WIDS’ current programs and events are build to support the WiDS strategic plan. The nature of our event program focuses on three strategic pillars: networking; scholarship; and professional development. This results in annual events that continue to grow and evolve as well as new programs that focus on professional development and mentoring. WiDS events are designed for and well attended by both men and women.
The WiDS Annual program is similar in schedule but varies in format of events from year to year. Read about some of our past and upcoming events and the programming they include.
WiDS holds a variety professional development events – one in the fall and one in the spring.
In the fall of 2016 WiDS partnered with Famous5 Ottawa to cohost ‘Lunch with the Veteran, the General, the Chief and the Commissioner’. We celebrated 4 outstanding women in defence and security community who are making their mark as nation builders. The panel was moderated by M.P. and retired Col. Karen McCrimmon and hosted Jody Thomas, Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, LGen. Chris Whitecross, Canadian Armed Forces, and Ms. Greta Bossenmaier, Chief of the CSE. Over 300 guests heard inspirational and honest stories and advice.
Check out the events page to learn more about our upcoming professional development events.
The WiDS scholarship is at the roots and heart of WiDS programing and efforts. Each year, WiDS provides a deserving woman with a scholarship to help them pursue studies related to defence and security. The WiDS Annual Memorial Scholarship Award Ceremony takes place each year on or near, International Women’s Day. The scholarship is provided in honour of a women who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The program honours a women from the defence community one year, followed by a women in the policing community in the next year. WiDS works closely with the family of the honouree, and they often participate in the event – helping share their stories as women in defence and security.
The annual WiDS/CADSI/CANSEC golf tournament is held in late May and is a great way to kick off the CANSEC tradeshow and conference. This event is an important fundraiser for the scholarship. The best ball format draws all levels of golfers and hosts participants from Ottawa and abroad at the beautiful Hylands Golf Club. It is usually a morning tournament with great prizes, an excellent reception, luncheon and speakers.
Networking is the 3rd pillar in WiDS programming. All our events include opportunities for networking. Almost every month (check the website – there are some months, where there is another large event that the 5 à 7 cancelled) a variety of members and non-members meet at a local pub to connect with colleagues and like-minded people.
Best practice research indicates that having a variety of mentors and coaches is key to personal and professional success. WiDS’s has currently adopted and informal approach to mentoring for our members. This approach provides opportunities for existing or emerging talent, and helps foster and retain that talent in the defence and security sectors. As people connect through WiDS events, individuals become both mentors and mentees at the same time. Our members offer guidance, share expertise, support and role models to one another.