Our Young Women’s Council

Our Young Women’s Council are the Foundation’s ambassadors who volunteer their time to support community fundraising initiatives, and help foster a broader, bolder dialogue on women’s health.

Our Young Women’s Council supports the Foundation by fostering a broader, bolder dialogue on women’s health. It is comprised of young professionals who identify as women, are leaders in their community, and have a passion for advancing the full spectrum of women’s health. 

By acting as ambassadors, providing guidance and recommendations, and supporting community fundraising initiatives, the Young Women’s Council assists the Foundation in ensuring engagement strategies are holistic and create meaningful impact, particularly when connecting with the millennial audience.

The Foundation is honoured to have this group of fierce women volunteer their time, share their voices, and support our mission by championing  women’s health.

UPDATES AND EVENTS

MEMBERS OF THE YOUNG WOMEN’S COUNCIL

Diana Etherington

Co-Chair
Director of Marketing, Spritz

Why does women’s health matter to you?  Because I am a woman! I’m also a privileged white woman, and I believe health care is a universal right. It’s important that women know what support, resources and education is available to them, so they can make informed decisions about their own bodies.  

What do you hope to contribute to the Young Women’s Council and BC Women’s? Why are you the right person for the role?  I look forward to finding new and inclusive ways to share the word around women’s health and the stigmas that exist with women’s health issues. It is important for not only women to be informed of these issues, but all people. These are real issues that are underrepresented in health and I hope that the experiences and programs I can develop will enlighten people around pressing issues. Knowledge is power.

Do you have a personal story you’d feel comfortable sharing that inspired you to support women’s health?  From a young age, I struggled with menstrual pain. Two years ago I was diagnosed with Endometriosis. It was a hard day, but finally knowing what I had been facing for almost two decades was a great relief. I found a community of other women who also struggled with endo, and that community inspired me to educate myself on the condition. Community and knowledge is key.

Follow Diana:  Instagram

Christie Buono

Co-Chair, BCWHF Representative
Director, Marketing + Community Partnerships, BC Women’s Health Foundation

Follow Christie: Instagram LinkedIn

 

 

 

Sophie Collins

Co-Chair (currently on maternity leave)
Mother, Creative Director: One Wednesday, Account Executive: Slack

Why does women’s health matter to you?  Because we make up 50% of the population and do not receive close to 50% of health funding. Because our bodies are complicated. Because our hormones change every day…every hour. Because we deserve equity.

How do you feel your background could bolster the YWC BCWHF team? I had a challenging post-labour complication that, at the time, didn’t seem like a big deal. After bringing this up with various wellness practitioners, I realized it’s impact and began to understand the importance of advocating for my own health and wellness. I want to make sure other women are empowered to do the same.

What is one hobby you would really like to get into? I’m absolutely obsessed with pilates and am currently studying to be certified as a pilates instructor. I’m doing this for me, my body and really with no outcome in mind.

Follow Sophie: Instagram LinkedIn

Amrit Heer

Ambassador Lead
Lifestyle Blogger

How do you feel your background could bolster the YWC BCWHF team?  Professionally, I feel that relationship building has been my biggest strength throughout my career. Personally, after losing my daughter, I learned that relationships are built on relatability. This has helped me in sharing my insights on how to lead through vulnerability.

What is one of the best compliments you have received?  That my strength and resilience has been inspiring.

What is the best concert you have ever attended?  Backstreet Boys!

Follow Amrit:  Instagram

Chloe thomas

Communications Lead
Business Development Professional, McCarthy Tetrault (Law)

What is a single driving force that contributed to your decision to champion BCHWF’s mission?  I feel strongly about increasing access to healthcare for everyone but particularly for women in their 20’s and 30’s so they can become knowledgeable and take ownership of their health at an earlier stage.

Name one of your favourite reads.  A Picnic in Provence by Elizabeth Bard – it’s a beach read that contains some fantastic recipes.

What is your go-to productivity trick?  Wake up early and sweat – it kick starts your day!

Follow Chloe: LinkedIn

Dee de los Santos

Communications Coordinator
PR + Digital Marketing Freelancer, Food Writer @Gastrofork.ca

What do you hope to contribute to the Young Women’s Council and the BC Women’s Health Foundation?  I want to use my public relations background to help spread the word to not only women in the general sense, but to the Asian community which is often overlooked and underserved. I hope to be the loudspeaker for them – for those who may not have a platform or those wanting to contribute to these issues but don’t know where to start. I have had a lot of experiences with health concerns throughout my entire life and many of us suffer in silence – but no longer.

What women’s health statistic shocks you? Not quite a statistic, but a topic that shocks me: having to justify that women’s pain is real. There are so many of us that suffer silently every day. It changed the way I saw the healthcare field and how I learned to navigate through it. This is a huge conversation that needs to be addressed, particularly in the BIPOC community.

Do you have a personal story you’d feel comfortable sharing that inspired you to support women’s health? A couple years ago, I was pregnant with my first child and we had issues seeing his heart clearly. I was sent to BC Women’s Hospital for further investigation and they were able to diagnose him with complex Congenital Heart Defects. As one can imagine, my world turned upside down, but the health care team at BC Women’s took care of me in so many ways – both mentally and physically. I had no idea such a support system existed and I wanted to tell everyone I knew about this experience.

Follow Dee: Instagram | LinkedIn

Firina Achor

Experiences Lead
Founder & Principal, Firina Achor Creative

What first inspired you to contribute to the BC Women’s Health Foundation? I was first inspired to contribute to the BC Women’s Health Foundation because as a Black woman I felt like I could use my voice to create change and it would matter more than ever at BC Women’s Health Foundation. I am motivated to create spaces for Black, Indigenous and women of colour to live their fullest, healthiest and authentic self.

Is there a specific community of women that you are passionate about helping? Why? I would love to specifically help the community of Black, Indigenous and women of Colour, I think so often our experiences in women’s health isn’t talked about.

What’s a fun fact about you? Fun fact about me is that I lived in Cairo until I was 8 years old and also I’ll never turn down an opportunity to dance to great music!

Follow Firina: Instagram | LinkedIn

Madi Wood

Experiences Coordinator
Nonprofit Business Development Manager, Traction on Demand

What first inspired you to contribute to the BC Women’s Health Foundation? There have been times where I was not able to show up as my best self and fulfill my potential because of unanswered questions about my health and wellbeing. Little did I know, many of my challenges were unique to being a woman. My lack of knowledge about key female health concerns, prevention methods, and investigative processes left me feeling like my own wellbeing was a black box. I was overwhelmed, unsure of how to navigate the healthcare system, and unsure how to leverage communities and resources that would allow me to feel my best. 

Situations like these are preventable. Education and open conversations are possible. I want to ensure all young women have access to resources and can speak openly about women’s health so we can collectively unlock our full potential.

Is there anything you wish you understood about women’s health earlier in your life? I wish I’d realized sooner that leaning into the nuances of being a woman is an asset – not a shortcoming – when it comes to holistic wellbeing. I have only recently had an “aha” moment, where I acknowledged that both mental and physical wellbeing are greatly shaped by what it means to be a woman – from hormones and cycles to the unique pressures and stressors we face. My journey with mental health in particular never included a uniquely female approach or perspective, and never took into consideration factors like hormone imbalances or birth control. This would have been an extremely valuable addition to my understanding of my wellbeing and womanhood. 

Why do you think it is important for other young women to give back to women’s health? Young women are shaping the world we will live in tomorrow. That world needs to reflect our voices, address our concerns, and create a space where everyone – including women – can thrive, free from barriers to health care or stigmas around women’s health.

Follow Madi: Instagram | LinkedIn

Natalie Archibald

Operations Lead
Interim VP People, Clio

What first inspired you to contribute to the BC Women’s Health Foundation? I am passionate about women’s mental and physical health, community building and improving accessibility to health resources. My background is in counselling psychology and love being part of an individual’s health journey and helping them achieve maximum wellness in whatever way they define it!

Do you have a personal story you’d feel comfortable sharing that inspired you to support women’s health? I had a challenging mental and physical health journey over the past 5 years beginning when I became pregnant with my first child. I recognize that despite these personal difficulties, I am extremely privileged and wanted to use my privilege to advocate for women in need of health support across all intersections of diversity, identity and lived experience. 

Why does women’s health matter to you? Women’s health matters because a large inequality still exists for women when it comes to access to healthcare resources, funding and research. Additionally, there is a need for community building, as women are often isolated in their health challenges. I hope that through my role with YWC, I am able to play even a small role in building connection and community for the women we serve.

Follow Natalie: Instagram | LinkedIn

Marissa Kingzett

Want to hear more from the Young Women’s Council, and learn how you can help support women’s health?

If you have any questions about our Young Women’s Council, please contact Christie Buono, Senior Manager of Community Partnerships at christie.buono@bcwomensfoundation.org