happy #IWD!

Today is International Women’s Day.  When I started thinking about this post, I knew that whatever we wrote had to be crazy profound, informative, celebratory, and engaging.  So I did what every curious, thirsty-for-knowledge YWiB-er would do: I went to Google.  And it actually turned out to be a great place to start, since whenever I search for something on Google I’m reminded of the power and impact of women today, and I’m always, always amazed.  Know why?  Because that blessedly simple homepage, those fun-tastic Google Doodle logos, that perfect list of links I get after hitting enter – and my Gmail account, for goodness sake – those elements are the work of Marissa Mayer, a personal hero of mine and Google’s former vice president, search and user experience.  Mayer is now the search giant’s vice president, location and local services (that’s Google Maps and Google Earth to us common-folk).  She’s a cupcake-loving, thirtysomething fashionista who has a Masters in Computer Science from Stanford and was Google’s first female engineer.  Happy International Women’s Day, indeed. Anyways, back to my Google search (thanks, Marissa!).  International Women’s Day is more than a century old, having begun in 1909.  It honours the achievements women have made on a political, economic and social scale all over the world.

What’s happening on this day of celebration?

YWiB is proud to be a part of such a great international community.  We’ve got a rich history, and we’re only just starting out!  Here are some highlights of our contributions to the young women in our own backyard:

  • Beyond Pink is a unique, high-impact, two-day conference aimed at providing real world skills that are applicable to girls from all walks of life.  What started in 2009 became YWiB’s signature event, bringing delegates mentor dinners, insightful workshops, the Entre-Carnival tradeshow, inspirational keynote speakers and panels, and a conference experience like no other.  Watch for Beyond Pink 2012 – it’s back and it’s going to be better than ever!
  • Miss Representation Screening and Panel
    • Miss Representation is the documentary film that’s taken the world by storm, exploring women's under-representation in positions of power and influence in America and challenges the limited portrayal of women in mainstream media.  YWiB, of course, got our hands on it and in partnership with the YWCA Metro Vancouver, Networking in Vancouver, PeaceGeeks, and Vancouver's Women Business Networks, held not one but TWO screenings of the film as well as a panel discussion with some of the city’s biggest names in PR and media,
    • For #IWD, Miss Rep & Lovesocial have partnered to create this great video, check it out!
  • Cross-Generational Salons
    • We bridge that gap they call generational by bringing an accomplished group of Vancouver’s women leaders together with the next crop of girls who want to follow in their footsteps for questions, answers and everything in between.  The next cross-generational salon is coming up soon – you’ll find the details here so keep watching this space!

Of course, we at YWiB wouldn't be where we are today without the amazing women who have paved the way for us and helped us along in this incredible movement.  We’re so lucky to have such wonderful members, advisors, partners, and supporters – THANK YOU!  Our mission is to connect young women with the skills and support to achieve success on their own terms and to become engaged members within their communities.  We can do this because of the women who have set the stage before us in years past, and we hope to equip all of YOU with the tools to do the same for the future.

Happy International Women’s Day!

 I love quotes. I’ve collected quotes since the beginning of Google.  There was one that really stuck with me that was on the cover of the Stanford admissions letter the year that I got in: ‘The world is before you, and you need not take or leave it as it was when you came in.’” – Marissa Mayer