People of Georgian: Director’s international travel inspires ‘global mindset’
March 26, 2021

What’s your story?

The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.

People of Georgian: Meet Sara Bentham

Georgian used to have off-shore campuses in China and the Middle East and other places.

When I first started working at Georgian with the International department, I actually lived and worked at the campus in Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province, China.

I also lived and worked at the campus in Manama, Bahrain.

A person stands outside and leans against a tree in a snowy forest and smiles at the camera.

I had a huge opportunity to really get a global mindset through the opportunities I had as a young professional at Georgian.

Living abroad is something critical that Canadians should do.

I know it’s not feasible or accessible for everyone, but I think it gives us a really good perspective about what it’s like to come to a country where you don’t speak the language, and you have to learn some real skills around agility and open mindedness and acceptance.

I think it helps make it even easier to welcome folks here to Canada. When I see the international students, I’m just so overwhelmed by how brave they are and how they’re out there just making things happen and succeeding.

Sometimes they experience challenging situations in the early days of life in Canada, but they get back up and dust themselves off.

Georgian provides a perfect place for folks to be resilient and really grow and be included.

Two people stand together and smile at the camera.
Sara, left, with Dr. Mira Ray, Director of Research and Innovation at Georgian.

Finding ways to support women in business

The reason that I came to Georgian is because my mom was here.

My mom, Melinda Williams, worked at Georgian for 20 years, so there’s sort of a legacy there. It’s a fortunate place for me to be.

Georgian has so many women in leadership roles, and we have a responsibility to hold the door open for others.

Georgian has so many women in leadership roles, and we have a responsibility to hold the door open for others.

Sara Bentham, Director, Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre

In 2019 we launched an initiative called XcelerateHER, a community connecting women entrepreneurs to events, peer groups, mentorship, funding and support.

At Georgian’s Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre, we help students, faculty, staff and the community with access to supports in business and mentorship. We also seek to remedy gaps in supports and the unique needs of entrepreneurs.

We identified gaps for women in business, such as access to other women in roles they aspire to be in.

XcelerateHER brings those folks together so we create a circular opportunity to connect and share stories and network and lift each other up.

With XcelerateHER and other initiatives, we can help businesses grow successfully with diversity and sustainability in mind.

Sara Bentham, Director of Georgian’s Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre.

Want to share your story? Please contact [email protected].
To read previous People of Georgian stories, please visit our websiteInstagram or Facebook.