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We need to understand that representation matters, and girls of any shape, size, and personality can be successful in STEM fields.
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Growing up, I was a precarious, hourly paid shift worker. Many times in my early-to-mid 20s, I was faced with too much month at the end of the money. The gig economy model of work did not yet exist, and with rigid shift scheduling and strict employment processes, I had to rely on loans to make ends meet. Since then, my belief has not changed: This is not the way new entrants to the labour market should start their careers.
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Today's business landscape is constantly evolving. Despite this rapid evolution, however, it can still sometimes feel as though the changes we desire are not happening fast enough. These feelings are especially true when considering topics like career progression and, most recently, women's leadership.
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My bookshelves were heaving with the weight of a ton of new business books on operations, marketing, hiring, and relationship management. When I wasn't teaching or taking care of my mom I was preparing the business and hiring documents and researching ways to automate the scheduling, reporting, and invoicing. Preparing for day-to-day operations will keep a business running, but to prepare it for liftoff, long term planning is key.
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We live in a world of increasing tension and polarization. Everything in our lives is compared and labelled; good or bad, happy or sad, beautiful or ugly, rich or poor. Unfortunately, categorization encourages the belief that if one side is right then the other is wrong.
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But the mayor says she's "staying put."
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We live each day according to our stories about who we are, what we do, the people we support and where we spend our money. It is natural that we see and believe information that supports our beliefs and ignore that which does not. Unfortunately, once our stories are established we hunker down and close ourselves off from any other possibilities.
A large part of wellness is equality. When an organization develops feelings of pride, trustworthiness and respect, as well as welcoming ideas and building good fellowship, it will encourage women to move past the glass ceiling and create a foundation that can reduce stress and mental-health issues in the workplace.
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I'm often asked what we can do to reach true equality - a world where women and men were equally represented in everything from government to business. If I had to pick one single thing we could address, I'd say confidence. Simply put - men have it. Too often, women don't. On this International Women's Day it's important to celebrate and recognize successful women. Young women, girls need to see others succeeding in fields that traditionally have been dominated by men. It's important for young women to see other women in politics and government.
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International Women's Day provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the achievements and contributions of women and how they continue to shape the future of women in leadership. There are two key areas that stand out in my mind that are crucial to moving the needle for women in leadership in the future.
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On International Women's Day, when countless statistics will be cited and discussed to highlight how far we've come towards gender equality, there's one number that keeps me awake at night. Twenty-one. Despite our best efforts as an incubator for tech startups in Canada, only 21 per cent of our founders are women.
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Current gender theory has shaped two distinct types of leaders. On one hand are women leaders who are expected to be collaborative, empathetic relationship builders, and on the other men who are expected to be assertive, action-oriented and focused on the bottom line.
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Magnetism is not reserved for stars of the silver screen alone. It can be found amongst the people that we live and work with as well. So, what are some of the traits of those with presence? And what is that 'it' characteristic that makes people stand out in a crowded room?
I know I'm stating the obvious to my fellow Canucks, but there are a few tried-and-true Canadianisms that have served me well, both professionally and personally (and perhaps that Internet troll of a U.S. president-elect might consider trying them).