Disrupt HR YVR 2019

Science World

Science World

As the sun set brilliantly over Vancouver on Thursday night, I was at Science World with hundreds of other HR enthusiasts and professionals at Disrupt HR YVR. The event included Pecha Kucha style presentations focused on mindfulness, leadership and the environment. Talent Advisor for the Vancouver Airport Authority, Emma Bradford, made one of my favourite statements: "I know you hate lunchtime yoga - I do too." Shining a light on recruitment, HR and the need to participate in the corporate culture you prescribe to maintain, she personified the humor, honesty and integrity in the room. You could feel, hear and understand the stories of others within the grand IMAX theatre.

It was my first experience at Disrupt HR. Although I enjoyed the casual atmosphere of the Science World venue, I would have preferred participating in a physical ice breaker mid-way through the program rather than at the start. I was also surprised by the heavy networking focus. Advertised from 6:30pm - 1030pm, the presentations ran from 7:00pm - 8:30pm, followed by networking for the rest of the evening.

Tru Wilson, a student and transgender advocate, described her experience attending a Catholic school in Greater Vancouver. At a young age, she discussed being transgender with her parents, who responded with support and respect. She didn't experience the same response from the school she was attending. School officials questioned her feelings and expressions. Regardless, she spoke openly about these experiences and at the age of 13, Tru was instrumental in passing legislation protecting gender identity and expression in British Columbia's Human Rights Code

If a coworker, friend or family member approaches you and identifies as transgender, Tru's advice is to "be there for them." Pure and honest, be there. She asked the group, "how is your onboarding inclusive?" Fantastic question for large and small organizations, regardless of industry.

Paulina Cameron, Forum for Women CEO held her tiny baby as she explained, "we expect parents to pretend they don't work and expect workers to pretend they aren't parents." The expectation is that moms are completely on or off, either earning full-time income or none at all. But this doesn't align with financial, social or personal desires and needs, particularly in the City of Vancouver

There were a number of other notable speakers including Gavin Dew, Founder, Forum for Millennial Leadership & Jodi Rai, Free Agent, Government of Canada. Stay tuned for additional articles addressing their Disrupt HR presentations. 

I would recommend attending Disrupt HR, with the understanding that networking plays a significant role in the program. I would advise prospective participants that professionals who are focused on leadership and mindfulness would enjoy the event.