The Bridge to Gender Equality Project is pleased to introduce you to Shaun Bosch (He/Him), Sr. Program Manager with the School of Continuing Education at MacEwan University and who is is one of our Advisory Committee Members.
What are you most passionate about?
My passions have always been ignited when given the opportunity to be creative. I believe far too many people discount their own capacity for creative thinking and problem solving. I have always identified as an artist and felt most at home around musicians, creatives, thinkers and storytellers, and what I’ve come to realize in occupying these spaces is the importance of foregrounding our connectedness and seeking balance in everything we do. Creativity isn’t genetic or an innate skill; it’s about increasing your ability to find new pathways and connections which is a constant process of unlearning and learning. Balancing a thirst for knowledge with a healthy dose of questioning and discarding habits, assumptions and previously held beliefs provides a framework for continuous improvement and the space for creativity to thrive. Having been working in the continuing education space for 13+ years now, my passion for helping others grow and realize their capacity for change has led me into EDI and leadership work, which has been my focus in recent years. More than ever, our society needs courageous and compassionate leadership devoted to building equity and belonging.
That and sneakers. Nothing feels better than stepping into a new pair of Air Max 90’s!
Who is your greatest role model?
The people that have had the most impact in my life are my parents, wife and son.
I am grateful for the values my parents modelled for me growing up. I was a challenging kid, but their support and compassion were endless. They modelled the importance of serving others, empathy and self-sacrifice. They taught me the value of hard work and dedication. They provided me with the space to navigate failure and let me forge my own pathway.
My wife and our son are an endless source of inspiration for me. I’m inspired everyday by the unwavering optimism my wife approaches life with. And seeing the way our son has navigated through his junior high years with kindness and optimism despite all of the pressure, disruption, uncertainty and challenges that continue to persist through this pandemic is absolutely incredible. I’m so lucky to have the love and trust of these people.
What is your greatest accomplishment in your career trajectory?
I began working in the continuing education space in 2009, but when I made the move to the School of Continuing Education at MacEwan University in 2018, I really felt like I found a home. I’ve had the opportunity to work with and learn from some absolutely incredible humans that have challenged and inspired me to be a better version of myself. One of the initiatives I’ve been most proud of being part of is the SCE EDI Committee which has been going strong for 2 years. Having that space for folks to connect, discuss and share thoughts on difficult topics has brought our team much closer and really helped build a culture of belonging.
What advice would you give to new or emerging leaders who are building their careers?
Decenter yourself from the equation. If you find that you’re asking yourself ‘Why do I want to be a leader?’ or ‘What’s in it for me?’, my suggestion would be to reframe the question to ask yourself ‘Where can I be of service to others?’ and let that guide you into leadership opportunities.
Start with purpose. Spend time reflecting on the ‘whys’ of your business/project/work. Engage with your team in frequent discussions about the larger picture and impacts of your work. What are the ripples of the work you do?
Lead with humility and gratitude. Successful teams are candid about their own strengths/limitations and embrace a culture of collaboration towards purpose-driven goals. Bringing this approach gives space for the strength of diversity within your team to emerge organically.
Prioritize psychological safety. The myth that pressure drives performance is one that continues to persist despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. The truth is, people are exponentially more productive in the long term when they feel supported, psychologically safe, trusted and valued.
Model behaviour. Be who you say you are.
Be generous with your trust and support.
Always be learning. Adopting a growth mindset is an effective way to reframe challenges as opportunities.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for the next generation?
The biggest misstep of my generation is the degree to which we bought into and celebrated a culture of individualism and narcissism. Reclaiming our collective agency to create change and make hope practical is the biggest challenge that lies ahead, and I believe education is the most critical lever for this change to occur. Structural inequity is reaching catastrophic levels; we need to create the conditions today for informed and critical citizens to emerge with creative alternatives to the unsustainable greed/power fueled political, economic and social systems our civilization is currently captive to. Exploration and presentation of practical alternatives to these monolithic systems are going to require a lot of creativity, collaboration and courageous leadership, but I’m confident and optimistic in our ability to do so as I happen to believe that a future that includes humans living in harmony with the planet and each other is something that’s still possible, worth investing in, and worthy of our collective creativity.
About Shaun Bosch (He/Him)
Shaun Bosch is a continuing education professional with 13 years of experience delivering high quality professional and personal development programming. His passion for adult learning is guided by his belief in the transformative power of education and the importance of truth, compassion, integrity and humility. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alberta, sits on the MacEwan School of Continuing Education EDI committee, is a member of the MacEwan Sexual Violence Support Group and is a CAUCE (Canadian Association for University Continuing Education) member and past presenter with stops along the way as a collegiate athlete, slam dunk champion, artist, musician, songwriter, basketball coach and sneakerhead.
To learn more about the Bridge to Gender Equality Project, go HERE.