Two local Newton women consider how good advice, given and taken leads to successful pathways


March has been Women’s History Month. The entire month honoured women, and focused on their contributions to society and acknowledges the role of women throughout history.


Newton has been fortunate to have many powerful, insightful and entrepreneurial women in the community.


We asked two of them for their insight and asked them about the importance of good advice. 


Neelam Sahota is the Chief Executive Officer of DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society. This values-based registered charity serves newcomers and underrepresented communities with equitable access to resources while reducing systemic barriers to participation.


Neelam brings senior executive experience to her role that has spanned more than 20 years in the corporate, provincial government and non-profit sectors. Taking a disciplined approach to developing effective business strategies to maximize community impact has been the cornerstone of her career.


Neelam’s involvement in communities’ social and economic development is driven by a passion for creating collective impact through innovative economic business models such as social enterprises, reducing systemic barriers to participation for underserved individuals and values-based community partnerships.


We asked Neelam, “What’s the best advice you’ve used in your business, career, or life?”


She said, “Be focused in what you want, and know that sometimes along the way you may take one step forward and two steps back. You may fall or even fail, but that is part of the process. Success is achieved through iterations, and only you can define what success means for you. Own your own narrative and believe in yourself.”


Karen Sidhu is a senior development and community safety professional with over 35 years of experience spearheading projects within the private, public and not-for-profit sector. Her commitment to supporting youth is evident through the success of the community safety programs delivered by dedicated youth volunteers.


Karen was awarded the distinguished “Outstanding Canadian” award for 2021 (one of 15 recipients in Canada). She is the former Chair of the Board of Trustees with Surrey Libraries and the former chair with the Transit Police Chiefs Community Council. Karen was also awarded the BCLTA Trustee of the Year in 2019. She is a graduate from the University of British Columbia, Sauder School of Business in
Sales and Marketing Management, with a designation as a Certified Marketing Executive and studied Public Relations at the University of Victoria. Karen joined Surrey Crime Prevention Society as the Executive Director in 2012.


We asked Karen the best advice she used in her business career or life.

“The best advice I have used is – never give up! There is no such thing as a failure. I consider it a challenge to do better and try again. My motto – show up early, be confident, be open to accepting help and mentor others. Remember to support other women on their journey.” Karen said.


We celebrate the many women in our own lives who have provided us with positive role models to help us grow, belong, and make positive contributions to our society.




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