Understanding Ourselves and Others as Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurial activity has long been constrained within masculinist understandings of entrepreneurship. The image of an entrepreneur that comes to mind when thinking of entrepreneurial activity is that of a 35-year-old elite White heterosexual male in a well-cut suit. This is an image that women often find difficult to relate to (and often don’t wish to relate to) as it is a Western image of the contemporary dominant alpha male model of leadership. This flawed historical model of leadership continues to fuel our present day entrepreneurial projects. Women need to envision entrepreneurship differently especially with our increasing reliance on virtual realities and increasing complexity of everyday living. How do we meet and collaborate with other entrepreneurs who also think beyond the constraints of Western culture? How do we recognise them? How do we authenticate them for ourselves? This workshop will address these questions to empower women to collaborate confidently and safely.

As a former mentee, and now as an adjunct supervisor, I have had the great fortune of experiencing Cecily’s exceptional ability to mentor others to excel in ways far exceeding their imaginings. During my own PhD candidature, Cecily provisioned me with the skills and vision to withstand a difficult and often despairing doctoral journey. Not only did her guidance and wisdom enable me to endure with my project and accomplish a highly sophisticated thesis, but, more profoundly, they facilitated a deep evolution of self. I came to value myself and the uniqueness of my personal story and experiences. And I came to value how these elements intersect with my personal power to think innovatively and to live confidently and joyfully in ways that honour my authentic energies and personhood. To walk such a journey with Cecily, is to come to earnestly desire to enable such empowerment for other women. Such is the special reach of Cecily’s formation and vision of others who take up the opportunity to learn from her guidance.

Rena MacLeod