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Leadership Spotlight: Supporting Women in Business

We’re excited to announce that after appearing on Episode #39 of the Elevate Business Podcast, Tanya Priske has been selected for the Intuity Performance Leadership Spotlight series.


Tanya Priske is the Executive Director at the Center for Women in Business. She brings global and corporate connections to drive her community forward with big-picture strategies with a focus on women business owners across Nova Scotia. With a passion for people, economic development, and the ability to identify new opportunities where ever she goes, Tanya and her team are on a mission to provide the resources women entrepreneurs need to overcome challenges and thrive.


Here are the top 3 insights she shared with the community.


1. How do you create the type of environment that enables your team members to thrive?


Covid has given us a gift, and I hate to say it that way, but it has. It has allowed us to reach more women, especially under-represented women, because through video chat, and through interactions like this, we have evened the playing field. During meetings etc. there are interruptions like kids popping up, but it’s happening to all of us.


Also, because we are working in unprecedented times, I put a lot of focus on employee needs and creating a human-centred environment. Do you need another screen? Do you need your computer from work? Do you need your chair from work? Do you require help with professional development?


When we first went virtual, we connected no less than three times a week, so checking in to make sure everybody is doing okay is important.


I mean, I've worked remotely for 17 years, so it's easy for me, but the transition was difficult. And even some of our team members, who I had said before to them before the Pandemic closed us down, you don't have to be in the office.


I feel it is important to trust and understand that objectives and tasks will get done, regardless of what my team has on their plates.



2. What programs or development are you seeing women business owners seek in relation to growth during this time?


Over the last 14 months - a lot of the changes have been digital assets. Upgrading of websites, upgrading of shopping channels, for trainers and facilitators it was taking their programs totally virtual. There were also a lot of opportunities. A lot of businesses couldn't keep up, depending on what sector they were in. I'm growing exponentially!


There has also been a focus on maintaining employees, both from the financial perspective of the business owner as well as the human perspective of their employees.


And of course the mental anguish the current situation is presenting, women are suddenly all things to everyone: babysitter, teacher, caretaker to elderly parents.


I try to help women understand that there are outlets for them and that they are not alone.




3. What exciting things can we expect to see from The Centre for Women in Business in the next 12 months?


We are turning 30 which is big! We're looking ahead in terms of helping women with growth in their companies in terms of export markets and virtual markets. Virtual markets have been great, especially for women, because it can be challenging to not only just get away from your office, but also, to find time away from family, so the opportunity to be virtual has been tremendous.


Getting more women into supply chains, and making sure that women know of the advantages has been my passion for ten years. So that's a piece that we'll continue to look at.


In a few weeks our Greater Heights for Growth project is launching, which focuses on working specifically with women across Canada that have a million plus revenue.


We will also have a new President at Mount Saint Vincent University in the coming months, and we are excited about the new direction, and the focus that the Mount is putting on helping women on the entrepreneurship side.



If you enjoyed Tanya’s discussion on supporting women in business, check out Todd Usen’s spotlight series on Building Team Trust.