Allies and Modern Trades - March 11, 2020


March 11, 2020 | 9:00am to 12:00pm | City Hall | 511 Royal Avenue, New Westminster

The City of New Westminster is pleased to partner with the Department of National Defence to offer a professional development half day event in acknowledgement of International Women's Day. The event will take place from 9am to 12pm, and be available online to stream and interact, or you can attend in person. The day features a panel moderated by Captain Karyn Mazurek and includes: 

  • Prem Gill, CEO of Creative BC
  • Diana McDaniel, Acting Inspector of Special Projects New Westminster Police Department
  • Jamila Pomeroy, Writer, Journalist, Model, and Actor
  • Kathy Lambert, Red Seal Heavy Duty Mechanic, City of Vancouver
  • Jessi Dhanju, Human Rights Lawyer and Advisor to the BC Builders Code

One thing we hear loud and clear is that there are many events in support of women in STEAM, but the audience tends to be almost exclusively female-identifying and the presentations tend to “preach to the choir”. This event hopes to provide a place for a discussion about why women need allies in modern trades and hopes to make sure people realize they have the capacity to be allies regardless of their personal demographics. We encourage all people, regardless of gender, to attend and learn. 

Some of the topics we hope to explore:

  • What does being an ally mean?
  • How does gender inequality impact everyone? 
  • Why are allies important?
  • Where does intersectionality fit into this?
  • How can we equip allies?


The presentation and panel will be livestreamed using the City’s Granicus service, and have an interactive component using Slido. A link to both will be available closer to the date. To watch/listen and ask your questions as well as vote on the ones the moderator should ask the panel, please open two browser windows. One for the livestream, and another for Slido

if you'd like to come in person, the presentation will be in Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of City Hall (511 Royal Avenue). 

Info Tables: 

We welcome the following organizations who will be providing information in the foyer at City Hall: 

  1. Camp Ignite 
  2. Department of National Defence
  3. New Westminster Regiment 
  4. Work BC Centre New Westminster 
  5. Scotiabank Women’s Initiative
  6. City of New Westminster Human Resources
  7. Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC)


Prem Gill
CEO, Creative BC

Prem Gill is Chief Executive Officer of Creative BC. The organization is designated by the Province of British Columbia to focus on uniting, sustaining and growing British Columbia’s dynamic and diverse creative sector including motion picture, music and sound recording, interactive and digital media, and magazine and book publishing.

Prem has been named one of Canada's 100 most powerful women, Vancouver Magazine’s “Power 50” and received the Community Catalyst award from the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. She brings more than 20 years of experience from the digital media and entertainment industries to her current role as CEO, where she is responsible for delivering a wide range of programs and services that will expand BC’s creative economy to reach its economic and creative potential both at home and globally.

Before Creative BC, Prem spent eight years with TELUS, most recently in the role of Director of Production & Original Programming. Her commitment to the advancement of BC’s creative economy can be seen through her achievements there, including the successful development and launch of the StoryHive program and TELUS’s Optik TV community channel.

For many years, Prem has championed Canadian creativity as a representative and spokesperson to media, industry and government at all levels. Previous roles and responsibilities have included government and regulatory affairs, independent media consultation, cross-platform marketing, communications, research, public affairs and multicultural programming.

Prem is currently on the Board of Directors of The Bell Fund, a not-for-profit organization. The Bell Fund’s mission is to support Canadian Media content makers in creating for and connecting with, audiences here and everywhere.

Diana McDaniel
Acting Inspector of Special Projects, New Westminster Police Department

Before working as a crisis negotiator or undercover officer, Diana McDaniel was flying through the skies as a flight attendant. She perused post-secondary education in the hopes of one day teaching English, however everything changed when she moved to Vancouver and joined the New Westminster Police Department in 1997.

Policing was an attractive career because of the variety of work it offered. Diana loved the idea of a profession that truly helped people from all walks of life. She was attracted to a team environment, variety of shifts, security, wage, and opportunity for advancement.

Diana McDaniel began her career in patrol before moving to the Street Crime Unit. Within that unit, she took many courses. She became an undercover operator, and took drug investigator and major case management courses. Before she left on maternity leave, she was working murder files, traveling across the country interviewing witnesses, and was an investigator on significant collaborative police investigations in the lower mainland.

In the years following her return from maternity leave, she perused the role of crisis negotiator and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant overseeing Community Services. After overseeing outreach initiatives for several years she brought that knowledge and experience back to front line officers where she returned as a Staff Sergeant overseeing a team of frontline patrol officers.

Jamila Pomeroy
Writer, Journalist, Model, Actor

Jamila Pomeroy is an internationally-published journalist, storyteller, and Canada’s first Black
woman to own and found a print lifestyle magazine. Jamila pays homage to her Kenyan roots, adopting the multidisciplinary storytelling nature of her culture -- which encourages storytelling to be told from multiple avenues.
Outside of journalism, she exhibits multidisciplinary storytelling by working as a screenwriter/researcher in the film industry, commercial brand voice developer, and model/actor. Her first book Not Ur Honeybee, a book of short stories and poetry, is due May 2020.
Prior to her work as a writer, Jamila worked in the culinary industry as a plant-based cook and specialized pastry chef: she graduated from the Arts Institute of Vancouver with a BPA1 in the culinary department, while studying business and food anthropology.
Jamila is also currently working on her second book, If Food Could Speak Before It Was Eaten (2021); where she aims to merge journalism and food, by highlighting global issues of food security and our cultural relationship with food, all served alongside delicious recipes. Regardless of what medium she works in, Jamila aims to help empower and generate positive change through storytelling.

Kathy Lambert
red seal Heavy Duty Mechanic, City of Vancouver

Kathy is a Red Seal Heavy Duty Mechanic and a regional representative for BC Centre for Women In The Trades (BCCWITT) and Industry Training Authority (ITA). She was introduced to trades through a Trades exploration program, and she fell in love with Heavy Duty Mechanics. After working in Smithers, BC for a road maintenance company for 2 years, and for a rental company here in Lower Mainland, she found her ‘forever’ job at the City of Vancouver. She is a wonderful mentor and an advocate for women in under-represented trades.

Jessi Dhanju
Human Rights Lawyer, Advisor to the BC Builders Code

Jessi is a Human Rights Lawyer with a passion for making shift happen. Continuing to be the change that he wants to see in the world, Jessi utilizes his professional and personal experience to lead and support individual, organizational, and systemic change in complex environments.

Jessi has expertise in the fields of Higher Education, Law and the Construction & Trades industry. Most recently, he was the first advisor on the BC Builders Code, an initiative launched by the BC Construction Association aimed at implementing culture change in the Construction & Trades sector in British Columbia.

Jessi is fluent in 3 languages, has resided in 4 countries and traveled to over 35. This continuous exposure to different cultures and values has allowed him to hone his skills and challenge the status quo both domestically, and internationally.

He holds his Masters of Law degree with a research focus on Alternative Dispute Resolution, and he is a Qualified Arbitrator. He is a proud Edmontonian at heart, and currently resides in beautiful Victoria.



Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Captain Karyn Mazurek joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in the spring of 1999. She began her 21 year career as a Naval Combat Information Operator with the Naval Reserve Division there. Once trained and able, though, Karyn took quick advantage of the opportunity to move out to the “best” coast and leave the frigid winter temperatures behind.

In Victoria, over the next 15 years or so, Karyn excelled in her trade and moved up the enlisted ranks from Ordinary Seaman to Petty Officer First Class (PO1). Serving on the Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel fleet, she sailed all along the west coast of North America, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, to Hawaii and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico as well as exploring the more remote areas of beautiful BC.

Once at the rank of PO1, Karyn was given the opportunity to join a ship’s Command Team in the role of Coxswain, the ship’s senior administrator, disciplinarian, as well as most senior enlisted member of the ship’s company and advisor to the ship’s Captain. In this new role, her keen sense of responsibility, dedication and attention to detail were put to regular use. But in 2013, as luck would have it, her time as Coxswain would come to an early end; her long awaited transfer to the Regular Force had finally come through.

So, in the fall of 2013, PO1 Karyn Mazurek, a Non-Commissioned Member with the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve, became Second Lieutenant Karyn Mazurek, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s newest Public Affairs Officer (PAO). With this new trade, a return to winter was on the horizon; destination Ontario.

From 2015 to 2019, now Captain Karyn Mazurek worked with the Royal Canadian Air Force as the Wing PAO at 8 Wing Trenton, the air mobility hub of the CAF, as well as with the Canadian Army as both the PAO with 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group and 4 Canadian Division Support Group in Petawawa. She lost many ‘a-good snow shovel, and one or two snow blowers, during those years…

In 2018, Captain Mazurek ventured forth on deployment as the Task Force PAO to Ukraine as part of Operation UNIFIER, Canada’s mission to support the Security Forces of Ukraine.

In the summer of 2019, after her return from Ukraine, Captain Mazurek joyfully returned to BC to work with Vancouver’s Stakeholder Engagement Office, to enjoy limited sunshine and much less snow with her wonderful husband and three fur-babies.


  • Environmental Focus
  • Digital Engagement