FRPO’s 4th Annual ‘Women in Rental Housing Luncheon’ took place on Thursday August 25th at the Old Mill Inn in Toronto. The vibrant panel of speakers included Greenwin’s dynamic CEO Kris Boyce as moderator, and notable industry leaders Kristina Lauesen, Vice President of Government & Industry Relations at FRPO; Jessica Green, Founder and Principal, Cursive PR; Brandi McIlvenny, Director of Multi-Residential Apartments, Sifton Properties; and Andrea Rocheleau, Director of Business Operations, Skyline Living.
With 150 in attendance, making it the largest of its kind to date, the women’s luncheon provides an opportunity for industry women to gather, mingle, and listen to inspirational stories and viewpoints on a range of topics including wellness in the workplace, community service and mentoring.
“This important event brings together women working in the rental housing industry to motivate, inspire and share their experiences,” said Lynzi Michal, Director of Membership and Marketing at FRPO. “FRPO is pleased to support the advancement of women and highlight their stories for the next generation of leaders.This is an exciting time for rental housing and it is encouraging to see greater diversity in senior management as women continue to excel in this field.”
Boyce kicked off the discussion with a rundown of “10 secrets to success” every woman should know about. From the importance of being true to oneself and accepting our mistakes and failures, to the benefits of paying it forward to other young rising stars, the discussion was also a reminder of the struggles faced by past generations of working women who were denied opportunities and rights due to gender inequality.
At the top of the agenda was health and wellness and the constant pursuit of that elusive work-life balance. “Creating an environment that allows you to be successful often means creating boundaries and taking important steps just for you,” advised Kristina Lauesen.
“It’s easy to say invest in yourself, make time for yourself, but how many of us actually go ahead and do that?” added Brandi McIlvenny. “We need to be mindful of what makes us happy and what fills our cup up. By investing just a fraction of energy towards ourselves, everything in our lives will benefit.”
“As women we tend to think we are so bad if we steal a moment for ourselves,” said Jessica Green. “But taking care of yourself and prioritizing your health and your well-being are not bad. So be kind to yourself and remember that everyone struggles with this concept.”
Finding strength and a voice in the male-dominated boardroom is another struggle for many working women today, and this was touched on by the panelists who have all been in that situation. “I remind myself that everybody, male or female, brings something different to the discussion,” said Lauesen. “Everybody comes from different backgrounds and brings their own expertise to the table. If their voices weren’t valid, then they wouldn’t be sitting there.”
Andrea Rocheleau said that showing support and being a role model for other young women is critical to breaking barriers and getting a more balanced representation in leadership roles. “Without those women who saw potential in me, I know I would not be where I am today.”