In the fall of 2017, a small group of volunteers got together and partnered with YWCA FOCUS@Work to put on free finance workshops for women in Vancouver, BC.

We are motivated by the fact that financial literacy is an area that many people would like to improve and a study by Statistics Canada carried out in 2014 showed that Canadian women have lower levels of financial literacy and less confidence in their ability to manage their finances than Canadian men.  Since we also believe that women would feel more comfortable talking about money in a group composed of other women, we decided to hold the workshops for women only.

Please keep in mind that the information offered in our workshops or other material is for educational purposes only and is not financial advice.



The workshops being offered for the June 2019 session are stand-alone seminars and do not have any prerequisites.  They will be held on Saturdays from 9:30 am to 12 noon.  Details for each workshop are provided below so you can select the one(s) that meet your needs.

Since space is limited, please do not sign up for a workshop unless you are sure that you can attend.  We do allow for a certain number of no-shows, but we want to fill as many seats as possible and there are usually a lot of names on our waiting list. 

For the first time, we will be providing childminding services in a room next door.  Please contact us at info@herdollarsandsense.ca if you would like to book these services so that we can plan accordingly.  

Please keep in mind that the workshops we offer are for educational purposes only and not intended to provide participants with personal financial advice.  Having said that, we welcome open discussions with questions and stories that broaden everyone’s educational experience.

June 8 – Buying a Home – Part II

This workshop is another set of modules on buying a home from Vancity’s Each One Teach One program. The June workshop looks at how you go about finding the right home and what help you can expect from the professionals.   Topics covered in this workshop include:

  • How to identify your current and future housing needs
  • Different types of home ownership
  • Advantages and risks of building your own home
  • How the home buying process works
  • How to decide which experts to bring onto your home buying team
  • Ballpark fees professionals will charge


Our presenters are part of a program called Each One, Teach One put on by Vancity which is dedicated to promoting financial literacy and independence.  Michele Quan is a Certified Financial Planner ands a Wealth Planner with Vancity Credit Union / Credential Asset Management Inc.  Elyn Zhang is an Account Manager at Vancity and has been working in the financial industry for 11 years. 

Register for this event at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/buying-a-home-part-ii-tickets-61675958452

June 15 – Financial Basics

This workshop for women is about sharing helpful financial practices. Attendees do not need any background in understanding finance. We explore important basics such as:

  • creating a budget
  • understanding the banking and credit systems
  • ideas on how to increase your savings
  • how to start investing


Mary Lou Miles is a partner at Genus Capital specializing in serving individuals and families by creating customized investment portfolios. She holds a BA in Economics, the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and the Trust and Estate Practitioners designation. Mary Lou is a past president of the Canadian Federation of University Women (Richmond), Past Chair of the Richmond Sunrise Rotary Club and Past Chair of the Estate Planning Council of Vancouver.

Register for this event at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/workshop-2-financial-basics-tickets-61676280415

June 22 – Retirement Planning

In this workshop for women, we discuss key retirement concepts including:

  • Knowing where you stand today
  • The importance of starting as early as possible
  • What is asset mix and why is it important
  • What are the different types of retirement plans

For the most part, the information is presented at a basic level but there is scope for in depth discussions on areas of interest to the participants.


JoAnne Mulligan is Vice President of Connor, Clark & Lunn Private Capital and has over 30 years of experience in the investment management industry.  She has a B.A. (Economics) from the UWO, a B. Comm from the University of Windsor and she also holds the Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Investment Manager designations.

Register for this event at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/workshop-3-retirement-planning-tickets-61676383724

June 29 – Investment Concepts for Beginners

This workshop is for women who would like to know about different ways to invest for the short-term and the long-term.  We cover basic terminology and concepts around investing such as:   

  • Characteristics of equity and debt securities
  • Registered savings plans and taxable investments
  • Active versus passive investing
  • Sample investment strategies for different timelines
  • How to find an investment advisor


Kathy Leavens is a CFA Charter holder and completed a M.B.A. and B.Sc. at UBC. She has over 30 years of experience in the investment industry. In 2014, she retired and is now involved in a number of volunteer projects related to the betterment of women and children in our community.

Register for this event at: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/workshop-4-investment-concepts-for-beginners-tickets-61676430865


We are constantly working to improve and expand our program and workshops.  Whether you have participated in a workshop already, or just interested in financial literacy for women, please feel free to complete our survey:


At the end of the survey, you have the option to also include contact details if you would like to find out about upcoming workshops.