Written by Michaela Klassen, Marketing & Communications, International Women's Day Conference Last year, YWiB’s SFU chapter had the pleasure of hosting their first annual International Women’s Day conference. The sold-out event was a truly inspirational day, featuring amazing speakers, a great panel session and plenty of new connections and friendships. YWiB SFU will once again be hosting their signature event, but this year everything is bigger and better!
Following this year’s theme, “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures”, the event will be focused on making connections between people and experiences. While most of us are, in fact, “Young Women in Business,” the event is relevant to girls from any industry and faculty. Our keynote speakers will discuss challenges that all women face, such as over-coming adversity and achieving your dreams. The panel will discuss a variety of questions regarding the unique challenges women face in today’s world and ways to overcome them. This year’s event will also feature entertainment and an expo showcasing entrepreneurs, start-ups, and non-profit organizations dedicated to women’s rights and advancement.
One of the panelists, Detective Lisa Kofod of the VPD, expressed how excited she is to be involved with this event as she feels it’s important to fill in the information gaps for women working in a male dominated industry. How do we encourage women to find careers in roles that are often interpreted as unconventional? According to Lisa, it‘s all about knowledge. From her experiences, Lisa has observed that most often, women become interested in working for the VPD through their partners or spouses. “Women often accompany their partner to the application process or information sessions and find that the VPD has more to offer than what society assumes. By providing information sessions and getting involved with events like YWiB SFU's International Women's Day, we can provide women with the knowledge that is often missing regarding career possibilities in such a male-dominated industry as policing.”
For one of our keynote speakers, Anna Rice, the battle for women’s equality continues to be a top priority. As a member of the Canadian National Badminton Team, Anna has been an advocate for women's equality in badminton for all of her career. One of the main highlights comes from her fight for equal salaries amongst female and male badminton players; it isn't easy to represent yourself in a world of athleticism dominated by the male superiority. From the number of male athletes compared to females, to the average salaries between both genders, there are many inequalities that remain in the athletic world today. It used to be that the females would play shorter games than the male players, and that was the justification for the unequal salaries. However, when the rules changed and games became equal lengths, Anna took it upon herself to fight for equal wages.
Ultimately, this event will give students and professionals alike the opportunity to connect with other like-minded, motivated individuals who are interested in bettering the situation for women everywhere.
For more information about the International Women’s Day conference, check out www.ywib.ca/sfu/iwd/. Tickets are on sale now!! Be sure to follow @YWiBSFU and check out #IWDsfu on Twitter to join the conversation and for more conference updates!