Barinder Rasode a speaker at TEDxGastownWomen

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by Sheila Reynolds

The theme is simple: Power.

And this year's TEDxGastownWomen event is charged up with some strong female speakers.

One of those is SheTalks' own Barinder Rasode. Her talk, titled Smashing the Double Glass Ceiling, delves into her experiences as a South Asian woman and the gender- and race-based barriers she has faced.

Many of those challenges were highlighted for her when she jeopardized her relatively secure city council seat and ran for mayor in Surrey in 2014. It quickly became apparent that the fact she was a strong, contemporary South Asian female would put her in an awkward position in the community.

While many South Asian men would be willing to listen to her, it would often be without the women present. Some South Asian men don't include women in the decision making process and there are not the same opportunities to engage women. The fact she was a divorced mom-of-three was sometimes the proverbial nail in the coffin.

Though her mayoral run was unsuccessful, Rasode, who co-founded SheTalks, doesn't regret taking the risk. It's what leadership is all about, she says.

TEDxGastownWomen takes place Oct. 29 in Vancouver. This is the second year for the Lower Mainland event (last year's – with a theme of Fearless – was the first TEDxWomen event to take place in Vancouver). The day is meant to celebrate the power of women and girls to be creators and change-makers. The goal of this year's event is to provide a venue for people to connect, express unique points of view and spark meaningful conversations about what power really means.

Rasode is included among a lineup of a dozen diverse speakers, including lawyer, writer, thought-leader and social activist Reut Amit and her talk He Never Hit Me; award-winning entrepreneur and author Vicki McLeod and her talk Childless by Choice, A Powerful Act of Fulfillment; and storyteller Emelia Symington Fedy, who continues to share the mess of her own life in The Power of The Ugly Truth in the hopes others are inspired to do the same.

The event will also feature a selection of simulcast segments of the TedWomen event taking place the same day in San Francisco.

TEDxGastownWomen takes place at The Imperial (319 Main St.). For more information, check www.tedxgastownwomen.com or email tedxgastownwomen@gmail.com. Though general admission is sold out, more tickets will be available as the event approaches (check here).

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