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Workplaces of the Future: Concepts to Create a High Performance Culture


The YWCA Leadership series was established in 2010 to connect industry leaders with change-makers. Hosted by CEO Janet Austin, previous speakers have included Shannon Susko, Jeff Mooney, Ian Telfer, Nicole Stefenelli, Mac Van Wielingen, Jason McLean, Don Kasian, Dave Hargreaves and Ajai Sehgal.


Our latest leader was Christian Cotichini of HeroX. Christian gave his perspective on the future of organizations and the workplace.

The hottest jobs today didn’t exist 10 years ago.

 – Christian Cotichini.

As more women enter previously male-dominated fields, workplace cultures need to catch up with the shift in demographics. Christian shared his experiences creating workplaces that accommodate differences in gender, age (especially the ubiquitous “Millennial” question) and life experiences.

Harnessing Employees’ Strengths

In all organizations, women’s advancement should be encouraged throughout the corporate structure, not just to the corner office. A great way decision-makers can support this is by discovering their coworkers’ and employees’ innate strengths and empowering them on an individual basis, instead of focusing on their gender, age or other identifiers. There are many ways to conduct these types of assessments, and Strengths Finders is Christian’s top choice.  

Core Values

HeroX is an innovator because their company is as much an organism as it is an organization. As a living entity, it should include adaptability as a core value. As a manager, this means looking at your team’s unique talents and identifying how to best to take advantage of new business opportunities.

Women in particular face a multitude of barriers when entering tech industries. There are countless articles on how to create more inclusive workplaces.

Women need to feel safe at work. As leaders, it is important for decision-makers to clearly define the core values of the organization and to ask where changes should be made. Is the office culture toxic to women? Are you modelling the organization’s core values effectively and consistently from leadership downwards? Do your employees feel safe speaking to management about work culture-related issues?

Although women only make up 8.5% of the highest-paid positions in Canada’s top 100 listed companies and 15% of top positions at S&P and TSX companies, change is happening.

The world is leaning in the right direction, the more people that lean in that direction, the more it moves.

 – Christian Cotichini.

We are grateful for Christian’s timely presentation that is aligned with the YWCA’s efforts to advocate for women’s equality in all realms, including the workplace. He contributes a unique perspective to the ongoing conversations of leaders working to better support women in the workplace and to embrace the workplace of the future.

If you are interested in the YWCA Leadership Series or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Adina Spivak at 604 895 5789 | aspivak@ywcavan.org

At YWCA Metro Vancouver, we understand that the work/life conflict is a societal issue and requires a systemic response. We encourage a broader acceptance of family-friendly workplace practices and offer our expertise to organizations seeking to improve productivity, retention and the working environment. Read more about our advocacy for work/life balance.


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