Students in a classroom

Karen Fryday-Field

Karen Fryday-Field

Senior Partner, Meridian Edge Leadership & Governance Consulting

What inspired you to join the LEAD WITH US campaign as a volunteer?

Through my current six years on the Board of Trustees at Brescia, I have seen the immense value of Canada having a women’s university and the unique value proposition Brescia offers. I recognize we need to engage our broader communities across Canada with our women leaders and people interested in investing in high quality women’s education in order to build a solid future to support this purpose. I am privileged to join the Campaign Cabinet to help engage others in understanding this unique value of Brescia and to invest in women’s education.

Why do we need to support women’s education?

Research shows women learn effectively and find their full voice in a women’s collaborative and supportive learning environment. Today, women can have many responsibilities and challenges that can pull them away from engaging in their own education and reaching their full potential. Investing in creating education for women that is flexible, focused on competencies, and values-based will enable women to find creative ways to advance their education.

Why is a women’s only university still relevant today?

Brescia has a unique leadership model that includes strong academics, leadership competencies, and values-based learning. All of that results in an awareness and commitment to learning excellence. Students learn it is through their academic excellence that will change our world in positive ways far beyond just the functional application of their education. There is a fierce commitment to building a culture and empowerment of women who aim to ensure a safe and socially just world in whatever walk of life they pursue.

Tell us briefly about your experience as a business leader.

Being a supportive influencer and building a group of trusted advisors and role models is critical to effective leadership. I started my career as a physiotherapist, a caring profession to which I remain committed. Moving to a hospital senior leadership position assisted me in understanding the critical importance of clear strategic focus and effective governance. I have now been able to focus my research and consulting career on two of the three primary areas. As Senior Partner at Meridian Edge Consulting, I am committed to supporting the development and advancement of many women leaders.

What is your conversation starter when talking to a community member?

When I chat with people about Brescia, I share my journey of discovering an amazing organization. I had always thought of Brescia as “that beautiful building on the hill” – intriguing and mysterious. Then one day I noticed a new sign that read “Brescia Bold”. It sounded to me like something interesting was going on at Brescia. I began to pay attention, reading, and talking to people. I became convinced this was an organization with incredible offerings and opportunities, and a place where I would like to contribute. Six years later, I encourage people to explore Brescia’s purpose and approach… once they do, I have found that most women want to contribute in some way!