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Lethbridge students offered ‘world of choices’ at career forum for young women

Hundreds of young women from across the Lethbridge region are feeling inspired after a career forum with industry leaders gave them a glimpse into a variety of diverse career paths. Emily Olsen reports.

Hundreds of young women from across the Lethbridge region are feeling inspired, after a career forum on Wednesday with industry leaders gave them a glimpse into a variety of diverse career paths.

The World of Choices all-female career forum is organized by Junior Achievement Southern Alberta.

This year marks the event’s 20th anniversary.

Organizers say it has remained a women-only event due to feedback from teachers and from industry leaders who like the focus on encouraging girls to pursue non-typical career paths such as the trades or military.

READ MORE: Lethbridge launches first Women in STEM program in southern Alberta

Organizer Shelly Flexhaug says she’s thrilled with the variety of careers represented this year.

“We have an airline pilot here which is really cool,” Flexhaug said.

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“Emergency room nurses and Lethbridge city police are here,

“We also have an Olympic athlete, a photographer, interior designers, a horse trainer… so there’s lots to choose from.”

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Groups of students rotate from table to table to speak directly with female industry leaders about their experiences.

Flexhaug says the one-on-one and group discussions help students narrow down what they want.

She says the discussions also connect organizations and businesses with potential new hires and interns.

“It’s a chance for them to promote not only their occupation, but the organization that they work for,” Flexhaug said.

READ MORE: Lethbridge organization receives $1.68M to help women pursue careers in male-dominated professions

Olympic athlete, Haley Daniels, was one of the mentors speaking with students.

She says the number of options for students now can be overwhelming and she sees how valuable conversations like this are for young people trying to decide what to do.

“I really am the person I am today because of the mentors I have had through my career,” Daniels said.

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“If I can be one of those mentors to these ladies today, it’s [a way for] me to give back.”

Students can sign up for next year’s event through their guidance counselor or school administration.

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