Interview with a Founder: Ardyce Kouri

Ardyce Kouri is a partner and owner of Leaders International, an organization designed to support their clients in identifying the senior leadership they need to keep driving their organizations forward. Ardyce is also a founding board member of interVivos and served many roles within the organization as a board member, volunteer, mentor and now an advisor.

Given her extensive professional network and business expertise, Ardyce is highly qualified to offer advice to young business professionals. She encourages young businesspeople to, “identify a core group of professionals to help you deal with any potential challenges that will undoubtedly arise as you navigate your business journey.” She also preaches the importance of volunteerism: “Stay involved in the community.  Volunteer; sit on a board; stay connected. This helps you stay balanced and also helps your network grow.”

Ardyce has also been an advocate for building mentoring relationships. She was “lucky to work with some great partners at Leaders International (formerly Davies Park) and was mentored by all of them, included the founders – Gerry Davies and Darwin Park.” Ardyce credits her mentorship opportunities for much of her professional growth: “Having the opportunity to learn from a variety of leaders was great as I learned different perspectives and approaches, as I developed my own.” Ardyce is now key in helping other young business professionals develop their leadership approaches as a mentor. “Whenever you get a chance to meet someone new and listen to their experience you can learn something. Even if you are considered the ’mentor’ you are still getting a chance to learn and grow as a professional. It’s great!” Expanding, Ardyce adds, “By mentoring a young businessperson, you will add value to someone else, but you will also learn something about yourself in the process. It’s a win-win.”

As a founding member of interVivos, Ardyce highly encourages everyone to become involved with the organization as either a mentor or a protégé: “When I was asked to be a mentor, I was honoured and excited. I know the power a positive mentoring relationship can have on both protégé and mentor and I felt I could make a positive difference. interVivos is a diverse group and you will get the opportunity to learn from many different people and expand your perspective. You will also find it supportive and dynamic!”

The Winter 2019 Mentorship Program launches on December 10, 2019. To register, please check: https://bit.ly/2XHniyl .

interVivos launches Summer 2019 Mentorship Program

interVivos is launching its Summer 2019 Mentorship Program Wednesday, June 19, 2019. interVivos is inviting ambitious professionals from across the capital region to take part in its ever-popular mentorship program and have the opportunity to connect with highly sought-after mentors.

interVivos has organized close to 20 mentorship programs since the society started in 2006. This year interVivos will provide protègès the opportunity to be paired with successful women with varied careers, backgrounds and perspectives.

The Mentorship Program launch is a unique and engaging concept. Protègès and mentors will have the opportunity to meet with all the participants, discuss what their goals are in person, and then choose who the best match would be for them.

Our speakers from #girlbossyeg 2018! This is the event that influenced the all-female mentor lineup for the 2019 Summer Mentorship program! Photo by Karen Lee

“Allowing our participants the choice, increases the likelihood that the partnership will be fruitful for everyone involved,” says Board President, Zohreh Saher. “We are especially excited to showcase the talented and successful women in our community with our first all-female mentor group.”

The program launches June 19 and begins in early August. It runs for 6 months and matches are expected to meet at least three times. If you’re an ambitious professional in the capital region, you can learn more about the program and register as a protègè by visiting this Eventbrite link.

What do Edmontonians want from their provincial government this next year?

In April 2019, A Provincial Affair returned to Edmonton for the 2019 general election. interVivos offered engaged Edmontonians a wide range of nonpartisan expert-led discussion. We covered economic diversification, education, employment, environmental issues and healthcare.

The panelists have a photo-op with Peg!

 

We asked our attendees at the end of the evening to answer the following question on a Post-It:

“What issue should the provincial government prioritize within the first year of being elected?”

 

An attendee browses the responses on our Post It Wall

Here is what was written on the Post-Its:

Economic Diversification

  • “A concrete plan to start marketing and moving Alberta towards being a leader in innovation to move us beyond our current oil/gas identity.”
  • “Change perceptions around our resources, jobs.”
  • “Invest within Alberta and its businesses rather than outsourcing our work.”
  • “Self driving car innovation.”
  • “The provincial government should prioritize economic diversification which can lead to innovation in healthcare, environmental initiatives and improved employment opportunities.”
  • “Upskilling or re-training labour force to support economic diversification.”

Employment

  • “Enabling businesses to find efficiencies to support minimum wage but address understaffing stresses.”
  • “Livable wages for an average family.”
  • “Maintain minimum wage.”
  • “Poverty reduction.”
  • “Workers’ rights.”

Education

  • “Protect kids’ rights.”
  • “Curriculum release.”
  • “Fund education in alignment to the enrollment growth.”
  • “Increase funding for education.”
  • “NO snitch line for teachers! GSAs <3.”

Environment

  • “Carbon levy – keeping.”
  • “Climate change priority #1 for the new provincial government.”
  • “Free public transit.”
  • “Make sustainability easier and more accessible for all Albertans. No pipelines :(.“

Healthcare

  • “Continued support for safe injection sites.”
  • “Free dental care and pharmacare.”
  • “Increase healthcare efficiency reduce waiting time.”
  • “Mental health recognition.”
  • “Healthcare innovation as a model of economic diversification and development!”

interVivos thanks all attendees, speakers and volunteers who participated in the wonderful discussions at the event!

The Speech from the Throne is on May 22, 2019. We look forward to hearing if any of these ideas are featured by the governing United Conservative Party. Our next issues event will be in October on the federal election. Stay tuned to our site and social media for more information.

interVivos Mentorship Research

In fall of 2018, board members were tasked with conducting a research project to audit its own mentorship program and uncover the needs of young professionals and trends in mentorship. The following are the highlights.

  • Since the inception of interVivos’ Mentorship Program, females make up 2/3rds of protégés and males make up 1/3rd; mentors are evenly split
  • interVivos mentors have an average of 17 years in their respective industry
  • 2/3rds of mentors are in the private sector and 1/3rd belong to the non-profit or public sector
  • Protégés who participate in interVivos’ Mentorship Programs are largely looking:
    • to learn and grow professional and personally
    • to access expertise and knowledge
    • for advice, feedback and guidance in their career
    • and to network and broaden their professional relationships
  • Mentors who participate in interVivos’ Mentorship Programs are largely looking:
    • to support protégé growth and development
    • to pay it forward by opening doors and creating opportunities
    • to learn from the protégé in an exchange of ideas
    • and to help shape a better community
  • In light of the #metoo and #timesup movement, research has shown that some male bosses are becoming afraid of working one-on-one with female employees and thus are becoming less likely to mentor them
  • More organizations are realizing the value of mentorship; many mentorship programs exists, and more are being created every year
  • Within Edmonton, mentorship programs are popular but exist within industry associations or as part of a post-secondary offering with varying program structures

Stay tuned for more details on our upcoming mentorship program launching on June 19, 2019. Email us at mentorship@intervivos.ca to find out more.

Meet an interVivos Supporter – Rhys Morgan

From the moment Rhys Morgan stepped into the downtown Edmonton coffee shop, it was plain
to see that he is an engaged member of this community. Shaking hands and chatting with people in the shop, waving to those he knew who were passing by, Rhys is clearly passionate about building
relationships with those in this community. As we got to know Rhys a bit better, we learned some of his other passions: family and cycling. Born in Wales, and after a successful career in London, Rhys is happy to call Edmonton home with his partner Ashley and two children, Olive and Ella. Rhys is also an avid cyclist, cycling across the river to his downtown office whenever the weather permits, or when he’s not busy shuttling his eldest daughter to and from school.

Rhys is the Managing Partner and Founder of MorganThomas, which Rhys describes as a “specialist business and technology consulting firm. We help any organization, public sector or private sector, drive innovation and transformation in their business through technology”. Another passion of Rhys’ is the democratic process, as demonstrated by MorganThomas’ sponsorship of A Provincial Affair, interVivos’ provincial election event on April 2nd. 

“I think it’s important. What we’ve seen recently across the world in terms of divisiveness, the Brexit event… I think it’s very important for people to come out, get educated, and see the importance of voting and how impactful it is on their community,” said Rhys. He expressed his concern over low voter turnout, especially amongst young people, and hopes that non-partisan events like these will help drive turnout: “anything that drives turnout is important, regardless of how you vote.”

Rhys also hopes to see his professional contemporaries at the event on April 2nd : “If you’re not going to these events, if you’re not turning up and demonstrating why you think this is important, then I don’t think it sets a good example for the younger generation in terms of how they become future business leaders. That’s why we’re keen to support this.”

InterVivos is lucky to have had Rhys in our corner for quite some time. Both he and his partner Ashley, a former interVivos Board Member, have been mentors for the interVivos mentorship programs. Mentorship is something Rhys views as a key to his past, current, and future success. Rhys said that he can “single-handedly pinpoint [his] success to the people who have been able to mentor [him] throughout [his] career.”

interVivos thanks MorganThomas, their leadership, and their staff, for their generous sponsorship of A Provincial Affair. Make sure to follow them on LinkedIn.

Limited tickets remain for A Provincial Affair on April 2nd ! Purchase your ticket before the event sells out.

A Provincial Affair: An Interview with Shafraaz Kaba

In less than a week we’ll be engaging in passionate discussions on several important topics that impact Albertans: economic diversification, education, employment, environmental issues and healthcare. A Provincial Affair provides young professionals with access to experts on these topics to provide their perspective and answer burning questions.

Shafraaz Kaba is one of our speakers on environmental issues and is a former interVivos mentor. He was previously known for his work at Manasc Isaac Architects, where he focused on the development of buildings that strive for net-zero energy and carbon-emission reducing goals. In his new venture—Ask—Shafraaz now endeavors to facilitate the creation of regenerative, NetZero energy, and carbon neutral architecture using Lean culture and design thinking.

We asked Shafraaz a few questions on what Albertans need to pay attention to this upcoming provincial election to get people thinking about what to ask him during the event.

interVivos: What are the biggest environmental issues facing Albertans?

Shafraaz Kaba: Meeting the Paris Agreement and reducing carbon emissions as soon as possible for us to have a world that is habitable for our children to live in. We need to become carbon neutral as soon as possible.

interVivos: What are some of the ways you think we can accomplish this?

Shafraaz Kaba: From my perspective, it’s helping our society understand how that will change and affect the way we live but not compromise our standard of living. There is an economic opportunity here to really work within our carbon budget. If we prolong action or if we hesitate we’re going to make the planet worse for our children.

interVivos: How do you think we can deal with this on a broader scale?

Shafraaz Kaba: There can be a very large opportunity—if you look at buildings, they consume a lot of our natural resources and they basically produce a third of all our carbon emissions. Buildings have a huge impact on whether we can meet our climate goals.

interVivos: What are some of the provincial policies that either need to continue or be dealt with by the provincial government?

Shafraaz Kaba: Full disclosure, I’m on the board of Energy Efficiency Alberta so we set carbon reduction targets and provide incentives for people. This can be residential, commercial or in businesses to make changes for all of us to live in a lower carbon environment.  We need to look at how we wrap that up even further. Energy Efficiency Alberta and our emissions agency have made some good headway—and it’s a start—but it needs to wrap up significantly within the next decade for us to make a lasting impact.

interVivos: Why are events like A Provincial Affair, and more broadly, citizen engagement events still important for people to participate in?

Shafraaz Kaba: In this day and age, the news has been very shaky at best in terms of how we can get the right information from the right sources, or even understand what information we need to know. I think this event is an opportunity for certain experts and industry folks to speak to their issues, what they know, and how they can inspire others to act. Right now, I think people are turning off news media, and even social media to a certain extent, because it’s becoming biased and negative.

interVivos: How else can Albertans get more informed about issues and party platforms before heading to the polls on April 16?

Shafraaz Kaba: As simple as talking to candidates. In my mind if people can talk directly to their nominees in their own riding to ask them questions they’re concerned about—depending on what information the candidate can tell them will help them decide. Just that conversation alone will show if that candidate is looking into that topic or issue or if they’re simply not engaged. That’s the best thing to do in my opinion.

You can find Shafraaz Kaba on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Limited tickets remain for A Provincial Affair on April 2nd. Get yours before it sells out! We’ll see you there.

Strat Planning is Where It’s At

2018 will be remembered as the year we took the big leap to take time to focus on revisiting our raison d’etre…our mission and vision! After 12 years of events and programs for young professionals in Edmonton, it is time for a new strategic plan.

In early December 2018, we put our advisors, board and some stakeholders in a room to talk about our mission, vision, and what brand characteristics we have. We got help from the Community Development Unit with Alberta Culture and Tourism and Red Executive Services.

And, we are just getting started.

While still offering events and programs to Edmonton’s young professionals in 2019 (check out our events page to see what we have planned), we are going to spend the next few months figuring out the essential stuff.
Do you have thoughts about our Mission? Vision? Brand characteristics? Send us an email and check out this space for updates on this work.

 

Why Mentoring Matters, and How to Get Started

This article was originally written by Lizz Schumer and can be found at NY Times

“I want the women that I mentor around me to see those possibilities, how they can make a difference when someday they’re in charge,” Ms. Hochul, now New York’s lieutenant governor, said. “I want them to have a more expansive view of their potential. And to me, mentoring is all about letting them see and then helping them find the path to get there.”

While mentoring benefits all participants, it is especially important for young women. A 2015 study from the University of California Haas School of Business found that women gained more social capital from affiliation with a high-status mentor than their male counterparts did. The Department of Labor reports that today, 57 percent of women participate in the work force. As work force demographics continue to change, encouraging mentors and mentees to seek one another out might be more important than ever.

Mentorship advances careers. A study in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that people with mentors are more likely to get promotions. That’s no accident. Jenni Luke, chief executive of the national teen mentorship organization StepUp, knows that those relationships can help propel young women to success.

“When I go into a room full of people and I say, ‘Raise your hand if you’ve gotten your job through somebody,’ every hand goes up,” Ms. Luke said. “Every single person on earth has social capital, and you want to use it with intentionality.”

When mid- and senior-level employees choose to mentor someone newer to the work force, they can boost people who may not otherwise have those opportunities and help level the playing field.

Many companies are “hiring in these kinds of closed networks,” Ms. Luke said. “And unless you’re willing to really understand that and open up your networks,” she added, “the network of folks coming into jobs continues to narrow.”

Mentorship also exposes both parties to new ideas and perspectives. Arlene Kaukus, the director for career services at the University at Buffalo, said she believed that was becoming more and more important, as workplace demographics continue to change.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2024 less than 60 percent of the work force is likely to define itself as “white non-Hispanic.” Latinx people could comprise 20 percent of the labor force in 2024. The proportion of African-Americans in the work force is also projected to rise, to 12.7 percent in 2024 from 12.1 percent in 2014, and the proportion of Asians to 6.6 percent in 2024 from 5.6 percent in 2014.

“The importance of being able to see things from different people’s points of view based on their life experience, their culture, their ethnicity, their gender, becomes even more important,” Ms. Kaukus said.

Ms. Luke emphasized that mentoring should not be paternalistic. “It’s very much reciprocal, and there’s so much to be learned from the younger generation,” she said. Both sides are “meeting different types of people, understanding different experiences, and really growing their own network of young, up-and-coming professionals to be able to support or to be able to offer opportunities.”

Ms. Kaukus, who also volunteers as a mentor to international students, said she also learned a lot from those she mentors. It affords mentors “an opportunity to reach back and continuously develop talent and pay back for the wonderful extension of mentorship that perhaps they were granted at some point in their career,” she said. “I think that is a powerful motivator. And it’s also a powerful benefit for the mentor.”

For the full article, click the link above.

interVivos Mentorship Feature: Nafisa and Stephen

Stephen and Nafisa met at the interVivos Spring 2018 Mentorship Program Launch in May 2019. Nafisa is a professional fundraiser at the Stollery Children’s Hospital and a mentor to Stephen, who is an Urban Planning student at the University of Alberta. They both thought that the interVivos mentorship program would be a good opportunity to build new connections and relationships outside of their own network. Nafisa believes that interVivos stood out amongst other mentorship programs because of the eclectic mix of individuals from all sectors and professions.

 

Stephen hoped to, “learn from someone outside of [his] area of study who transitioned from post-secondary to the workforce. [He] was also eager to gain insight on how to get integrated into Edmonton’s community-building scene.” Nafisa hopes to, “provide Stephen with different perspectives about his life and career. Stephen is a very smart, high achieving individual… so we teach each other about how to accomplish our goals.” They meet every couple of months and have an unstructured conversation about their goals and challenges.

 

Nafisa highly encourages experienced professionals to consider mentoring a young professional in Edmonton. Mentoring Stephen has reminded her of herself at his age and has helped her further her own professional development. “It’s a great benefit to mentor a young business person because it has reminded me about some of the goals I wish to achieve and how I am going to achieve them. I think the further you get in your career, it gets harder to make big changes. Mentoring someone to go for it or to pursue their goals has put my goals back into perspective to achieve.”

 

After the #metoo and #timesup movements gained media attention, there has been some hesitation in entering a mentorship relationship with someone of a different gender. As someone who is in a successful mentorship relationship with a female mentor, Stephen would like to encourage protégés, “to be a little more introspective about how they’re feeling… being the same gender may mean that you’re able to directly connect experiences regarding the intersection of your gender and your professional development. This is important still and people should be encouraged to share these stories, but there are lots of different ways to connect with a mentor. If anything, being mentored by someone who is a different gender allows for a broader understanding of how people relate to one another in the real world and how you, individually, can best approach your life taking more perspectives into account.”

 

Nafisa encourages other mentors not to stray away from mentoring someone of another gender: “Try it! You will learn something new and gain a different perspective. It will help build you up.” If you’re considering becoming a mentor or a protégé, Nafisa thinks that interVivos has done a great job of attracting a diverse audience and would like to see more community leaders across all sectors as mentors. She encourages others to take on a leadership position and take on a protégé. “Being a mentor has allowed me to meet many diverse and wonderful community contributors and have new and engaging conversations about our careers and community.”

 

 

Thank you to Christy Seville, for writing this blog. Christy is a former interVivos intern and is the Communications Coordinator at the MS Society of Canada, AB & NWT Division.

What Happens When Women Mentor Men

This article was originally written by Julia Carpenter and can be found here: https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/20/success/women-mentoring-men/index.html

We’re used to seeing men as mentors. We’re used to seeing them mentor other men, and we’re also getting used to seeing them mentor junior women. As more women enter positions of leadership, we’re also seeing a growing number of senior women mentoring other women.But there’s a mentor-mentee relationship we’re not as familiar with: senior women mentoring junior men.
[…]

Seeing women as the mentors

Part of the reason we don’t see these relationships as much is because female leaders are still relatively rare. A recent study from McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.org shows that women aren’t promoted to management as quickly as their male colleagues are. As a result, there are fewer opportunities for women to mentor junior employees of any gender.
But research also shows that because men and women are socialized differently — men to be more aggressive and assertive, women to be more submissive and nurturing — they approach mentor-mentee relationships from entirely different perspectives.
[…]
Women are also more likely to care about chemistry in these relationships, Athanasopoulou says. Men will mentor a junior employee with less thought about rapport or the bond. Meanwhile, women will spend more time trying to establish that trust on the front end of the relationship.
“When women speak about mentoring another person, they tend to look at mentoring as a two-way process,” she says. Men, she says, are more likely to see it as a transaction than a relationship.

Seeing men as the mentees

The messages we get about gender don’t just shape how we mentor, Schwiebert says. They also change how we receive mentorship.
While women have been socialized to nurture and “mother” in the workplace, men have been socialized to value promotions and other symbols of success.
“There’s this expectation you should want to climb the ladder as far as you can get,”
Schwiebert says. “It’s a vulnerable place for [men] to talk about things like ‘Maybe I don’t want to make a lot of money. Maybe I want to stay here.'”
Schwiebert points to one example from her research, where a male school counselor was offered a promotion to an administrative position, one that would put him on track to one day being a principal or superintendent. He loved his current job, but he know he should want the step up — it meant more prestige and more power. But when he asked female mentors for their input, they helped him see the experience from another side.
“They said, ‘You’re so great with the students. You love them so much. If you do become a principal and agree to it, is that what you want? Do you want to go on and be administrator and make changes at the administrative level, or is your real passion working with the kids?'” Schwiebert remembers. “He ended up turning down that position, because his decision was he really wanted to focus on the thing he loved.”
Walking a mentee through that kind of decision making, she says, and helping him or her find the choice that’s best for them — that is exactly what good mentorship is all about.