The Women As Career Coaches Experience 2019!
By Nada Ahmed Mohamed Elhossiny
On March 21st, a group of Bishop Reding’s students attended the Women as Career Coaches (WAAC) Conference in Burlington. The program is designed to bring together a diverse range of women with varying occupational experiences in order to educate young females about the career paths available to them. It is an event that celebrates, empowers and motivates women to take control of their future.
The students attending the program enjoyed a night filled with dinner and treats, meaningful conversations with other incredible women, and inspirational speeches presented by “spotlight speakers”. The speakers were truly impactful figures who have overcome various obstacles in their life as they developed into resilient, rousing, dynamic women!
I was incredibly fortunate that night as I got the opportunity to be seated with one of the spotlight speakers - Shae Invidiata. As the night progressed, she continued to astonish and inspire me as she shared the career path that led to her earning the titles of ‘Health and Wellness Influencer, Entrepreneur, Speaker and Philanthropist, Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit organization Free-Them, Sales Representative and Director of Operations at the Invidiata Team Realty: the No. 1 Re/Max team in Canada for the 13th year.’
She discussed the experiences that led to her eventual decision to found the Non-profit organization - Free-Them. An initiative that tirelessly fights to help put an end to “slavery human-trafficking,” which disturbingly continues to be a problem in many regions of the world.
Shae’s journey began in 2003 when she moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, to pursue her university education in Advertising at Hawaii Pacific University. On the surface, Honolulu seemed like paradise, but it didn't take long for Shae Invidiata to recognize the dark side of Hawaii. It all started on her very own street, which she later learnt was also referred to as “candy lane”.At night, Kuhio Avenue would turn into a different place; everywhere you looked you would find 'prostitutes' and 'hookers' - people who seemed to ‘want’ to be in the industry. Curious, she decided to reach out to a few of the girls. After several conversations, she slowly came to the realization that “the word 'prostitute' that we equate so much with ‘choice’ is widely misrepresented and the more accurate word to be using is 'prostituted', and shortly thereafter [she] learnt the word 'human trafficking' and [her] world was shattered,” she explains on her website. Throughout the years that followed, Shae continued to investigate, learning people’s stories and connecting with them. The more she researched, the more she felt the need to take action, eventually deciding to launch her initiative in January of 2010.
Although Shae’s experiences are very different from the career path I envision for myself, listening to her taught me a lot about the importance of having options and being open to non-traditional opportunities when it comes to your future!
Overall, the attendees enjoyed a delightful experience, each learning a ton of valuable information: “In all, I think the event helped me understand that having a ‘successful’ future is not something to be stressing about...we all have our own pathways, none of which are linear, and so in the present, it’s important to seek out growth instead of the idea of success.” shares student Ashvini Giridaran as she reflects on her experience.
"Find a mentor, successful people leave clues, and they are willing to share. Study the life of someone who is successful. Reach out to them and ask questions, odds are they will respond to you (And ask more than once if you don't hear back. People are busy, and don't forget your "yes" usually doesn't come on the first try)" - Shae Invidiata