Municipal leaders set to gather for first Women’s Leadership Summit in St. John’s
November 12, 2019
St. John’s, N.L. – Over 100 female municipal councillors and senior administrators will gather tomorrow in St. John’s for the first time to share experiences and to discuss how to make the municipal sector more inviting for women – and those identifying as women. The event is organized by the Women’s Caucus of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL).
“This summit is the first of its kind for MNL. As women working in the sector, we have a lot to say. We need a venue to share in those discussions and to make plans for change,” said Sheila Fitzgerald, MNL vice president and women’s caucus chair. “We have a full day of facilitated sessions designed to address the needs we are hearing from our female members.”
At the event luncheon, two women will receive the first MNL Women’s Caucus Achievement Award and Inspiration Award. The awards are designed to recognize new and long-term leaders, respectively, and will be presented by Her Honour, The Honourable Judy M. Foote P.C., O.N.L. Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Last year, MNL formed its first women’s caucus, prompted by input from members that more support needs to be available for women in municipal leadership. The caucus launched a mentorship program for women mentors and mentees and committed to organizing a summit in advance of the annual conference and trade show.
“I am so happy to see that this summit is happening. MNL is moving forward as an organization by holding it,” said President Tony Keats. “We are also so happy to welcome Mayor Fitzgerald as the new MNL president.”
Fitzgerald, who is mayor of Roddickton-Bide Arm, will assume the role of president on Sunday, November 17, after winning by acclamation. She is the third woman to lead the organization.
Mayor Fitzgerald and other conference attendees will be available to media at 2 p.m. at the Delta Harbourview lobby, St. John’s.
The event luncheon is sponsored by Benson Buffett.
Municipalities Newfoundland & Labrador (MNL) was formed in 1951 as an umbrella organization mandated to represent and support local government in Newfoundland and Labrador. MNL represents the 275 incorporated municipalities in the province that service 89 per cent of the population and their more than 2,000 leaders.