Meet Tina Strehlke, CEO of Minerva BC
Minerva BC is a registered charity dedicated to removing personal, financial, and professional barriers for women and girls across the province. Through leadership programs and initiatives, Minerva BC encourages women to step into their full leadership potential.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, I interviewed our very own CEO, Tina Strehlke, to learn more about her leadership journey, perspectives on the future and work, and those who inspire her. Experience her wisdom in the blog below!
As CEO of Minerva BC, Tina Strehlke leads a team of talented change-makers dedicated to advancing the leadership of women and girls. After many years of developing her expertise in leadership, career development, adult learning, HR, and communications, she joined Minerva BC in 2016, assuming the CEO position in 2018. In her role, Tina is responsible for setting a vision and plan for how Minerva creates the impact it wants to have in the world and ensuring the tools are in place to enact change.
What are the most meaningful parts of your work so far?
Engaging with the team and the staff has been very meaningful. Especially this past year, seeing everyone’s willingness to show up, learn, grow, and work collaboratively towards solutions has been inspiring. It’s also meaningful to step into a role in an industry and sector where there is such strong collaboration – the women’s ecosystem in BC is very collaborative, friendly, full of great partnerships, and has an overall collegial attitude towards other organizations. We support and value each other’s work rather than compete.
How would you describe your leadership style and how has it changed?
I’m a pretty informal leader. The biggest compliment I’ve received is that I trust people and give them autonomy – I value what they bring but also provide support. This year, I have strived to communicate with clarity. It’s important to provide both autonomy and clarity, so we can set goals and measure progress and change. I’ve become more strategic, intentional and direct in my leadership.
Who is someone you look up to?
My mom who was an internist in a small rural community. She was the best doctor I knew, held people accountable, worked hard and long hours, and did so much for her patients. My mom was the first person who influenced my thinking on a what it means to be a strong woman in a career and to be in service to people. As a mother, she always put her kids first even though she was busy. Back in the age of beepers, my three sisters and I could always pick up the phone and dial her at the hospital. No matter what she would doing, she would step aside to talk. She was always accessible and hands-on.
What about the future of work are you most optimistic about?
I’m inspired when I think about how we can deconstruct the notion of work: what do we want out of life and what does work mean? Work has so much meaning, and its impact goes beyond the finances – it impacts self-worth, learning, and adds so much richness to life. I’m optimistic that we will take the opportunities presented to us with better systems, technology, AI, and find the balance between what work should be and where it fits in our lives.
What programs and initiatives are available to the Kamloops community?
Since 2015, Minerva has delivered leadership programs to youth and women in Kamloops. These programs include the Combining our Strength™ Community Leadership Program (2015-2017) and the Learning to Lead™ program for Grade 11 youth. Minerva also delivers workshops and learning opportunities for the business community on topics related to advancing women in leadership, as well as equity, diversity and inclusion - we will be hosting a Resilience Workshop on Wednesday, March 10th. Minerva is proud to partner with organizations like BCLC and the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce to achieve our mission.
To learn more about the work of Tina and her team at Minerva BC, visit www.minervabc.ca and follow them on social media @MinervaBC
Guest Writer: Elizabeth Li
Author bio: Elizabeth (Lizzie) is the Digital Communications Coordinator at Minerva BC. In her role, she is responsible for developing marketing strategies and running the organization’s social media accounts and blog. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, skiing, and watching documentaries.