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The WGCC National Conference is an annual event attracting over 75 in-house counsels who are leaders within their organizations. Attendees come from the private, public, and the not-for-profit sector. This Conference is unique because it is organized by women legal leaders for women legal leaders. The goal of the Conference is to address issues from a perspective not found elsewhere.

You can hover over the "National Conference" tab to access information about our past Conferences.



The 2023 National Conference, themed ROADMAP TO TRANSFORMATION, takes place over two sessions, both in a hybrid format. Following a successful first segment last February 8th, the SECOND part of the Conference will take place on June 7th beginning at 1:00pm (EDT).

WGCC Conference Agenda - June 7, 2023

1:00pm – 5:30 pm EST

SESSION 1: How to Stress Wisely (1 hour) 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm 
Presented by: Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe

Achieving and maintaining personal and professional excellence in challenging times requires a different approach — we need to learn how to stress wisely.

Presented by Keynote Speaker: Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe, Expert on Resiliency and Workplace Wellness

Unparalleled stress, unrest, and uncertainty are becoming common and readily accepted. As a result, the blast radius is wide, and the collateral damage is people not living a well-life despite their best efforts. Achieving and maintaining personal and professional excellence in challenging times requires a different approach — we need to learn how to stress wisely.

In this keynote, Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe explores her eight-dimensional framework for cultivating authentic wellness that is sustainable, practical, time-efficient, and realistic. She shares research-informed tactical strategies for moving theory into committed action, and big ideas with real world applications, such as fostering emotional regulation and gauging psychological safety.

By learning how to apply key insights for building awareness, personal and team accountability, and habit formation, Women General Counsel can implement stress and recovery systems that are built on the foundation of self-stewardship and high performance. By doing so, we enhance our personal and professional effectiveness and capacity for navigating whatever comes our way.

To view Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe's bio, click here

SESSION 2: Unlocking the GC Potential – Envisioning Your Personal Brand (75 min) 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
Presented byNina Boone

As a General Counsel, you are one of the most important members of your organization’s leadership team. Yet all too often, the true value you and your in-house team offer to the organization is not fully understood or appreciated. The reasons for the gap in actual and perceived value are complex and vary widely by organization and GC. For women GCs, unconscious bias may also be a factor. To unlock the full potential of you and your team and advance your career, you need to take steps to increase your visibility and articulate your unique value proposition (aka ‘Personal Brand’) both within and outside of your organization.

In this program, you will hear from a personal branding expert and D&I leader, Nina Boone, Senior Client Partner, North America Leader, Diversity & Inclusion, Korn Ferry, about the journey of self-discovery that will lead you to better understand your value proposition, shift perceptions and realize your full potential. This will be followed by an interactive networking exercise designed to expand creative thinking and communication. Through a three-dimensional facilitated thinking and problem-solving exercise, it will assist in creating richer critical thinking, decision-making and innovation. This exercise will inspire confidence, expanded capabilities, and a greater sense of accomplishment.

To view Nina Boone's bio, click here

Break: 3:15 pm – 3:25 pm

SESSION 3: Intentional Inclusion - The General Counsel As EDI Strategy Leader (1 hour) - 3:25 pm - 4:30 pm
Presented byCharlene Theodore

Recognizing that it takes intent to create an inclusive workplace, you as General Counsel are uniquely positioned to influence and/or direct a system-wide, sustainable Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) strategy. Ultimately, you have the ability to create a roadmap to success, regardless of where your organization is within its EDI journey. InclusionNow, a first-of-its-kind in the Canadian legal profession, combines diversity, inclusion and corporate social responsibility into a single plan, fostered by a more inclusive culture focused on allyship and education.

In this session, Charlene Theodore, Chief Inclusion Officer, McCarthy Tétrault will provide an overview of how organizations can promote intentional and sustainable diversity & inclusion using The InclusionNow Method: 7 Steps for Every In-House Team and how GCs can position themselves to provide leadership to this evolving mandate. This will be followed by an diagnostic exercise to see where your organization falls within their EDI journey. 

To view Charlene Theodore's bio, click here

Closing Remarks & Networking Reception (60 min) - 4:30 pm. - 5:30 pm


                                                       Session 1                                              Session 2                                                     Session 3
                                                  Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe                              Nina Boone                                           Charlene Theodore



The FIRST segment of the Conference will take place on February 8th at 10:30 am, following the WGCC Annual General Meeting (which begins at 10:00 am). The SECOND session will be held on June 7, 2023.

WGCC Conference Agenda - February 8, 2023

10:30am – 12:00 pm EST

SESSION 1: Transforming the General Counsel Office: Where Do You Start, What Should You Know
Presented by: Paula Pepin

For this year’s theme of “Roadmap to Transformation”, we are focusing first on the imperative for the General Counsel to assess and optimize their office, whether as a sole GC or a manager of a large or global team.

Paula Pepin, Founder of LexGo Inc., will share her expertise on scaling the legal department with an overview of current trends, and provide a framework for how to approach a transformative project in the legal department, including a discussion of legal operations, developments in technology and opportunities for greater efficiency in the GC office.

Participants will leave with a usable framework to approach a transformation and tips for success.

To view Paula Pepin's bio, click here

SESSION 2: Tales of Transformation: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Panel Presentation with Ratika Gandhi, Head of Legal and Compliance, Corporate Secretary, Alcon Canada Inc. and Cinda Serriani, Associate General Counsel, Legal Affairs for Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc., moderated by Julie Han, Partner, McMillan LLP

We will follow Paula’s presentation with a panel discussion moderated by Julie Han, Partner at McMillan LLP, showcasing the experiences of Ratika Gandhi and Cinda Serianni, 2 members of WGCC who will share their stories of transformative projects.

This part of the session will give participants the opportunity to hear directly from GCs who have had the experience of running projects and who will share their personal learnings: the good, the bad and the ugly! 

We will have time for an open discussion and look forward to hearing from any of our participants about their own experiences- the wins, the challenges, the learnings- with projects which changed the way the GC office operates.

To view Ratika Gandhi's bio, click here
To view Cinda Serianni's bio, click 
To view Julie Han's bio, click

12:00 pm- 12:30 pm

Session 1
Paula Pepin

Session 2
Ratika Gandhi

Session 2
Cinda Serianni

Session 2
Julie Han

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