5 Ways to Support Women in the Workforce
Posted by Joanne Pearce on
As the amazing Gloria Steinham once said: "“When unique voices are united in a common cause, they make history.”
Today is a very special day where unique voices will unite - it's International Women's Day. Today, on March 8th, women everywhere come together to celebrate, support, and recognize women and the achievements they've made, whether they be social, economic, cultural, and/or political. The theme this year? 'Embrace Equity'.
Empowering women, and providing them support and safety, is foundational to us at Covergalls and for getting equity. Our lives, and our futures, depend on supporting the strong individuals in our lives doing incredible things.
In honour of International Women's Day, we’ve put together a list of five ways to support women. For each item, we've named an event/organization/person we wish to celebrate this year:
1. Support and encourage women in their education and career goals
According to the United Nations, women today make up under a third of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). By 2050, they estimate that 75 percent of jobs will be related to STEM areas. Today, BuildForce Canada estimates that of the nearly 1.5 million people employed in the construction industry, women make up only 13 per cent. According to a 2021 McKinsey study, women represent an estimated 8 to 17 per cent of the global mining workforce.
Over the next decade more and more young people will be entering the workforce - in construction, mining, forestry, and many other global industrial and STEM areas. More efforts need to be taken to provide these young individuals with the skills, education, and support to pursue careers in the sectors they wish that have historically been male-dominated.
Today we celebrate: Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario.
Cambrian offers more than 20 trades and technology programs. Every year they also host Jill of All Trades, an initiative to encourage girls from Grades 7-12 to consider a career in the skilled trades. Right now the College also has exciting work planned with their upcoming Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) Lab.
2. Offer mentorship and advice if possible
By developing more inclusive and sustainable environments, we help create opportunities for future workers to thrive. Mentorships proactively create opportunities, experiences and boots-on-the-group mentorships and communities for women. With the right support we can help women qualify for advanced technical and leadership roles!
Today we celebrate: Women On Site.
@women.on.site was created by four women working in construction who realized that there is a need for a community outside of work. Check out our recent blog post on them to learn more about the monthly meetups across Ontario they are organizing. Today they are planning a DROP IN March 8th event.
3. Champion a women for a key role or new leadership role / responsibility work
Coworkers can be our most powerful allies. For example, when a woman is interrupted, you can interject and say you’d like to hear them finish what they were saying. Equal opportunities aren't enough, as sometimes people have different starting points. True inclusion, diversity and belonging requires equitable action.
Today we celebrate: Bethany Borody,
Vice President Sustainability at New Gold Inc. and Founder of Femina Collective
Beth Borody and The Femina Collective that she has created is an example of another organization that offers unique opportunities for women in the natural resource sector to come together, learn from, and support one another.
4. Show support by attending events and community gatherings
There will be many events today that you can attend! It might be overwhelming, but we encourage showing up or attending at least one event. They're designed to help excite and promote the work being done and network with women in your field.
Today we celebrate: Alicia and TSX/TSXV, who are hosting "The Power of One: Women in Mining" today, a fireside chat in celebration of International Women's Day. The chat will have Jamile Cruz (Rio Tinto), our CEO Alicia Woods (Covergalls Workwear), and Lana Eagle (Lana Eagle Consulting) as panelists. Conversations will surround allyship in the mining sector and will be moderated by Tanya Rowntree, Vice President, Global Head of Client Success, TSX.
Register for the event here: http://ms.spr.ly/60435q4Tz
5. Celebrate the accomplishments of women not just today but ALL YEAR
It's hard to pack everything we want to say, and share, into one day. But the good news is that while we celebrate International Women's Day every year on this day, it doesn't mean it's only today we can celebrate, champion, and support the women in our lives. There is so much amazing work being done by women worldwide!
Today we celebrate: Women In Mining (WIM) Canada
Since 2009 WIM Canada, a national not-for-profit organization, has helped work with and support women in mining and affiliated industries. Every year they release The Women In Mining Canada Trailblazer Awards Series, which recognizes women who "embody the trailblazing spirit, which refers to the leadership mindset needed to make extraordinary personal strides to navigate the Canadian mining industry." Check out the 2023 Trailblazer Award winners this year: https://wimcanada.org/2023-trailblazer-award-winners/
To everyone who follows us - Happy International Women's Day! We hope today inspires, and encourages you, as much as it does for us.