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Joanne Yaccato

CWB Welcomes Gender Marketing and Finance Expert Joanne Thomas Yaccato to Largest International Women’s Day Celebration in its History

Feb. 29, 2016

HALIFAX, NS – Gender marketing and finance expert Joanne Thomas Yaccato will explore the Butterfly Effect, and why Canadian women entrepreneurs are uniquely equipped to succeed in business at the CWB’s International Women’s Day Breakfast on March 8, the largest in its 24-year history.

Yaccato has spent 15 years eliminating barriers to that success by working with banks around the world to ensure they are serving the needs of women entrepreneurs and bridging the gap between the two through education.

Yaccato works in the developing world and, on occasion, in hostile environments; she has focused her work on changing corporate cultures, and on developing new business banking models based on Gender Intelligence™. Gender Intelligence is a home grown concept that started in Canadian banks in the early 1990s and expanded to include governments, retailers and associations. The methodology has been embraced by the World Bank and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development as the global standard for international gender finance.

Yaccato has also written four books on the subject Raising Your Business: A Woman’s Guide to Entrepreneurship, Balancing Act: A Canadian Women’s Financial Success Guide, Eighty Percent Minority and The Gender Intelligent Retailer.

Tanya Priske, Executive Director of the CWB says Yaccato’s work aligns closely with its mission to make business resources more accessible to women.

“We know there are barriers, and that women still face challenges because they are women,” says Priske, noting an Industry Canada report from 2010 that showed majority female-owned businesses were less likely to be approved for short-term debt financing than majority male-owned businesses.

“That’s why the event, and our ongoing work around the advancement of women through business education and support is so important in 2016.”

Priske says International Women’s Day brings everyone to the table.

“It has a broad appeal that extends far beyond CWB clients and members, and it typically sells out.”

But this year, the demand for tickets has spiked, with close to 300 tickets sold so far, making it the CWB’s largest International Women’s Day event yet.

Long-time event sponsor RBC adopted Yaccato’s program, Reaching the Real World of Women Entrepreneurs, as an integral part of its national core training program; it led to a 30 per cent increase in the satisfaction levels of women entrepreneurs and their interactions with account managers.

For the past 23 years, RBC has recognized the outstanding achievements of women business owners across the country through the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards; in 2015, they received a record-breaking 5,000 nominations. The 2016 program officially opens for nominations on March 8, International Women’s Day.

Heather Austin, Regional Manager, Sales Effectiveness, RBC, said they are pleased to partner with the CWB to welcome Joanne Thomas Yaccato to the breakfast.

“Her insights on gender intelligence will be valuable lessons that will help raise the competiveness of Nova Scotian women entrepreneurs,” says Austin.

The event is also supported by the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women and BOYNECLARKE.

Participants will be encouraged to join the #PledgeforParity campaign, the theme of International Women’s Day events being held around the world. #PledgeforParity is an opportunity to lead social change through an online and/or public commitment to taking an actionable step toward gender parity. This might mean becoming a mentor to a young woman, contacting government or corporate representatives to insist on gender-balanced leadership, or speaking out against workplace discrimination.

The Centre’s International Women’s Day Breakfast will take place at the World Trade and Convention Centre Halifax Tuesday, March 8 from 8am-10:30am.

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