RED Spotlight: Young Women in Business (YWiB)

As part of being in Vancouver we want to embrace local organizations, we caught up with YWiB to learn more about what they do and where they are headed.

Why was YWiB created?

Young Women in Business (YWiB) started in 2008 between a group of students from UBC’s Sauder School of Business who noticed the lack of female representation at conferences and industry events. They wanted to hear the perspectives and experience of local female leaders who were out there.

This sparked the idea for the Beyond Conference; their vision of an event with female frontrunners from every industry and profession taking the mic as keynote speakers, engaging workshop hosts, thought-provoking panellists, and trade show exhibitors.

The immense buzz that carried on after Beyond highlighted the need for a permanent forum to continue professional development and genuine networking throughout the year. The first YWiB chapter, YWiB UBC, was formed. Subsequent chapters sprouted at Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and the city of Vancouver.

What is the mission statement/goal for YWiB?

YWiB is a central forum connecting ambitious, like-minded women across educational background, careers and industries. It provides the support, skills and connections that allow them to achieve success on their own terms, and be engaged members in their communities.
YWiB’s city chapters focus on helping young professionals rise to the next level with skill development, networking and mentoring. YWiB’s university chapters prepare undergraduates for the workforce with tools not taught in class and allow them to explore potential careers.

What kinds of things is YWiB working on?

In a word: growth

YWiB just announced chapter launches in three new provinces, establishing YWiB as a national organization. City chapters in Calgary and Toronto and university chapter at the University of Saskatchewan all kicked off during International Women’s month.

YWiB Vancouver is focused on growth as it continues to enhance its membership value through new initiatives. Their Member Spotlight gives exposure for members and their career achievements, and a career board connects members with job openings at a growing list of coveted Vancouver companies. Business Dialogues, a members-only series, hosts exclusive roundtable discussions with industry leaders around the city. Come Spring 2017, lookout for their incubator program where entrepreneurs will put their business models to the test: workshopping, streamlining, and, ultimately, priming them to secure financing and achieve scale.

With all that’s going on at YWiB, it’s worth highlighting that the organization is 100% volunteer-based. The planning and execution of all events, programs, and community partnerships are driven entirely by the enthusiasm of women who volunteer their talents as part of each chapter’s executive team. This altruistic atmosphere and “better together” mentality is what makes them exceptionally unique and it is strongly felt at every event.

What are you hoping to do in the future?

YWiB plans expand into the US within the next five years, and establish a chapter in every major Canadian city. They are quickly solidifying themselves as the link between the local business community and the next generation of leaders.

How can one get involved with YWiB Vancouver?

Dive in and join one of YWiB’s chapters in Vancouver, Calgaryor Toronto. Or check to see if there’s a YWiB chapter at your university. 

YWiB is constantly on the lookout for inspirational women to be speakers, workshop hosts, and mentors. If you’re an industry leader or shaking things up in your field, get involved by contacting

Are you a company with an interest in seeing more females at the top ranks? YWiB would be delighted to speak with you. Please contact for a sponsorship proposal and corporate membership rates.

The Beyond Conference remains a pillar of the YWiB Vancouver chapter as is hosted bi-annually. For announcements on Beyond 2016, stay connected through their mailing list.

Check YWiB out on Novus TV’s CityLights.

Holly Lawton

With over 10 years full-circle marketing experience, working across multiple b2c and b2b campaigns, Holly brings her passion for digital marketing to the Red Academy.

Originally from the UK, Holly has worked in a wide varied of industries. From consumer campaigns like the world’s largest dog show Crufts, BBC Kids and live entertainment, right through to food and drink trade events, global telecommunications conferences and a worldwide shipping broker – proving that digital marketing can be applied successfully to any company, in any market.

Holly cycled the pacific coast from Vancouver to Tijuana blogging all the way and in London, was a singer in a band. You will still catch her cycling around the city and maybe even singing…

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Vancouver 778 379 7175

Toronto 647 793 2333

Vancouver 778 379 7175

Toronto 647 793 2333


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