Exchange Success Stories

"I’m amazed that the 3 hours a week has taken a group of women on this journey of learning and self-realization and of such high quality and magnitude of growth. At the beginning, I wondered about transformative learning…what is this? And now I know!"  Stacey Ridgely

"I loved how, after each session, I was able to practice the tools I had learned or how quickly things would change at the office after I started using these tools." Anick Perrault, Status Of Women

"I appreciate the framework and feel I will continue to incorporate this into my decision making and planning.  I will also share this with staff as it is a clear tool that will build their skills in presenting at meetings and moving forward their project files.   The Exchange also reminded me the need to stay current, to read and take time to reflect how I can add to my practice as a manager".  Valerie Flynn, Health Canada

"The small group size made The Exchange different from other programs, and our ability to design the curriculum around our needs. Also, the focus on women only is a unique offering in Ottawa. In terms of people who should chose the exchange, it would need to be women who already have a fairly good sense of themselves. Senior managers should know that the exchange isn’t just about promoting “work life balance” but instead “work life integration” - they’re not going to get less work out of us after we participate - they’re going to get more efficient, enthusiastic and effective work!  I liked everything about the Exchange! In particular, the sessions with outside speakers were great. I also loved the hot topics - I think I learned the most from them (they had a practical element to them that allowed us to practice our skills in a safe environment where everyone knew what we were doing)." Jessica  Davis

"Women who are strong and open but may lack the self awareness and or confidence would benefit from taking the Exchange. The items we discussed were relevant not only to those who want to move up but also to be more efficient in their current role." Kelly Sears, Health Canada

"The 12-weeks allowed me to know the team members and truly benefit from their experiences and expertise. It was certainly worth my time and money as the 12-week program gave me the opportunity to really assimilate the information provided, to process it and then to put it in practice." Josee Thibault, Public Safety

"Senior Managers should know that The Exchange is not your grandmother’s training! It is fresh, and bold and “now”. It is the opportunity to change one’s architecture, to change one’s way of looking at things, to shift one’s personal culture. The Exchange is about dialogue and participation and the willingness to tell the gremlin not to stand in your power! I am thrilled and so very grateful that the NRCan Women’s network sponsored my participation in The Exchange. The Exchange surpassed all of my expectations. I am sad to see the end of our 12 week journey and am thankful for the tools, network and friends I am leaving with." Julie Glazer, NRCan

"The Exchange looks at the person not just the worker/employee. It is important not to dissociate the women from the manager and the exchange accomplishes that. Even if the techniques and methods should apply to all, the exchange looks at participant individually and this is great. It helps us change our way of thinking with examples that we can relate to, with real situation that we are living now." Nathalie Bisson- Industry Canada

"The Exchange is very different because it makes us take charge of what we find important as new managers, what we struggle with, it makes us realize that we have this potential in us; we just need to let it shine. The knowledge we get from the Exchange is not only of great use in our workplace, but in “real” life. would like for my senior manager know just how much growth I have done is such a short time, I know that she is right, I’m a good manager , but the Exchange has made me a great manager. She will reap the investment she has made in me during these past weeks indefinitely. She will be confident that I will be able to lead my team to great performances; I will have the knowledge to deal with difficult situations and know when to seek her guidance." Anick Perreault, Status of Women

"I appreciate the framework and feel I will continue to incorporate this into my decision making and planning. I will also share this with staff as it is a clear tool that will build their skills in presenting at meetings and moving forward their project files. The Exchange also reminded me the need to stay current, to read and take time to reflect how I can add to my practice as a manager." Valerie Flynn, FINIB, Health Canada

“The type of person that should pick the Exchange is one who believes deep down that they have the ability to manage and lead but for reasons that they cannot figure out, are not as successful as they should be. I emphasize the not knowing why they are not as successful as they should be as I find the Exchange is very much a program of discovery.” Erin Howard-Hoszko, CIPO, Industry Canada

"I recognized the leader that is within and learned more about how to navigate the public service leadership world." Wendy Atkin, Health Canada

"The Senderlea Exchange provide a thoughtful safe environment through which we could discuss complex and sensitive career issues, mapping our way to potential solutions in an environment that is difficult, if not impossible, to find in day to day work." Christine Stoneman, Director, DFO

"The Exchange came at a time when I was ready to explore more deeply my current place in my career, strengths and factors holding me back from achieving my goals. I am a better worker because of this training." Melissa Baross, NRCan

"I am currently acting as the Director of my team again as my previous director has left to pursue other challenges. Things are quite busy but I am enjoying the new challenge and carry much of what I acquired through the Exchange with me in everything I do.When I need strength or inspiration or courage, I stop and think about our discussions or yourself and the women from the Exchange and somehow it all seems to come together.Thank you again for such an enriching experience. I will carry it with me always." Exchange Graduate 2008

"I appreciated the pre-reading, it provided a good base for the ensuing discussions as well as providing references for further personal reading or reflection. It was very helpful to be able to brainstorm solutions to current issues, using the skills we reviewed in our discussion. The immediate application and sharing the results the following week, allowed the opportunity not only to apply what I had learned but also what improvements could be made for next steps." Amanda Langley, HRSDC

"I think the size of the group was perfect and everyone was supportive and embraced the course whole-heartedly. Susan guided us exactly how we needed to be guided and let us come to our own conclusions and realizations. All the women in the group, including Susan, helped reshape the way I look at myself and my abilities. Coming from a non-government sector into a room full of government women was very interesting. The issues, although very different at times, were relatable to any walk of life or profession. The guest speakers were excellent and thought-provoking. They made me look deeply at myself."
Tracy Taylor, Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists

I realized that I am a positive leader and I have more power than I thought. I also feel that I made good connections with some very interesting and powerful women, who are full of resources and would be able to assist me if required. They are now part of my network." Isabelle Tanguay, Service Canada

"The Exchange was an excellent investment of my money and my time—in fact I wish it were longer. It provided me with a great opportunity to explore leadership and myself as a leader. The themes and content are built by participants. Susan is a wealth of both knowledge and insights about participants and people in general. Everyone brought their knowledge, experience and insights to the table and we all benefited. It's like group coaching. For those who are ready, senior managers should know that this is a better resource investment than traditional courses on leadership." Debbie Holbrook, Health Canada

"I had never heard of The Senderlea Exchange before it was recommended to me by a senior manager at work. It seemed interesting when I read about it but it is difficult to describe. I truly believe it is unique and allowed the group of women who shared this experience with me to grow and share issues that were close and dear to our hearts and with which we struggle at work and home on a daily basis. I am forever grateful to the individual who recommended it and feel it is the most worthwhile developmental and learning opportunity I have ever had." Natalie Dagenais, Canadian Human Rights Commission

"Most certainly a very rewarding experience on many levels... not just professionally." Lina Al-Karkhi, PHAC

"The Exchange provided a forum for discussion about issues that prevail in every workplace. The opportunity to collaborate with other women managers enabled us to forge best practices and methods of resolving these workplace issues that fit our own workplace. By enrolling in the Exchange, time dedicated to learning intangible skills and awareness was made possible. In order to be an effective and successful leader, one must take the time to self-evaluate, identify ones strengths and weaknesses and to strengthen both.

Guest speakers were engaging and relevant. Each had traveled their own unique path to personal and professional success, and was able and willing to share experiences and wisdom to guide us.

The key part to the Exchange is the self/group directed programming. Many of the participants had taken courses directed specifically at some of the subjects we identified and later discussed, but the ongoing commitment to the group members, and the trust developed, coupled with the small group size, allowed each to buy in, discuss freely, and to meet their own needs. Discussion was rarely curtailed due to time constraints, and no issue or sub-issue was considered too small.

Senior managers need to understand that a lack of concrete curriculum does not equate to a lack of content. The program is tailored to the needs of each group, ensuring relevancy, and recognizing the diversity that each participant brings. The strength of the program is the discussion that occurs around each issue, and the internalization of the discussion by each participant builds and shapes us as leaders." Katie Greenwood, Health Canada

"I valued the integration of the learning within our day-to-day challenges. I was able to immediately put in practice what I had learnt; the best way to retain information for me."

The discussions at the beginning of each session were another technique allowing us to integrate the learning. Also appreciated the Contributors – irrelevant of the different styles." Joanne Lalonde, Service Canada

"The Exchange exceeded my expectations! It is an investment for my organization and for the Public Service because it has provided me with tools to be a better manager. Although at the beginning I was looking for more structure, I realize that this method of learning and the 'hot topics' were what I learned from the most. I am more confident and relaxed in my role as Director. I am more comfortable delegating, which makes me more effective. I will definitely recommend this to others. The Exchange is a subtle but powerful way to become more self aware." Monette Mailler, Canadian Human Rights Commission

"I think I have changed some of my (long-standing) views and assumptions as a result of hearing the different perspectives of the other participants and contributors."
Cathy Winters, Health Canada

“The issues, although very different at times, were relatable to any walk of life or profession…”

“…an excellent investment of my money and my time – in fact, I wish it were longer…”

“The opportunity to collaborate with other women managers enabled us to forge best practices and methods of resolving these workplace issues that fit our own workplace…”








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