IWD Blog

Four extraordinary women share insights on 2024 International Women’s Day

This International Women's Day, Concert Properties honours the extraordinary women holding pivotal roles within our organization as part of our ongoing commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and the goal of achieving a more inclusive and equitable workforce.

We recently spoke with four remarkable women working at Concert Properties: Christine Bergeron, our President & CEO; Mindy Xu, Project Manager in Construction; Patrice Charles, People Experience Manager; and Kathy Snelling, Director of Information Systems, to hear their unique insights into how we can collectively foster DEI and pave the way for a more inclusive future.

Reflecting on this year's International Women's Day theme, "Inspire Inclusion, "how do you believe individuals and organizations can actively promote inclusion and diversity in their communities and industries?

  • Patrice Charles: “I think it’s important that we continue to create awareness on days such as International Women’s Day of how we can continue the conversation on inclusion and diversity. Where we can share our experiences as professional women, create an environment that promotes feedback, have an opportunity to speak and know that our voices are being heard. Education is also key. It’s important that we educate our workforce on the advantages of diversity as it relates to productivity and creativity in a global market.”

How has Concert Properties' DEI Strategy evolved over the years, and what role do you see yourself playing in its continued development?

  • Kathy Snelling: “Over the last four to five years, Concert Properties has brought the topic of DEI to the forefront and provided employees with opportunities to increase their awareness and understanding. We have seen a more diverse representation in leadership throughout these years. I would like to be an advocate for DEI within the organization and participate in evolving these initiatives with my team, peers and coworkers as well as continue to build my knowledge on DEI strategies.”
  • Mindy Xu: “Since joining Concert in 2019, I've observed a noteworthy trend, with a positive increase in the promotion of women into leadership roles, a development that is truly encouraging.”

What advice would you offer to other women who aspire to make a meaningful impact in their respective fields or industries?

  • Christine Bergeron: “Never underestimate the power you have as an employee to make a difference. It can be in your day-to-day work by making improvements to a process or providing suggestions on a solution, or it can be in your industry through industry associations. Get involved. Ask your employer what they are doing to support inclusion, to combat climate change and to innovate for better outcomes.”
  • Kathy Snelling: “Trust in yourself and take the initiative with opportunities where you can support others along the way. Surround yourself with people and in environments that support you down this path (like Concert Properties).”
  • Mindy Xu: “My experience taught me women aspiring to make a meaningful impact in their fields must consistently advocate for themselves and actively connect with other women who share similar experiences. Standing up for ourselves and building a supportive network can contribute significantly to professional growth and empowerment. When it comes to common misconceptions or barriers faced by women in the workplace, it goes beyond building a good company culture. Establishing trust is crucial. How employees feel at work influences overall productivity and determines the effectiveness of company policies.”

How do you balance advocating for your own career advancement while also supporting the professional growth and development of your female colleagues?

  • Patrice Charles: “It was a very brief opportunity, but I had the chance to mentor a colleague in a different department who was interested in pursuing a career in Human Resources. I had no experience in mentoring, but I was encouraged by my own manager to use this as an opportunity for development. I had the chance to share my knowledge and provide guidance, but what I really took away from the experience is how much we can learn from each other and grow personally and professionally.”

How do you think Concert Properties can leverage International Women's Day as a platform to amplify the voices and contributions of women within the organization and beyond?

  • Christine Bergeron: “We should be working to amplify the voices and contributions of women as well as other underrepresented voices every day. Concert Properties has a tremendously talented team that is quite diverse. The more we can amplify this externally, the more we can demonstrate to others that their voices matter and that they too can take on leadership roles in the industry.”