Laura joined Women In Need Society (WINS) as the Executive Director in September, 2014. Laura brings close to 20 years of experience in the public and not for profit sectors in Alberta and Ontario. Prior to joining WINS, Laura served for two and a half years as the Chief Operating Officer of the Calgary Homeless Foundation as part of the team that launched Canada's first 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. Passionate about women’s economic participation, affordable housing and social justice, Laura is committed to helping women and their families flourish. Laura holds an MBA in Executive Leadership from Royal Roads University in Victoria B.C., a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto and a Post-degree Certificate in Health Promotion from Canadore College in North Bay.
Industry Expertise (5)
Areas of Expertise (6)
Women & Nonprofit
Retail - Thrift
Trico Social EnterPrize Award (professional)
In 2015, Laura and the Women in Need Society accepted the national, biennial award presented by the Trico Foundation for leadership and excellence in social enterprise. https://tricofoundation.ca/poised-for-growth-calgary-social-enterprise-grateful-to-win-prestigious-social-enterprize/
Business in Calgary, Leaders Award (professional)
In May, 2016 Laura was one of Calgary's top 20 Business Leaders recognized through this annual leadership award. https://issuu.com/businessincalgary/docs/bic_july2016_lo
Royal Roads University: MBA, Business 2013
Canadore College: Post Degree Certificate, Health Promotion 1997
University of Toronto: B.Sc - 4 Year, Biology 1995
Media Appearances (3)
Creating a win for Calgary women in need
Calgary Journal online
An article that is partially biographic about Laura's passion and commitment for helping others achieve their full potential.
Calgary company steps up to fill backpacks at Women in Need Society
660 News radio
WINS finds a new donor to help 300 students return to school ready to learn.
Christmas in July
CTV News tv
Human interest news story airing on CTV news Calgary featuring Laura Dickson.
Event Appearances (2)
Strategic Capabilities Network
Non-profit Leadership, Panel Discussion Calgary, AB
Alberta Women Entrepreneurs
Icons of Alberta, Panelist Calgary, AB
If the purpose of traditional business is to create shareholder value and that of a charity is to raise donations to further its charitable mission, is there a third option that considers the generation of profit through business activities designed to benefit society? A social purpose business, or social enterprise, creates value for individuals and the community – as a whole – by ‘doing business while doing good’. Women In Need Society (WINS) is a tenured social enterprise operating four retail locations in Calgary with the goal of helping women and their families to help themselves.
Today, we celebrate the success of women in social, economic, cultural and political achievements. And yet, the World Economic Forum predicts the gap in gender parity will not close until 2133. Research shows that over a lifetime, a woman with a bachelor’s degree can expect to earn a third less than a man with the same degree and that gains in salary made through the 1980s and 90s have levelled off with salaries earned by men once again pulling ahead.
The economics of sufficiency balance privilege with moderation and reasonableness. Business growth and sustainability, positive social impact and global citizenship can co-exist to create prosperity. The thinking behind the economics of sufficiency reveals new possibilities for doing business that balance the values shaping our society with a desire for wealth and prosperity. A social enterprise creates opportunity by offering, for example, a first Canadian employment experience while delivering value to customers through the goods and services provided.
What if a business’ real reason for existence was the very purpose that drove it into existence in the first place – a collective pain resolving, light shone into the darkness kind of purpose? Enter a new way of thinking about business and the value created for a wider span of stakeholders – and yes, its shareholders (we’ll call them financers) are one such stakeholder – but equally important are its customers, employees, suppliers and the community (be it real or virtual) where it resides. In a new business model, equally important are the stakeholders upon whom the business relies to deliver its solutions. Equally important are those who depend upon their delivery.