IGNITE Leadership Program for Women

Applications open April 12 for the IGNITE Leadership Program for Women!

Women’s Enterprise Centre, RBC and The Forum have come together to IGNITE women leaders!

Women in mentorship, investing and advisory roles create a world of opportunities for women who follow in their footsteps, and that support is needed now more than ever.

Women form 47% of the workforce, yet make up only 5% of CEOs, less than 20% of Angel Investors and less than 20% of Board positions. And recent progress is eroding; one third of working women in Canada are considering leaving their jobs, due to increased care responsibilities during the pandemic.

We need to support women to step up, not step out – and no one does it alone.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your professional development, this program will bridge that gap to ignite and expand your network and connect you with opportunities.

We know that leadership diversity leads to innovation, economic growth and social change. Companies with more women on their boards have better financial performance. Women-owned businesses deliver more than 2x per dollar invested and 69% integrate social impact into their businesses.

If you’re advancing in your career or business, you may be familiar with WHY we need more women in leadership roles.

The IGNITE Leadership Program will show you HOW to step into the roles of Mentor, Investor, Advisor and Board Member.

Learn directly from other women who are leading the way

This program is built around the power of connections, and we have an incredible lineup of seasoned leaders who will share their expertise in each of these roles and inspire you to explore new growth opportunities.

By the end of this series, you’ll have a plan to build your own financial and social capital, accelerate your wealth and expand leadership opportunities for yourself and others.

Each session will give you the chance to:


Acknowledge your strengths and value through interactive learning sessions that give you the confidence to step up.


Hear the stories of women who give back—and those who have been impacted by their leadership!


Forge meaningful relationships with peers during breakout sessions, plus learn where you can access opportunities for your next step.

Application intake will open on April 12 at 9am and spots are limited!
Sign up for our eBlasts to be notified when they open!


May 19 | Mentorship: The Value You Bring

Maybe you had a mentor who made an impact in your own life, or maybe you’ve had to lone-wolf it as you blaze a trail in your industry. Whatever your reasons, mentorship is a powerful way to give back.

In this session, you’ll learn how to turn your wealth of hard-earned knowledge into a learning opportunity for women following in your footsteps. During this session, you’ll:

  • Recognize your own skills and value
  • Discover which type of mentorship program best fits your experience
  • Learn how to step into the role of Mentor; including tips from 15 years of mentoring programs
  • Explore what mentorship is, and what it is not
  • Gain tips to leverage mentorship to advance your own career
  • Network with women who can connect you with mentorship opportunities

Facilitated by Dawn McCooey | Entrepreneur in Residence, Women’s Enterprise Centre

Session One Leaders

Dawn McCooey

Entrepreneur in Residence, Women’s Enterprise Centre

Bobbi Carpino

Mentor and Entrepreneur in Residence, Women’s Enterprise Centre; Co-Owner, Salmon Valley Campground

Kaitlyn McConnell

Mentoring Program Manager, Women’s Enterprise Centre

June 2 | Investors: The Equity You Support

Investing in early stage companies can unlock new capital and expertise to support diverse founders. Yet, women make up less than 17% of angel investors and receive less than 3% of venture capital.

You may not think of yourself as an ‘Investor,’ but it’s actually an extension of your desire to make a social impact and create a more inclusive world. By building on your strengths and experiences, you can increase the amount of funding that goes to diverse founders while expanding your own wealth.

During this session, you’ll:

  • Dive into the world of gender lens investing
  • Explore the investment landscape and the different types of opportunities
  • Learn where to find investment opportunities, and how the process works
  • Gain skills to assess investments, by performing due diligence
  • Learn how to use your investments to make a social impact and improve diversity
  • Connect with women in the investment space

Facilitated by Jill Earthy | CEO, Women’s Enterprise Centre; Co-Founder, The Raise Collective; Founder, The Risery

Session Two Leaders

Jill Earthy

CEO, Women’s Enterprise Centre; Co-Founder, The Raise Collective; Founder, The Risery

Maninder Dhaliwal

President & Co-Founder, Lions Gate International Inc.; Co-Founder & Board Chair, Women Angels Collective

Dayna Holland

Partner, Invictus Accounting Group; Activator, SheEO

June 16 | Board Members & Advisors: The Impact You Make

Women leaders are known to cultivate potential in others, provide mentorship, reduce group-think, and foster an environment where female, racialized and LGBTQ2+ people are able to contribute.

This session is facilitated by Trish Mandewo, Founder and CEO of Synergy on Boards, which is an Indigenous, Black and Visible Minorities (IBVM) Executive and Board search firm that is committed to eliminating the systematic inequalities in senior level positions and on boards.

During this session, you’ll:

  • Discover which types of advisor and board opportunities would suit you
  • Explore pathways to opportunities and where to find them
  • Figure out if you’re board ready, or consider how to advance your board positions
  • Expand on your role as a leader, to ensure you make an impact
  • Connect with established board members and CEOs who can facilitate valuable connections

Facilitated by Trish Mandewo | Founder & CEO, Synergy on Boards Consulting Group; Co-Founder, Women’s Collaborative Hub Society; Councillor, City of Coquitlam; Board Member, Women’s Enterprise Centre

Session Three Leaders

Trish Mandewo

Founder & CEO, Synergy on Boards Consulting Group; Co-Founder, Women’s Collaborative Hub Society; Councillor, City of Coquitlam; Board Member, Women’s Enterprise Centre

Christine Bergeron

President & CEO, Vancity; Board Chair, Women’s Enterprise Centre

Paulina Cameron

Chair, Immigrant Employment Council of BC; CEO of The Forum

Key Dates

Application intake
April 12 to 25

Successful applicants
Will be notified by May 7

Program starts
May 19
All registrants will attend three virtual sessions over six weeks: May 19; June 2; June 16, 9am to 11am PDT

Eligibility & cost

Who is this for?
This program is open to Canadians who identify as women. IGNITE is designed for corporate and non-profit leaders with over ten years of experience in their field, or women entrepreneurs with over five years in business.

Program cost
Program value is $250, available for $150 thanks to our generous program sponsor RBC!

Early Bird Rate: Apply by April 18 and successful applicants can join the program for $75

Program fee is due within 72 hours of acceptance into the program to secure your spot.

Presented by

Women's Enterprise Centre Logo

Thanks to our sponsor

RBC Logo

With support from