Skills & Thrills | Five Minutes with Manpreet Dhillon

Blog September 9, 2019

Posted by Eryca

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Veza Community, founded by Manpreet, is a strategic transformation firm focused on bringing tools, resources and training to women of culturally diverse backgrounds. Veza also helps large organizations better serve diversity inclusion and promote women in leadership.

Veza Community, in partnership with Accelerate Okanagan, will be hosting Skills & Thrills—a networking event that encourages women to become the best version of themselves and to celebrate their power. 

We recently caught up with Manpreet between flights to learn more about her passion for creating positive change, and what we can expect at Skills & Thrills on September 19th.

Q. What kinds of services are offered by Veza Community?

“We look at large organizations and how they can better serve diversity inclusion. We also do leadership training for women with culturally diverse backgrounds. However, one of Veza’s key differentiators is our retreat missions. We take a group of women leaders to another country so they can better understand different cultures and environments.”

Q. What are some of your future goals for Veza?

“We do diversity audits, that’s our primary product, and we’re going to be building that audit onto our tech platform. That way, companies can perform the audit themselves and immediately receive a report on how they can better implement inclusion in their organization.”

Q. Where did you get this passion for elevating culturally diverse backgrounds?

“I grew up in an Indian home in Kamloops. There were very few people who looked like me, so I was always trying to be someone else. When I moved to Vancouver, I attended a lot of political events where there would be very few women or men of colour. It just felt lonely in some ways.

We were bringing culture into the workplace when I worked at the University of British Columbia, this was before diversity was even a buzzword. We were looking at how to get people fully present, fully comfortable in their organization, so they could talk about their culture and how it influences them. We wanted to use business as a tool to get people to understand who their neighbours were.”

Q. Why is making space for diversity and supporting female empowerment so important?

“Everyone has the power within them. We help people uncover that through coaching and leadership support. We’ve helped lots of women successfully grow their business and their revenue. We’ve seen women completely shift their careers, leading to higher-paying jobs.

Our Ascend program, done in conjunction with the Immigrant Council of BC, helps immigrants coming into British Columbia develop their skills. That’s going to help them get a job in their field and jumpstart a career in their new home.

Someone once said to me, “don’t be afraid to make money. When you make money, you can help a lot more people.” Every day I wake up and remember how fortunate I am that I get to do the work that I do. We’re creating a difference in the world.”

Q. What should we expect from Skills & Thrills?

“This event is one of those events where you will find your pride.

We want to create a place where women can come and feel empowered, to lead with amazing connections and meet at least one person that’s outside their regular circle. Skills & Thrills will be a place for women with an open mind that are looking to create real connections with themselves and others.

We also want to help organizations create more opportunities where women can be in leadership spaces. To help them create an inclusive space where everyone feels like they belong.”

Save a Seat | Connect with Manpreet Dhillon 


More on Veza Community 

Veza is a strategic transformation firm focused on bringing tools and resources to build diverse teams, leverage cultural diversity, and promote women in leadership.

They partner with small-medium sized companies to attract the best talent and lower turnover costs and create inclusive products and workplace cultures through proven diversity and inclusion initiatives. 

One key program that they offer is their Leadership Trade Missions with a partner country. These Trade Missions are great leadership tools that mutually showcase cross-cultural innovations in business, provide bilateral networking opportunities; and an opportunity to share insights, best practices, and inspiration – with the added bonus of traveling to and exploring a new country!

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