Andrea Swenton Interview

0:01 Ian: Hi, can you just state your name and who you’re with?

0:06 Andrea Swenton: I am Andrea Swenton. I am the executive director with the Hearing Foundation of Canada.

0:11 Ian: And what is it that the Hearing Foundation of Canada is?

0:16 Andrea Swenton: Well, we’re Canada’s only charity that’s focused on medical research, education and advocacy having to do with hearing loss.

0:24 Ian: And is there anything else about the charity that you want to say?

0:30 Andrea Swenton: Well, just that you know we fund research in to medical ahh, medical research for hearing loss one of the things people don’t know about that, is that there are cures for certain types of hearing loss that can be reversed and it’s an important issue and it’s some thing people aren’t aware of.

0:48 Ian: Okay, so when you say that you’re the only charity in Canada there really isn’t much you can say about how you outdo competitors?

1:01 Andrea Swenton: Well I think in the charitable sector, our competitors are all the charities out there. So you know, I would say, our competitors are other hearing related organizations but other health focused charities and just charities in general because there is a challenge; there’s a lot of charities; there’s over 180 thousand charities now in Canada. I know our competitors are all those other charities even if they are not directly doing the exact same type of work that we are doing because we’re all fighting for you know, donor dollars.

1:34 Ian: And as a woman in your position, what unique challenges you had to face?

1:40 Andrea Swenton: I think the challenge is for women in this sector there’s a lot of women gravitate to not-for-profit sector. There are a lot of women in this sector but as you know as in the private sector there’s not a lot of women in senior roles in not-for profit sector so very much here’s the private sector. The senior positions are filled by men even though most of your staff will probably be women. So that’s been my experience in organizations. It’s a challenge and difficult for women to reach those senior positions because there’s a few men who are in the sector tend to be in those positions.

2:17 IAN: Interesting. And how long have you been in your position?

2:23 Andrea Swenton: I have been with this organization about a year but I’ve been in the not-for-profit sector for 12 years.


2:23 Ian: So was it your decision to come to a business center like Telsec when you.?

2:39 Andrea Swenton: Well actually I, we’ve been (The Hearing Foundation of Canada) has been in this business center for last three years and I’ve only been with the organization for a year. So I moved in to this center but I have to say it’s really helpful for us. I really enjoy working in this centre. Having the reception…we have someone who answers our phone which is really important in the non-for-profit sector. People would want to talk to someone and I’ve had donors say to me, Oh my gosh I’m so happy someone answered the phone. I can’t believe it. You know, in this day and age that’s a differentiator to have someone answer the phone. We have a great kitchen and we have a camaraderie of other people. You know it’s really turnkey; we just really need our computers and files, desks, our phones, everything there it’s all in one bill. There’s lots of ease with respect to it and everybody here at Telsec are super friendly and helpful. And any issues that we have are fixed so quickly. So really it’s really a great relationship for us.

3:43 Ian: Thank you. Thank you for taking your time to speak to us.