As we celebrate International Women's Day, I want to write about the impact my mother had on me. Like millions of women around the world, my mother worked incredibly hard when I was young. Her main motivation was ensuring my brother and I had opportunities.
While we have a lot to celebrate today, we also have a lot more to achieve -- as reported by the World Health Organization, approximately 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth every day; others face crushing domestic violence or cultural norms that inhibit them from achieving an education or working. I am so grateful to live in British Columbia where my mother was free to chase and conquer her dreams.
My work ethic came from seeing my mother build her own Tupperware business and then put herself through university. I am also regularly impressed by how much she gives of herself to others. Because of her influence, I have been able to look beyond myself and towards the needs of others. My mother, Tami Deutschmann, is an entrepreneur who started her own business when I was two years old. She has supported me since I was a child, transferring her message of empowerment to me. I am now putting myself through college and paying for it by running my own small Tupperware enterprise.
Dozens of reports prove creating opportunities for women is a key to community health and in some cases drastically increases GDP. According to the Third Billion Index if women earned the same wages as men in Egypt the country's GDP would soar by 34 per cent. Yet, in so many places women remain to be held back -- in spite of it making good business sense. In Spain the number of women who opened their own businesses during the recession nearly doubled.
When companies integrate a business model that helps women learn basic entrepreneurial skills and then provides the support for them to achieve their dreams, like Tupperware has, women like my mother succeed. Happy International Women's Day, mom.