Young Women in Business Interview
In this interview, Co-Presidents Lina Gomez and Jessica Houston, along with V.P. of Programs Bridget Kriesel, share their insights into this outstanding organization.
Tell us about Young Women in Business (YWiB).
Young Women in Business is a central forum connecting ambitious, like-minded women across educational fields, careers, and industries. Our events and programs provide the support, skills, and networking opportunities that allow women to achieve success on their own terms and be engaged members in their communities. (Lina Gomez & Jessica Houston – Co-Presidents)
How do you promote your organization?
We continue to look for new ideas for events and membership benefits that support the interests and needs of women leaders within the community. We also partner with other organizations with similar values to support each other’s initiatives and events. This allows us to develop our network so we can connect our members with further opportunities to strengthen their leadership development and careers. Our social media platforms, blog posts, and newsletters provide resources as well as promote upcoming events and programs to the YWiB community. (Lina Gomez & Jessica Houston – Co-Presidents)
You have a considerable number of people involved in the organization. How do you coordinate all the initiatives?
We’ve really embraced technology, using platforms like Google Hangouts, Slack and social media to keep everyone engaged and involved when they’re able to. (Lina Gomez & Jessica Houston – Co-Presidents)
What are some of the most significant accomplishments of the organization?
“The YWiB Vancouver Chapter has many initiatives that we are proud of. To name a few from our Programs team, we successfully launched a new program in 2019 to cater towards aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to learn the necessary savvy business skills to create their own start up. The Side Hustle bootcamp is an 8-week bootcamp that allows individuals to lean on and learn from seasoned entrepreneurs that help guide them right from the ideation phase to pitching their ideas! Over the last three years, we have seen some exceptional women come through this program and are looking forward to kick-starting the program again in April this year!
Our mentorship program has been around for several years and we have seen mentees and mentors from a wide range of industries that have benefitted from these mentorship relationships. The program’s team spends a couple months going through all the applications, as well as, crowd-source to find the best possible mentors for our mentees. These mentors help support the mentee’s personal goals from changing careers to learning new skills and growing confidence. It has been extremely rewarding to see the impact that these relationships have had on our mentees and we hope to continue to support the growth of young women at different stages in their career! (Bridget Kriesel, VP of Programs)
Are there untapped areas that you hope to add to grow your offerings?
We have discussed the potential of adding a new program that caters towards women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Women make up only 28% of the workforce in STEM and as a woman working in technology myself, it would be inspiring to hear from more women from these industries and learn how they have navigated their career growth. This program could help young women who are aspiring to work in these male-dominated industries and provide them with guidance on how to develop their skills and build the relationships they need to succeed. (Bridget Kriesel, VP of Programs)
Have you had any mentors that have inspired you along this journey?
The team of volunteers have all inspired us along this journey. Each person brings new ideas and challenges us to be better, and do better. They bring passion and hard-work to make YWiB a success, even during challenging times. We work together, support each other, and everyone brings their unique talents to the table. (Lina Gomez & Jessica Houston – Co Presidents)
What brought you joy this week?
Spending time with and hearing from our mentees and mentors at our “Communicating with Confidence” event! (Bridget Kriesel, VP of Programs)