Women on their Way: Autumn Walkem

Over the years, Minerva BC has had the absolute privilege of working with some our province’s most inspiring and impactful values-based leaders. Some have been at the pinnacle of their careers while many others are just beginning or part way through their leadership journey.  We would like to introduce you to some of these leaders from the Minerva BC community, as we believe there’s much to learn from one another. 

We met Autumn Walkem this past May when she attended Minerva BC’s Learning to Lead weekend. Her magnetic warmth and thoughtful insights naturally made us think, “Wow, this girl is going places!”. Sure enough, Autumn took part in a unique program, Girls on Ice – Alaska, shortly after her weekend at Learning to Lead. We caught up with Autumn after her whirlwind trip across glacial plains.

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Name: Autumn Walkem

Program and Cohort: Learning to Lead 2017

What motivated you to join the Learning to Lead program?

With unrelenting curiosity, I wanted to know if I was a leader, and I felt that I would learn the answer at Learning to Lead.

What is one thing you learned from the program that influences you today?

There is so much from Learning to Lead that still influences me to this day! But, I think that being reconnected with my strengths has been the most notable. Having learned my true strengths and the importance of accommodating them in my everyday life, I continue to feel empowered.

What are your top three values?

Understanding, learning, empathy.

What advice would you share with other young women at the start of their leadership journey?

I feel I’m still at the start of mine! The most important thing, though, is to recognize that every obstacle teaches a lesson, and every lesson gives opportunity to better the future.

How do you practice self-care?

Writing gives me a voice when I feel unheard, and gives me time to reflect upon everything that’s going on in my life. Reading over my own writing, I can see how much I’ve grown and what I’ve overcome, as well as reconnecting myself with my primary goals. Because writing makes me feel stronger, I set aside time for it, and I consider it self-care.

What book/app/website or resource would you recommend to other young women?

Truly, Minerva BC. It has inspired me, empowered me, and involved me in a community that wants to change the world for the better. I want the same for all other young women.

How has participating in the program changed you as a leader?

I learned that I am a leader, that I can inspire people, and that I can achieve anything I dream. Learning to Lead shifted my perspective. Instead of simply seeing problems, I’m now seeking solutions, and I now know that I can ask for support.

What is one thing that others might be surprised to learn about you?

I don’t actually have a best friend, which taught me how to be my own.

How do you define success?

Many people consider their past and then feel disappointed or regretful– success is when you look at your past and you feel strong, proud, and inspired.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired when looking at all I’ve done and all I’ve yet to do, as well as when I remember that I was given my dreams to make them a reality.

If you could have coffee with anyone, who would it be and why?

I thought about how inspiring it would be to meet my ancestors, to meet great leaders and chiefs, historians, advocates, activists, advocates. But, then I realized how I’d love to have coffee with the girl I was when I was six years old. She’d be proud of me and quick to give me advice because she never doubted that she would change the world.

 

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