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Canadian Business Chicks online community aims to connect women in business

Click to play video 'A legacy event to honour woman who inspire others' A legacy event to honour woman who inspire others
WATCH ABOVE: Monica Kretschmer, CEO of Canadian Business Chicks, and Alberta's Minister of Status of Women Stephanie McLean join Global Calgary to talk about the 150 Women of Inspiration nominations recognizing women who inspire others to greatness.

“Business Chicks” are taking flight all across Canada.

Calgary-based initiative Canadian Business Chicks was started by founder and CEO Monica Kretschmer, and is gaining national attention.

In addition to its online community, the group’s ambassadors can be found networking and promoting women in the business sector all over the country.

READ MORE: Women entrepreneurs are ‘continuously and systemically underappreciated’: study

“We’re really reaching out to the influencers and business leaders across Canada that may already have smaller groups that they’re working with that want to be connected with a much larger diverse group of women across Canada,” Kretschmer told the Alberta Morning News.

The program provides an online platform for women in the business world to make connections, find mentors and even be eligible for awards.

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“This is really what spurred our growth, that there is a need for it,” Kretschmer said. “Women want to connect, [but] they don’t know necessarily which group to align with.”

“They want to be able to do something meaningful and align with women that are business-minded and also share the same value set.”

Canadian Business Chicks builds on the momentum of other programs and initiatives to encourage women to enter and thrive in the business world.

Kretschmer says she’s seen some good first steps, such as the bilateral women-in-business group created by Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump last year.

But she adds that unless politicians, business leaders and influencers follow up with real action, nothing will change.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump team up to support women in the workforce

“It’s more than saying, ‘I’m a supporter of women in business,'” she notes. “It’s actually committing to joining communities like Canadian Business Chicks, where you have an energetic, dynamic and diverse group of women that actually want to do business with each other and build those solid relationships.”

The group’s Women of Inspiration Award gala helps build on those connections. Members of Canadian Business Chicks can nominate their peers in 12 business-related categories.

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“We’ve actually been getting nominations from all over Canada, nominating women that are just doing incredible things,” Kretschmer said. “That’s how we pay attention to the people that fly under the radar, who are working so hard and just don’t have an opportunity to lift their head.

“We’re shining a light on them so they get in the spotlight.”

This year’s gala will be held on Sept. 20 in Calgary.

You can find more information, join the Nest membership program, or nominate a woman in business who inspires you at the Canadian Business Chicks website.