WE-CAN: Leverage Your Soft Skills to Build an Inclusive Business


Friday May 15, 2020
6:00 am - 7:00 am


Virtual Workshop
Event Category

Miss the workshop? Watch the recording.

About this Event

Women entrepreneurs often excel at soft skills. But how can you leverage this highly valuable skill set to build an inclusive business?

In this session, we will dive into the concept of “Soft Skills” in order to understand how emotional intelligence, and the capacity for empathy and compassion are the power skills required to build dynamic and inclusive organizational cultures.

In this two-hour virtual workshop, participants will:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of how equity, diversity, and inclusion fit in to every aspect of an organization’s culture;
  • Develop an appreciation for and understanding of emotional intelligence and its role in the workplace;
  • Practice identifying and leveraging people skills and emotional intelligence as professional assets;
  • Develop an understanding of how to re-shift and refocus language and conversations that position women and marginalized workers as weak, passive, and incapable of leadership;
  • Understand the business case for embedding empathy, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging into the fabric of an organization’s culture, and how “soft” skills can make that process easier and more dynamic.

NOTE: Attendees will be emailed a Zoom link to the online session approximately two hours before the event.


Anisha Phillips:

As a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) Consultant, Anisha Phillips works intentionally to address the barriers those with marginalized identities face within the workplace. In order to do so, she assists and collaborates with people from numerous backgrounds to think critically, participate in unlearning, and find objectives for leveraging tangible change.

Anisha is a Consultant with Feminuity, a DEI consulting firm. Feminuity partners with innovative companies to build diverse teams, equitable systems, and inclusive products and workplace cultures. With Feminuity, Anisha brings an intersectional perspective to content development, educational programming, digital engagement, and qualitative research and insights. Focusing on qualitative research, Anisha believes in bringing faces, and life experiences to data and business strategies.

Anisha has a BA(H) in Gender Studies from Queen’s University, and an MA in Women and Gender Studies from the University of Toronto. She is a feminist community organizer and has worked with several non-profits in community and program development. Having origins in South Africa, Anisha learned from a young age the value of equitable systems and eliminating injustice, ideologies she carries with her today.

Mike Young:

As Executive Director & Founder of The Empathy Institute, Mike Young is an educational consultant and speaker who seeks to facilitate impactful conversations about mental health, human rights, gender & sexual diversity, sexual violence, personal/organizational growth, and leadership through engaging talks, panels, workshops, and writing. He’s been brought in as a guest lecturer, keynote speaker, educator, and consultant by various private and public sector clients since the organization’s inception in 2017, working with thousands of young people and seasoned professionals alike. Mike is lauded for his energetic, dynamic, intellectually sophisticated, yet entirely comfortable presentations, along with his adaptability and wide-ranging equity, diversity, and inclusion expertise.

Mike is a graduate of Queen’s University’s Gender Studies program, and served as the 34th Rector of the University. Throughout his two-year term as Rector and various additional leadership roles while a student at Queen’s, he spoke at 50+ functions as a keynote or panelist as Rector. Additionally, he has had the chance to facilitate countless important discussions while administering the Positive Space and the Sexual Violence Bystander Intervention Training programs, respectively, at Queen's.

He believes in the power of productive dialogue, sharing, laughter, and honesty, and his work as a speaker strives to be human and accessible above all else.


The WE-CAN Project is led by Queen’s University and supported by the Government of Canada. Its mission is to inspire and empower existing and aspiring women entrepreneurs by providing them with tools, resources, expert mentors, networks and community building to expand existing businesses and to launch new ventures.

The Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund is providing $3.2 million for Queen’s University to design and deliver programs and services to accelerate, train, mentor and provide resources to women entrepreneurs and women-led companies in the community.

The focus of the WES strategy is to provide support to women entrepreneurs from diverse and underrepresented groups.