March 8, 2021 – 6:30 p.m.

A Conversation on Women's Leadership with Councillor Esslinger and members of the Women's Advocacy Voice of Edmonton (WAVE)

Moderator: Councillor Bev Esslinger

Bev EsslingerBev was first elected to City Council in 2013 and is now serving her second term. In her first term, she supported the implementation of school zones as part of the Traffic Safety Initiative. She continues to champion the women’s initiative and is working to build a child-friendly city. She also started the Gender Based Violence Initiative out of concern for the high numbers of families affected. She desires to see real change in the behaviours and statistics. She is also the City’s representative to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Bev, a married mother of two children and grandmother has lived in Ward 2 for more than 20 years. Bev’s passion for her city and its citizens is demonstrated by her willingness to  make Edmonton a better place to live. She has been actively engaged with people and programs and works tirelessly on their behalf. Her involvements have been diverse but her passion for helping people thrive is a common thread.

Panelist: Hersharon Sandhu, WAVE Chair

Hersharon Sandhu

Hersharon Sandhu is a passionate and evocative writer who uses poetry and prose as a balancing bar as she walks the tightrope between her Indian and Canadian identities. As an immigrant, she understands, first-hand, the value of inclusive and diverse community programming in building relationships with newcomers to our city. Hersharon is a double-alum of the University of Alberta, with a degree in Sociology and an honors degree in Women and Gender Studies. Currently, she is using her client relations and copywriting skills at the School of Public Health, University of Alberta as a communications and engagement associate. Hersharon enjoys spending her spare time outside in nature, inside a book, or telling stories on her website

Panelist: Angelika Matson, WAVE Vice Chair

Angelika Matson

Angelika Matson is dedicated to building a more inclusive and connected Edmonton. In the past, she has worked with the LGBTQ2S+ community to protect their right to have gay-straight alliances in schools, sat on the Edmonton Youth Council, has helped to pilot the Abundant Community Edmonton initiative in high-density neighbourhoods, has worked with socially isolated seniors, and has been highly involved in Edmonton’s community league movement. She is also a mental health advocate, engaging on social media about ending mental health stigma. In 2017 she graduated from MacEwan University with a B.A. in Political Science. She currently does community development work with the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, helping immigrants and refugees use their assets to strengthen their communities.

Panelist: Angelica Hernandez, former WAVE Vice Chair

Angelica Hernandez

Angelica Hernandez emigrated from Mexico. She knows the challenges to reinventing oneself in a new country.  She is a business Analyst for the Edmonton Public School board and a former WAVE Vice chair. She is an advocate to help Edmonton be a better place for girls and women. As a community member, she believes it is everybody’s responsibility to keep Edmonton safe and free of inequality. She also believes that Leadership starts with participation so she had joined the efforts of various organizations to make Edmonton a better place for everyone such as Edmonton Mennonite Center, Edmonton Minor Soccer Association, Edmonton Public Schools foundation. Edmonton Latin Chamber of Commerce.


Celebrate International Women’s Day with this virtual event focused on Women’s Leadership. A collaboration between the City of Edmonton, Women’s Advocacy Voice of Edmonton (WAVE) and YWCA Edmonton, this evening conversation is an opportunity to learn more about the work WAVE has done in Edmonton and what they still hope to achieve. Be inspired to help change the future of women’s leadership as we work towards gender equity with diverse and inclusive representation for all.


International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. IWD is not country, group or organization specific.

This year’s IWD theme is Choose To Challenge. A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all #ChooseToChallenge for #IWD2021.