In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting some of the impactful women that belong to Minerva. In this second feature, we interviewed our very own CEO, Tina Strehlke, to learn more about what motivates and inspires her. Experience her wisdom in the blog below!
As CEO of Minerva BC, Tina Strehlke leads a team of talented change-makers dedicated to advancing the leadership of women and girls. After many years of developing her expertise in leadership, career development, adult learning, HR, and communications, she joined Minerva BC in 2016, assuming the CEO position in 2018.
In her role, Tina is responsible for setting a vision and plan for how Minerva creates the impact it wants to have in the world and ensuring the tools are in place to enact change. She has always been committed to serving others, a value instilled by her mother.
“My mom was an internist in a small rural community. She was the best doctor I knew, held people accountable, worked hard and long hours, and did so much for her patients. She was the first person who influenced my thinking on a what it means to be a strong woman in a career and to be in service to people.”
Although a busy working woman, Tina’s mom always put her kids first. Back in the age of beepers, Tina recalls that her three sisters could always pick up the phone and dial their mom at the hospital. No matter what she was doing, she would step aside to talk — she was accessible and hands-on, qualities she emulates as a leader.
Tina describes her leadership style as ‘pretty informal’ and has strived to become more strategic, intentional, and direct.
“The biggest compliment I’ve received is that I trust people and give them autonomy – I value what they bring but also provide support. This year, I have strived to communicate with clarity. It’s important to provide both autonomy and clarity, so we can set goals and measure progress and change.”
As part of a greater mission to advance gender equity, Tina is motivated by Minerva’s work, but also by the people and communities she works with.
“Engaging with the team and the staff has been very rewarding. Especially this past year, seeing everyone’s willingness to show up, learn, grow, and work collaboratively towards solutions has been inspiring.”
A thought leader in the broader community, Tina is constantly collaborating with other organizations. She is always speaking, facilitating, and helping to amplify the missions of other women’s organizations across the province and beyond.
“It’s also meaningful to step into a role in an industry and sector where there is such strong collaboration – the women’s ecosystem in BC is very friendly, full of great partnerships, and has an overall collegial attitude towards other organizations. We support and value each other’s work rather than compete.”
Although the inequities unearthed by COVID-19 make the problem of inequality more obvious, the shortcomings of our society and systems more disheartening, and the need for values-based, inclusive leadership more urgent, Tina is optimistic about the future of work. By deconstructing the notion of work, Tina hopes that we will take the opportunities presented to us with better systems, technology, AI, and find the balance between what work should be and where it fits in our lives.
“Work has so much meaning, and its impact goes beyond the finances – it impacts self-worth, learning, and adds so much richness to life.”
Under Tina’s guidance, Minerva BC continues to find ways to allow our work to be probing, emergent, and community-building. It is our duty to push for human-rights and human-equality to be at the centre of our economic, social and political systems.
Thank you, Tina — for your vision, expertise, and leadership you bring to the Minerva team and the broader women’s ecosystem.