are personal, work related or even to change the world :)

What progress have you seen with gender equality in the workplace?
I think there is an awareness that all gender identities bring strength to the workplace and that diversity drives growth and performance, as well as healthy workplace environments and culture. There is more awareness around making sure pay is equitable, that we provide Leadership opportunities to women.

What achievement are you most proud of to date?
Being a mother to my growing, happy daughter Beatriz (which means bringer of joy).
 

Laura-Komianos.jpgLaura Komianos, Executive Assistant to the EVP & CFO

Why do you think it’s important to observe IWD?
There are so many intelligent and strong women who are employed in positions of influence and that inspire young women to dream big and work hard. It inspires them to speak up, share their ideas and be courageous, that their opinions and insights are valuable.

What are some of the keys to your success?
Work smart, be inclusive, be collaborative, be respectful, think quickly, speak slowly. Have a growth mindset, be willing, and be able to pivot. Put yourself in someone else's place, and think about how would you want to be treated.

What advice do you have for your younger self, daughter(s), niece(s), granddaughter(s) or other young women in your life?
Educate yourself. Be independent. Be with someone because you want companionship and love, not because you want to be taken care of. Be knowledgeable about your finances, make your money work for you, invest at least 10% of your savings into a TFSA. If you don't know something, ask for professional advice or "Google" it, in today's world, ignorance is a choice.
 

Kristin-Eagleson.jpgKristin Eagleson, Operations Analyst

What progress have you seen with gender equality in the workplace?
I am seeing a lot more women in management positions at Black Diamond Group specifically. After coming back from maternity leave recently, I noticed a lot of women had been promoted into management roles which is amazing!

What are some of the keys to your success?
Listening – you will learn a lot by listening to different perspectives. Willingness to help – I try to always be approachable. Problem solve and offer solutions.

What advice do you have for your younger self, daughter(s), niece(s), granddaughter(s) or other young women in your life?
Ask for what you want, and don't be afraid to share your ideas.
 

Shelley-Gillett.jpgShelley Gillett, General Manager, Human Resources 

Why do you think it’s important to observe IWD?
It's a day that everyone can celebrate the achievements of women across the world socially, economically, culturally and politically. More close to home, it's an opportunity to honor the wonderful female mentors, coaches, and fellow females that have inspired and supported me in my career journey.

What does it mean to you to "Break the Bias"?
For me, its about being in a position where I can be a role model to other women by being confident in what I do, courageous in asking questions or challenging the status quo, delivering strong results, and preserving even in difficult times. I tackle every situation as if there isn't a bias.

What progress have you seen with gender equality in the workplace?
In my career journey over the last 30 years I have always worked at organizations that had a strong focus on gender equality. With that being said, I also took charge of my own career destiny and created informal mentorship relationships for myself with both male and female leaders within these companies. Through these mentorships I was able to gain knowledge and understanding of what it will take to be successful in the business world. It has been great to observe the positive changes around gender equality in the workplace over the years.

What advice do you have for women starting out in business careers?
1. No one is going to believe in you like you do. You have to make your own dreams a reality. 2. Determine what your important values are and stay true to them in everything you do. 3. Be confident - ask questions - challenge the status quo - adapt - embrace change.
 

Dianne-Seupersad.jpgDianne Seupersad, Product Marketing Manager, LodgeLink

Why do you think it’s important to observe IWD?
IWD has been celebrated every year for over a century elevating women and voicing gender equality. It's important to keep the conversation going and move closer towards a gender equal world. It's a day for us to support other women. To stand in solidarity and speak for those who cannot. It’s a time to reflect on how far we have come and advocate for what is still needed to break down barriers. Help break the bias.

Do you have a female mentor or role model? What have you learned from her?
I have several female role models to look up to, but the most influential is my daughter. She inspires me every day with her questions and outlook on life. Ever since her personality came out, she would break the bias. Gravitating to things that interest her, not what culture dictates she should be interested in. She isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo and ask why. Why must culture dictate gender stereotypes with colours, toys and roles? She reminds me that although we have accomplished a lot, we still have a way to go and changing the mindset starts with each of us.

What does it mean to you to "Break the Bias"?
It means to take ownership, speak up, and show solidarity. Bias in all areas of life is around us. As individuals, it is our responsibility to break the bias. Change the narrative and open our minds to learn more about our diverse world. Then collectively, we can build inclusive teams with diverse voices bringing parity into this world.

What advice do you have for your younger self, daughter(s), niece(s), granddaughter(s) or other young women in your life?
Be authentically you, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Instead, embrace them with grace and learn from them. Don’t lose that sense of curiosity. Continue to ask why and don’t be afraid to try new things. Know your worth, and don’t worry about what others think. Define success your way and own it. Find that balance in life, and don’t forget to self-love. Most importantly – have fun!
 

Jennine-Tobiason.jpgJennine Tobiason, Sales Representative

Why do you think it’s important to observe IWD?
It’s truly a treat to be working alongside other women in the construction Industry. Women are often the glue that holds it all together. We have a natural gift to add a sense of comfort and organization to projects of many levels.

What progress have you seen with gender equality in the workplace?
When Black Diamond first bought Britco there were only 2 other women. Now there are 4 others. We have a great team of people, and we all bring a different level of experience to each project. Women often suggest areas of improvement which I feel are seen and heard!

What are some of the keys to your success?
A great team, fantastic clients and mangers who allow us to have a voice and take our suggestions to grow our business and our team in many areas.

What advice do you have for women starting out in business careers?
Stay empowered no matter what! There are many ebbs and flows and you do need thick skin to work in some industries, but if you continue to be yourself and stay positive, there are many avenues for growth.

What advice do you have for your younger self, daughter(s), niece(s), granddaughter(s) or other young women in your life?
Don't sweat the small stuff. Save your cares and worries for the big stuff.
 

Nicole-Sasaki.jpgNicole Sasaki, Operations Controller

Why do you think it’s important to observe IWD?
International Women's Day is important to observe and remember because we still haven't reached a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A lot of people have been trying for many years and there have been many improvements and at the same time more to come. In an office setting it would be amazing to see a world where you knew women were being paid the same as their male peers, that no one felt "lucky" to be at the table and when you looked at the leaders in any organization you could see a close representation of who you are (or want to be) at that level.

What does it mean to you to "Break the Bias"?
Breaking the Bias to me means that we would see women in all types of roles and where their perspectives are valued equally. I believe that experiences bring different perspectives and we need those perspectives to generate and create a more encompassing work and living environment.

What are some of the keys to your success?
I believe the key to anyone's success is being true to who they are, sharing their ideas and perspectives and being respectful of those around them.

What advice do you have for women starting out in business careers?
Advice for women starting out in business would be to stay true to who they are but listen and learn from those around them, no matter their gender. Develop your own style and draw the best out of what you see around you, adding to your tool kit.

What achievement are you most proud of to date?
My most proud achievement to date is the ability to help those around me become successful and grow in their careers. I've seen growth in many people I have worked with and seeing them improve, take what we have learned together and create things even better is what I feel real success is.