Photography: David Stobbe

A new lead facilitator welcomes in the next decade of womentorship

Jessica Stewart

For ten years, the Betty-Ann Heggie Womentorship program has helped hundreds of USask alumnae find personal and professional fulfillment while helping Saskatchewan companies keep women actively engaged.

And at this milestone, the program comes full circle, welcoming back the first liaison between the program and Edwards, as new lead facilitator: Rachelle Brockman.

“I feel immense gratitude to be involved once again,” said Brockman, principal of Eureka Experience, award-winning educator, passionate artist, and enthusiastic entrepreneur. “My heart is in it, and always has been.”

She remembers back in 2008 when Heggie approached the College of Commerce. “Betty-Ann was looking for a home for her vision. Grant Isaac, the dean at that time, thought of me right away, and I said yes,” she explained. “I always say yes to interesting and creative things. It was a cool experiment and brand new at that time. I don’t think anything like that had ever been done before.”

Brockman’s own first mentor was her mother, not only for “regular mom things, which she was amazing at,” Brockman laughed, but explained that her mother was also an entrepreneur and had a hair salon in their home. “When I was a child, I’d get up, have my breakfast and go hang out in the salon. When I think about it now, it was like a movie: visiting with the ladies; my mom letting me help. I learned so many things in that hair salon.”

Brockman said her mom taught her about interpersonal and client relations, money management, and work-life balance.

She added that today, she looks at her life through a medicine-wheel type of model and makes sure she pays attention to the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual areas of her life. “I have mentors in each area, and lots in between,” Brockman said.

The Betty-Ann Heggie Womentorship Program is based on research out of the McKinsey Global Institute that identified how talented women can thrive through presence, belonging, and resilience. “Personal confidence is synonymous in the business world with being a leader,” said Heggie, award-winning speaker, author, and philanthropist. “Mentorship tied together with women supporting women is important in navigating the system.”

The program aims to create an environment where women support each other and grow together by partnering protégés with womentors who have 15 years or more experience.

Heggie plans to transition to more of an advisory role ten years in and sees the program gaining momentum. “We need growth to continue moving forward,” she said. “I see the Womentorship Program becoming a nucleus for networking and interaction among a diverse set of protégés and womentors.”

Brockman shares Heggie’s vision, but her approach to growth isn’t to start with a detailed plan. “I see an unlimited possibility of the future based on listening, learning, and responding to the hopes and aspirations of the participants,” she said. “The goal isn’t to have a big plan. It’s to listen and to respond creatively.”

Brockman said this means asking questions. “What’s happening for women? What’s happening for men? What’s happening for us? What’s happening in our world?” she said. “Inclusivity is the undercurrent of it all.”

She said whether you’re considering becoming a protégé or a mentor, you’ll benefit from an efficient program that will provide professional and personal growth, new and exciting relationships, and community, as well as strategy and passion for navigating the many stages of life.

The Edwards School of Business gives sincere thanks to Betty-Ann Heggie for her generous financial support, guidance, and enthusiasm in making the program a success.

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