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Education matters — but really — what is it?
At 45 Conversations we think about education in the broadest terms. It’s one of those all encompassing words for learning. To us — learning is what we really need to be paying attention to. Really, we are always learning.
We all need to learn in ways that truly work for the person we are. The more we learn about learning the more we discover that meeting individual learning needs is essential. The days of cookie cutter learning are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. This shift impacts anything and everything. Especially learning environments, community programs and workplaces.
First of all we recognize an essential truth — there is no one great place to learn. There are many. And the way we think about place has changed too. We no longer need to “go somewhere” to learn — because we can access learning from virtually anywhere. This means that the concept of “place” exists in not only the physical sense but in the the virtual sense too.
Beyond this, we are committed to working with each client to learn together about learning. Every project we work on has a certain level of customization to it.
Learning Environments, Schools & Child Care Programs
We offer customized professional development experiences, online workshops and team based learning opportunities related to:
Early Childhood Education
Self Directed Learning
Mixed Philosophy Programming for the Early Years and Independent Schools
Children with Exceptionalities
Integrating Social Media Tools into Classrooms & Education Environments
Digital Storytelling for Educators & Students
Building Exceptional Programs
We offer consulting services related to the design, development and operations of:
Community Based Child Care Centres
Workplace Child Care Services
Self Directed Learning Programs
Mixed Philosophy Early Learning & Care
Indigenous Early Learning & Care Programs
Fine Arts Programming
Small Businesses & Workplaces
We offer customized presentations and workshops for teams related to:
Work-Life Balance is a Myth!
Building a Business with Generosity & Intention
Attracting and Retaining Employees
Social Media & Digital Marketing
We offer presentations, workshops and retreats related to:
Using Social Media to Create Community
Work-Life Harmony in Community
Supporting Families with Children
For further information please contact Jane Boyd at 604-343-7245.
It was a delight to see Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (RBA) profiled on the front of the Business In Vancouver website today regarding the workplace child care they developed for their employees back in 2009. The article “Women at work: the B.C.. companies leading the way on gender equality” discusses the advantages of female leadership at the highest level, talent development and family friendly practices. Quite simply — it gives countless examples of progressive ways that employers are doing what’s right in the workplace — for their female employees as well as for their male employees too. Beyond the positive mentions of RBA, several other organizations are also listed for their progressive approaches — including HSBC and VanCity.
As I write this post I find myself truly smiling — you see — over the years I have consulted with all three of these organizations — RBA, HSBC and VanCity — on issues related to child care, work-life and the development of family friendly policies and practices. Plus countless other organizations too. And it has been an incredibly rewarding and fascinating experience to do the kind of work that we have done together. In each case not only were we designing, building or creating something that was both unique and different; but we were doing so because it mattered. Because it was the right thing to do – from both a human and a business perspective.
VanCity – First Client Ever
I’m proud to say that VanCity were my very first client when I began consulting more than 20 years ago on — what we then called — work and family issues. I was honoured to work with them in their very first days of exploring and acting on child care issues for their employees. From supporting and helping to create new community based child care spaces to work-life supports to employee wellbeing — you name it and we tried it. They were very much the leader in Vancouver — and in Canada for implementing progressive family friendly solutions and creating a supportive work environment for working mothers. For close to 12 years years we collaborated together to make a difference — not only for VanCity employees but for their members too.
My experience with VanCity taught me so much —
- Why community matters.
- That good leadership starts with doing what you believe to be right.
- Why knowing what you stand for is about so much more than the values you put in a policy statement.
Without question I am a better female business owner, entrepreneur and community member because of the work I did with VanCity. It’s fair to say that they taught me how to generously collaborate and to work from a place of heart with my client’s best and truest interests at the centre. They also taught me that it’s more than okay for babies to be on boardroom agendas and to even visit them sometimes too.
HSBC – Collaboration & Community
Years later — and thanks to VanCity — I began consulting with HSBC to secure emergency child care spaces in the Vancouver area for their employees. HSBC were not only committed to collaboration with other financial institutions, they were also interested in making sure that their employees had access to quality back up child care spaces. And they cared about the organizations they chose to collaborate with.
Countless interactions with employees at HSBC continuously demonstrated to me that commitment to doing good work in the area of gender equality is about so much more than words — it’s about leadership. Many of the female employees that I collaborated with at HSBC not only inspired me but encouraged me too. It was very much a reciprocal relationship. It’s always good to like the people you are doing good work with.
As a female business owner — it’s good to come across other female leaders who are both admirable and genuine. They can teach you a lot. I found those leaders at HSBC.
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers – Families Matter
From the very first conversation I had about developing a child care program at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, I knew something special was going to happen. That conversation was the beginning of an amazing journey that resulted in the design, development and eventual operation of an exceptional early learning and child care program for RBA employees. The facility opened in 2009 and since then it has served as one of the best examples of high quality workplace child care in Canada.
My experience with RBA was one of the most rewarding and interesting consulting projects I have had the opportunity to work on in recent years. Not only because it was truly unique work — but because I was given the opportunity to lead the design, development and initial operations of a mixed philosophy child care program (learn more here) that put the respect of children and families first. And I got to do it with an incredible team of educators — including Christine Clements — who is one of the most talented and committed early childhood educators I have ever worked with. Suffice to say close to 8 years went by in the blink of an eye — because that’s what happens when you focus on building something that is exceptional!
I took a lot of away from my consulting work with RBA. A ton of lessons in education and leadership. And in why child care is neither a male nor a female issue. Rather it’s a collective societal issue that we can all — business, government, community, educators, families and children — be part of making a difference in.
Perhaps most importantly though, I took away another lesson from Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers that was quite similar to my earliest days of consulting at VanCity. The lesson was this:
Doing what’s right matters. A lot.
You see, over the years, there were more moments than I can reference where I collaborated with employees at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers to ensure that we did what was right. Right for the company, for the quality of the workplace child care, for RBA employees, and for the children and families the program served. It was not only heart warming but enlightening to be part of. And doing what’s right made a difference. Over and over.
So yes – I’m still smiling as I finish writing this post. It’s a good feeling as a consultant to know that the work you do makes a difference. I am fortunate that I continue to have the opportunity to consult with many different organizations related to early learning, workplace child care and education. In every case, they want to make a difference in ways that are quite similar to the companies I have written about in this post.
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, HSBC and VanCity are amazing organizations that continue to be committed to doing good for their employees — in truly unique ways. And believe me — that’s not always an easy thing to maintain in the corporate world — especially when there are changes leadership and evolutions in corporate culture. Yet, somehow they are each continuing to do what’s right — because they see the value it brings their organizations and understand that doing so truly does make a difference.
Learn More About Doing What’s Right
If you would like to explore ways to develop customized child care solutions, family friendly practices or unique workplace supports related to work-life and employee wellbeing please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-343-7245. Let’s have a conversation about how I can help your organization develop a customized solution that will make a true difference too.
After all, I’m always interested in building relationships and collaborations that are about doing what’s right. Because — believe me — it matters.
Family Services Employee Assistance Program (National)
Develop and distribute range of information packages related to children’s ages and stages and elder care to the employees of National Corporate Clients across Canada.
Individuals and families were given easy access to physical materials and information that was customized to their personal caregiving situation.
- This project was managed by Jane Boyd (under Work, Family & Life Consulting).
Managed back-up child care program at three child care centres located in the City of Vancouver. Centres were operated by YWCA and VSOCC.
HSBC employees in the Vancouver area were provided with access to high quality back up child care services.
- This project was managed by Jane Boyd under Work, Family & Life Consulting initially and then through 45 Conversations.
Design, development and management of work site lactation/health rooms in Vancouver and Burnaby, BC.
Nursing mothers had access to a private, quiet room for lactation purposes. The rooms were equipped with comfortable chairs, fridges and hospital quality breast pumps. These rooms were also made available to individuals with specific health needs.
- This work was completed by Jane Boyd & her team at Work, Family & Life Consulting*.
* Prior to founding 45 Conversations Media & Education, the company Jane operated was called Work, Family & Life Consulting.
Prospera Credit Union
Consultation on the development and implementation of an employee wellbeing program.
Recommendations made as to how employee wellbeing could be supported throughout the organization. The implementation of a range of information, education and resource supports related to work-life balance, child care, elder care and personal wellbeing.
- This project was managed by Jane Boyd (under Work, Family & Life Consulting).
- Employees were located throughout the Fraser Valley, BC.
VanCity Credit Union
Development and management of the first five year work family strategy implemented by Vancouver City Savings Credit Union. Consulting on a wide range of work-life and human resource related issues for more than ten years.
Research and writing of a comprehensive work and family strategy. Provision of information, supports, resources and consultation services to employees and their family members related to child care, elder care, work-family balance and personal health and wellness.
- This project was managed by Jane Boyd (under Work, Family & Life Consulting).
- VanCity grew from 700 employees to more than 1200 employees during the time these services were in place.
Over the years Jane Boyd has attended and/or presented at of a range of different conferences, workshops and events. Below is a summary of some of the key highlights:
Upcoming 2017 Events
- GeniusShared Retreat – Date TBA – Presenter
- MisfitCon – Fargo, ND – Date TBA
- 140conf – Los Angeles – November 2016
- BC ELF Training – November 2015 – 6 hours – Participant
- GenKind24 Live Kindness Adventure – November 2015 – Philadelphia
- GenKind24 – October 2015 – 28 hour live streamed event on Blab – Co-Host/Presenter
- Gratitute and Trust Summit – July 2015 – New York
- MisfitCon – Fargo, ND – May 2015 – 4 days – Invited Participant
- Conversations on Child Care in East Kootenay Region – 2015 – Host
- GeniusShared Retreat with Liz Strauss – Chicago – June 2014 – 2.5 days – Organizer/Participant
- MisfitCon – Fargo, ND – May 2014 – 4 days – Invited Participant
- Child Care Issues in Elk Valley BC – 2014 – Presenter at multiple community meetings
- Social Media Training – Women In Mining Program – College of the Rockies – 2014 – Presenter
- Work-Life Balance Training – Women In Mining Program – College of the Rockies – 2014 – Presenter
- Blog World New Media Expo – January 2014 – 3 days – Attendee
- World Domination Summit – Portland, Oregon – July 2013 – 4 days – Attendee
- Social Media Camp – Victoria, BC – June 2013 – 3 days – Presenter
- Business and Families First Dialogue – Surrey, BC – Presenter
- SOBCon – Chicago – May 2013 – 2.5 days – Presenter
- Blog World New Media Expo – January 2013 – 3 days – Attendee
- SOBCon NW – Portland Oregon – September 2012 – 2.5 days – Presenter
- SocialHR Camp – Toronto – July 2012 – Presenter
- Social Media Camp – Victoria BC, June 2012 – 3 days – Attendee
- SOBCon – Chicago – May 2012 – 2.5 days – Attendee
- WordCamp – Victoria – 2012 – 1 day – Attendee
- SocialHR Camp – Vancouver, BC – 2012 – Presenter
- 45 Conversations On Air – Host – Summer 2012
- SOBCon NW, Portland Oregon – September 2011 – 2.5 days – Attendee
- BC Montessori Conference, Burnaby BC – October 2009 – Attendee
- ECEBC Conference, Richmond BC – May 2009 – 2 days of workshops and keynotes – Attendee
- BC Early Years Framework Training – May 2009 – 1 day training – Attendee
- Parent Voices – Richmond Children First – 2009 Richmond, BC – Afternoon Panel – Attendee
- WorkLife BC Forum – 2007 & 2008 – Vancouver, BC – 1 Day Forum – Organizing Committee/Attendee
- Health, Work & Wellness – 2006 – Vancouver, BC – 3 Day Conference – Attendee
- Leading The Way To Quality – Canadian Child Care Federation Conference – June 2006, Calgary – 3 Day Conference – Attendee
- Shared Vision Conference – National Council for Montessori Education – March 2006, San Diego – 3 Day Conference – Attendee
- ECEBC Conference – 2005, Richmond – 3 Day Conference – Attendee
- Health, Work and Wellness – 2004, Vancouver – 3 Day Conference – Attendee
- BC Work-Life Summit – 2003, Vancouver – Summit Presenter and Organizer
- HR ACUTE Conference – 2003, Vancouver – Conference Presenter – 3 Day Conference
- Wearing Many Hats – 2003, California – Independent School Conference – Attendee
- Health, Work and Wellness – Strategic Solutions for Stress – Lake Louise – 2 days of workshops and keynotes on topics related to health, wellness, work-life and wellbeing – 2002 – Attendee
- HR Measurement 2001 – Defining, Measuring and Improving Human Resources Management –San Francisco, 3 days of case studies on human resources metrics and return on investment – 2001 – Attendee
- Roundtable on the Early Years – Vancouver – 1 evening session on issues related to the importance of addressing the early years in a proactive manner. – 2001 – Attendee
- Population Health Fund Conference – Vancouver – 2 day conference on the determinants of health and collaborative partnerships – 2001 – Attendee
- Alliance of Work-Life Professionals Conference – Miami – 3 days of workshops, keynotes and presentation on North American and International work-life issues. – 2001 – Attendee
- World At Work, Vancouver – 3 day conference on human resource issues – 2001 – Attendee
- Health, Work and Wellness – Building Sound Investments – 2 days of workshops and keynotes on topics related to health, wellness, work-life and wellbeing – 2001 – Attendee
- Work & Family – Expanding the Horizons – San Francisco- 3 days of academic research paper presentation on North American and International work-life issues – 2000 – Attendee
- Beyond The Gap, Vancouver – 2 day conference on women’s equality issues – 2000 – Attendee
- Walking The Work-Life Tightrope – Toronto – 1 day conference on work-life issues, specifically addressing supportive managers – 2000 – Attendee
- Health, Work and Wellness – Toronto – 2 days of workshops and keynotes on topics related to health, wellness, work-life and wellbeing – 2000 – Attendee
- Alliance of Work-Life Professionals Conference – San Diego – 3 days of workshops, keynotes and presentation on North American and International work-life issues. – 1999 – Attendee
- Health, Work and Wellness – Vancouver – 3 days of workshops and keynotes on topics related to health, wellness, work-life and wellbeing – 1999 – Presenter
- BC Montessori Association Teachers Conference, Burnaby – One day conference on the Montessori method of teaching preschool and elementary children – 1999 – Attendee
- Human Resources Professional Association of Ontario – Toronto – 3 days of workshops and keynote presentations on human resource issues such as flexible work arrangements, generation x, telecommuting and simplicity – 1999 – Attendee
- Caring for BC’s Children – A Community Forum – Richmond – 1998 – 2 day conference on strategic planning for children and family programs and services – Attendee
- Alliance of Work-Life Professionals Conference – Miami – 3 days of workshops, keynotes and presentation on North American and International work-life issues – 1998 – Attendee
- Early Childhood Educators of BC Conference – Victoria – 3 day conference on early years, child care and children’s services – 1998, 1996 and 1992 – Attendee
- Alliance of Work-Life Professionals Conference – San Diego – 3 days of workshops, keynotes and presentation on North American and International work-life issues – Attendee
- Awareness – Employee and Family Assistance Program Conference – Vancouver – 3 day conference on employee assistance program and service issues – 1997, 1993 and 1995
- Family Caregiving and The Workplace Conference – Vancouver – 2 day conference on issues related to the impact of caregiving responsibilities and the workplace – 1997 – Organizer
- Canadian Gerontology Association Conference – Vancouver, BC – 2 day conference on wide variety of issues related to gerontology, elder care and caregiving – 1995 – Attendee