Close to 50 women joined at the Boissevain Sawmill for the second 'Women in Business' gathering, with Head of Council, Mayor Judy Swanson sharing her journey as the evening's guest speaker.

"Just to have women from all types of businesses in the room together talking about how they're making out, and just connecting, is really good," shares Swanson.

Confidence in Leadership was the theme for Swanson's presentation.  "It doesn't come over night," she says.  "You have to work at it.  It's things like public speaking, and all kinds of things that you need to be confident to do if you're going to be an effective leader."

"It's really important to get some help or get some training, or whatever you need in your business ... what's stopping you from making it really successful.  Figure out what it is and find the people - probably in that room is probably someone who can help you - and ask them and see if we can work together."

Swanson says the group includes business owners, but more specifically speaks to women who are dealing in business. "A lot of them are business owners, but quite a few of them are working in the offices, or they are 'in business' of some sort with someone else.  It's just women in positions in a company."

The Boissvain-area 'Women in Business' group is hoping to meet either every month, or every other month on a regular basis.  With this strong representation from across the local business sector, there is no doubt the interest and the number of participants will grow to include more women, as well as potentially a larger area of the Turtle Mountains.

Judy Swanson says expanding this concept of presenting to [all] fellow business owners and managers is something that could benefit the entire business community.  "I think that we're missing out on the strengths of our business owners.  They are amazing!  ... They are really, really nimble and we can learn a lot from each other, and this is a forum that will let that happen."

The coming together of women leaders in the community celebrates camaraderie and mentorship across the business sector, but also in the different stages of life; from being a full-time working mom with a young family, to being a business-owner of balancing not only the books but business, staffing and family all at once ... to looking back over 30+ years in the work force.  Each one is juggling many things all at once, and each journey is unique.

"Boissevain has a wonderful group of strong women and when you get them all into a room together, it's really quite amazing and their stories are all different and they all have different strengths," Swanson adds. "I think women, and people in general, need to connect and not being able to connect over the past number of years, perhaps now is the right time."

Please listen to more of the interview with Mayor Judy Swanson below: