By Yasmin Ranade
International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8th each year around the world to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. What’s more, 2011 celebrates the 100th year of International Women’s Day.
This year’s theme, as led by the United Nations, is : Equal access to education, training and science and technology pathway to decent work for women.
This is truly a valuable and transformational theme to focus on right now for women. Decent work for women is where, for many, equality movements have begun. And, personally, I have found that when educational opportunities – educational counselling, formal training, informal training, internships, mentorship, etc. – exist for women, they soar to success.
This is why I am a member of Wired Woman Society a Canadian, not-for-profit organization aimed at creating a collegially networked environment that encourages women to explore career opportunities in technology, science and new media. In complete harmony with this year’s IWD theme, Wired Woman organizes a wide range of networking and educational events to help women build successful careers and become a driving force in these expanding sectors.
It’s incredibly fulfilling to me over the years to see how providing access to support and information from more experienced women can be used to advance someone’s career and, in fact, their life.
Wired Woman Toronto is currently carrying out an innovative mentorship program in partnership with Community Microskills Development Centre. Wired Woman members provide career guidance to immigrant women who are new to Canada and women who are in transition to careers related to IT. The mentorship program, of course, relies on volunteers, and I am so pleased to say that The Toronto Chapter has received help from executives, consultants, business owners, engineers, writers, designers – the full gamut of the tech profession across all industries. I am enormously grateful to all of them.
Whether’s it’s been editing a resume, creating an action plan for career advancement or providing a mock HR interview opportunity, these simple exchanges of experience and feedback from a mentor have provided mentees with ideas and information that they have successfully used to progress in their careers. Access to education, training and science and technology IS a critical pathway to decent (and rewarding) work for women.
I salute Wired Woman Society members who have come forward to help women in their communities to evolve into even more successful professionals and human beings. In fact, I salute organizations like Bell Canada, BNY Trust Company of Canada, CIBC , Fabulous PR, George Brown College, Hydro One Networks Inc, Islamic Relief Canada, IQ Partners, Loblaw Ltd , McCain Foods, MMB Research, Nestle Canada, OnX Enterprise Solutions, Provincial Health Services Authority, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), SRED Unlimited, Telus , Tundra Technical Solutions, U2R1 Media Inc, Webfeat, Xenex Enterprises Inc., and York University who are consistently giving successful women in their organizations the opportunities and platform to support other women in their careers. Hats off to you!
And, I’m sure that organizations like these, as well as others across Canada, will mark IWD on March 8th; perhaps with their own IWD events or acknowledgement of the achievements of their own rising stars.
So, think globally and act locally to mark the achievements of all women around you!
Here are some websites you can visit to learn more about IWD and IWD events taking place throughout Canada:
- International Women’s Day 2011
- International Women’s Day 2011: Canadian Events – hundreds of events in this country.
- Women’s Watch (U.N.) – information on gender-equality and the empowerment of women
Other posts by Yasmin Ranade