A collective effort towards gender equality – three things you can do to make a difference
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrates creating a more gender equal world, one that is #EachforEqual. Women have made significant strides towards challenging stereotypes, fighting bias, broadening perceptions, improving situations and celebrating women’s achievements. While there is still more work to be done, International Women’s Day is a moment to stop and find joy in the exciting prospect that we are indeed heading towards balance and equality.
Sometimes the idea of creating and implementing tangible change can seem daunting. Here are three actionable things that you can do in 2020 that will make a difference at a micro and macro level:
#1 – Read the essay – “The Subjection of Women”
It was written in 1869 by John Stuart Mill – J.S.M. (English philosopher, political economist and civil servant), as a joint venture with his wife Harriet Taylor Mill. John believed everyone should have the right to vote and this was penned at a time where the social landscape was vastly different from where we are today (thank goodness). Though there are surprisingly still things that are happening now, a century and a half later, this essay reminds us that no matter how slow progress may seem, there is forward momentum. In addition, reading this showcases the fact that there are men out there, like J.S.M., who have been taking bold steps to support us in our civil rights movements throughout history.
#2 – Talk to your organizations’ Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) team
Many organizations today have a solid footing in supporting gender equality in the workplace through women’s groups, sponsored events, and more. Find out how you can get involved as a member, volunteer, or organizer and if there is no group in place then feel free to find a like-minded group of women and start one. If you do go down the path of starting one, we highly recommend modelling it after our Lean In Circles to get the ball rolling and work with your D&I and/or HR teams to understand what you can do. Find an executive sponsor or two (female or male) who are willing to lend some time, help provide mentorship/coaching, and promote your ideas and events at the C-Suite level. Simple steps can make big impacts.
#3 – Volunteer some of your time and give back to the community
The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has multiple opportunities for you to help women in our community in a multitude of ways, here are a few options:
Sistering – changing lives, one woman at a time. Sistering is a multi-service agency supporting women from across Toronto who experience first hand the impact of marginalization and poverty.
Dress for Success – Dress for Success Toronto® is part of a global movement for change. Their mission is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
Women’s College Hospital – Women’s College Hospital is a world leader in health for women, health equity and health system solutions. They advocate for health equity because they know that a healthy society requires a level playing field where everyone has access to timely, high quality, efficient and compassionate care.
IWD is a celebratory day and one to feel proud of so let’s all band together and reach to be #EachforEqual.
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