Friday Program

Our Friday program serves as an enticing introduction to our conference. Friday features two pre-conference workshops in the afternoon and the opening panel in the evening. 

Time and Date: 1:00–4:00 pm on Friday, May 3
Session Type: Policy Forum
Facilitators: Jennifer Pelletier and Dr. Sheryl Staub-French
Thought Leaders: Dr. Ninan Abraham, Courtnay Hughes, Justine Munich, Dr. Cheryl Nelms, and Dr. Toni Schmader

Creating policies that remove biases, educate colleagues, and create an inclusive, flexible workplace are only the first part of the battle. The second part is making it okay to use them. Workplace cultures are complex, political, and nuanced, and having a policy on paper does not necessarily make it "real." Research suggests that policies that you are penalized—officially or not—for using are worse than no policies at all.

In this half day facilitated discussion, researchers, HR professionals, and workers will share their experiences as an ignition point for table discussions, brainstorming, and the generation of new ideas.

This forum is for working professionals, managers, HR representatives, and other stakeholders. We regret that spaces are limited. Proceeds for this event go towards Creating Connections travel bursaries. 


Time and Date: 8:00 am–12:00 pm for students and 1:00–5:00 pm for professionals on Friday, May 3
Session Type: Workshop
Facilitators: Annika Reinhardt and Crystal Henrickson

This professional development workshop will equip women with the knowledge, support, and skills to advance their careers. Participants will learn about adjusting your mindset around negotiation, how to know your worth, and how to ask for what you want. This session is open to those who identify as women or non-binary.

Conference registrants will receive a $20 discount on their workshop ticket. Please check your registration email confirmation for the discount code.

Registration for students
Registration for professionals

Time and Date: 6:00–7:30 pm on Friday, May 3
Session Type: Keynote Opening Panel
Panelists: MLA Bowinn Ma, Dr. Aoife Mac Namara (moderator), Chris Mealing, and Dr. Toni Schmader

Our conference opener is an investigative panel that will look at the intersection of policies that promote diversity and the workplace cultures that either encourage or discourage the use of those policies. Be sure to stay afterwards for our conference reception, featuring hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar, to make valuable connections with people from a wide range of backgrounds.