WE-CAN: Standing Out: Making Room for Neurodiversity in Entrepreneurship


Thursday March 11, 2021
5:00 am - 6:30 am


Virtual Workshop
Event Category

Miss the workshop? Watch the recording.

About this Event

Join the WE-CAN community of women entrepreneurs for an informative 90-minute workshop with inclusion champion Wanda Deschamps, Founder and Principal of Liberty Co on how we can increase and better appreciate the Neurodiverse women's entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Did you know that the vast majority of the world's disability population of 1.3 billion is either unemployed or unemployed? As a part of this expansive group, 1/7 individuals are Neurodivergent, meaning their brain functions in ways that diverge significantly from the dominant social norms.

For many women entrepreneurs with a disability, entrepreneurship is a viable pathway for employment.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • What Neurodiversity is and why it is important
  • How Neurodiversity presents in women and what this means for employment
  • Why certain Neurodiverse skills and traits lend themselves to entrepreneurship
  • The concept of Neurodiversity as a dimension of an IDEA (Inclusion-Diversity-Equity-Accessibility) program or strategy
  • Your role in the #InclusionRevolution

This session will end with time for a Q&A with Wanda.

NOTE: Attendees will be emailed a Zoom link to the online session by separate email prior to the event.

The WE-CAN Project is committed to providing universal access to all of our events. Please contact Kerry Ramsay at kerry.ramsay@queensu.ca if you have accessibility requirements as soon as possible as advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.


Wanda's mission is to increase the participation level of members of the Neurodiverse population in the workforce with a special focus on autism due to her own diagnosis at midlife.

Prior to founding Liberty Co, Wanda enjoyed a 25-five year career in the philanthropic sector, serving as a consultant for KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.), a leading fundraising consultancy, as well as an institutional development leader.

A champion for inclusion, she enjoys writing and speaking under the banner of the Inclusion Revolution, a worldwide movement launched in 2018 to spearhead broader thinking about disability, especially disability employment.

Wanda is also the catalyst behind the #women4women collective focused on gender equality through supporting other women. Combining these two goals provides an avenue for Wanda to be an advocate for women with autism, including as a participant in research into autistic women's experiences in the workplace.

As a means to further help create safer and healthier workplaces, she is the co-founder of the National Day of Conversation about sexual harassment in the charitable sector.

Outside of work she relishes time with friends, exercising and reading biographies, as well as books about history and current affairs. Recently she was appointed to The Charity Report’s Literary Review Circle which has given her a new forum to indulge this love of learning.

Wanda lives in Waterloo Ontario with her husband and their two sons.


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.