This is the inspiration you need for the new year.
95% of Canadian companies are run by men.
As a black female robotics researcher, I know that I am different than most of my colleagues. I joined a robotics class in elementary school and the world of technology opened up for me. After making my first project, I saw myself as a super heroine -- I had discovered my superpower -- and felt that I was beginning to acquire the tools and skills to broaden my horizons and change my life's path.
The most important message I could share from my experience growing up and coming over to Canada is that being a refugee doesn't last a lifetime. It's an experience that lasts but a few short years and opens the door to a life full of opportunities to learn, grow and succeed.
Within the past decade, awareness of the business world towards the need to empower women in the economy and workplace increased steadily. This awareness was surely inflamed by the alarming statistics on the gender gap within the economic realm.
I believe that EVERY father has a vital responsibility to ensure that, from their very earliest years, his daughters believe that they can succeed in whatever they want to do in life. And that they, too, have the same rights and privileges and opportunities as their brothers.
I know many of you are as appalled as I am about the news stories highlighting negligent home daycares. It is common that in Canada the reaction is to crack down on that which is deemed "uncontrolled" and to pass legislation which will hopefully protect our young. That said, I believe it is time to fill your news feeds with another perspective: that of a responsible caregiver.
Clearly, I'm not the only woman in the world concerned about maintaining her looks. There's a whole industry dedicated to just that. And yet, there seems to be a burgeoning negative narrative when it comes to women and beauty.
For better or for worse, my mom decided that being herself was more important than fitting in, even if that might have been easier. She has shown me the joy of being unashamedly yourself at any age, with no apologies. Perfection is not her goal, nor does she want or need it to be. She is, at nearly 80 years of age, truly herself.
On this International Women's Day, I am thankful for the United Nations and its important work around the globe. The United Nations, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, touches the lives of every woman -- and in every aspect of her life.