The Women of Plan Institute

Throughout the month of March, people from around the world come together to celebrate many important days – World Wildlife Day, World Down Syndrome Day, The First Day of Spring, St. Patrick’s Day, and even the International Day of Awesomeness (no, we didn’t know International Day of Awesomeness was a thing, but we will absolutely be recognizing it going forward). While there is no shortage of causes, movements and events to be recognized within this month, there is one day of celebration that resonates particularly strongly within the offices of Plan Institute – International Women’s Day.

At Plan Institute, 90% of our current staff members are women. Throughout the course of our 20-year existence, this percentage has fluctuated, however, the going trend seems to be that the Plan Institute staff often primarily consists of women.

The question is, how and why is this the case? What is it about this organization, or perhaps non-profit work in general, that seemingly appeals so strongly to women? For this month’s 20th Anniversary Blog Article, we thought we would reflect on this by asking our current staff members some prying questions as to what makes them tick, what it’s like to be a part of this team, and why they choose to work in the non-profit sector.


Caitlin Leckie, Administrator

Q: As a younger member of our staff, what drew you to the non-profit world?

Working for a non-profit, especially one like Plan Institute, has always been a life long dream of mine. I always thought that I would get a job with the government or health care and then spend my time volunteering for a non-profit, I never thought that I would have the opportunity to work for one. Having the opportunity to work with such an amazing team and be a part of many different learning and project initiatives makes each day feel very meaningful.


Kaitie Unwin, Manager of Communications and Marketing

Q: As the newest member of the Plan Institute team and the non-profit world, what were your first impressions?

I was immediately impressed by the attitude and work ethic of each and every member of the Plan Institute team. When every individual cares about the mission and vision of an organization to the extent that the Plan Institute team does, it fosters an extremely positive, productive and collaborative team environment. Needless to say, I feel very fortunate to be part of such an inspiring group of women and men who are striving to make an impact!


Bronwyn Kent, Manager of Communications and Marketing (on Maternity Leave)

Q: You have spent the majority of your career working for different non-profit organizations in Canada and Mexico – what drew you to this field and what do you love most about working for Plan Institute now?

The best part about working for a non-profit is being part of an organization that contributes to the community and helps to improve the lives of others. I’ve always enjoyed the culture of non-profits; they tend to be more tolerant, value-oriented, and welcoming environments that attract like-minded people who care about others and the world around them. Plan Institute is no exception. I really value the people who work here, the other non-profit organizations we work with, and the people we serve.


Melissa Lacelle, Projects Coordinator

Q: Can you recall a particularly impactful moment, while working with Plan Institute, that has exemplified why you choose work in the non-profit world?

From being a co-op student with the organization in 2017 through now being the Project Coordinator, I have been continually inspired and empowered by our team and our partners. The most impactful moments have been seemingly the smallest ones, where little steps are taken daily to ensure that everyone feels safe, cared for, and supported. The work that we’re a part of is so large-scale within our province and even across the world, yet that never overshadows the desire to build relationships and help people one-on-one. Non-profit work symbolizes some of my most prominent values, and it’s amazing to share those and everyone’s unique talents with everyone we interact with in or out of the office.


Carrie Wang, Accounting Administrator

Q: What’s your most cherished moment of working with the Plan Institute team?

There are so many cherished moments for me working with a group of people who are passionate, enthusiastic, collaborative, friendly, and caring. It is very hard for me to scale and rank all these moments. Therefore, I decided to pick the one came to my mind first, which was when the Plan Institute team attended DABC’s Fall Filing event. The event reminded me again how proud I felt as a Plan Institute team member, as I was able to observe how our organization coordinates, collaborates and cooperates with other non-profits to accomplish great things.


Tim Ames, Executive Director

Q: What is it like to work with a team where all of your colleagues are female?

I find working with a talented, passionate team of women inspiring and motivating. The team at Plan Institute all work so hard to collaborate with each other to ensure that we are all on the same page which, given the volume of projects, learning and admin to balance, is a critical requirement for success. The women at Plan Institute are change-makers and key contributors to moving the disability movement forward and I am proud to be able to work with them.

So, as March comes to a close and we move on to another month full of celebratory days and events, we’re thankful to have had an opportunity to reflect on what brings this powerful group of women together every day to collaborate on the important work we do.


For inquiries, or to connect with any member of the Plan Institute staff, check out our contact information here.

If you have any stories, photos or thoughts to share in celebration of our 20th Anniversary, please email Kaitie Unwin, Manager of Communications and Marketing at!