Women’s poverty

New Inspiration for a New Year

Darlene smilingPsst! It’s contagious! And we’re not talking about this season’s strain of the flu.

We’re talking about inspiration, which we can all do our part to spread by sharing positive stories, ideas or experiences that might help others in their own lives.

Inspiration is just what we need at this time of year, when we’re envisioning fresh starts, new challenges, and resolutions (that we’ll actually stick to!). So today, we’re sharing two stories that inspired us in the past year and asking you to share what, or who, motivates you!

4 Tips For Self-Care

Women sitting in cafeDid you come back from the holidays feeling like it wasn’t exactly a holiday?

Are you back at work, staring blankly at a mountain of emails in your inbox, realizing that you never actually had time to put your feet up amid the whirlwind of travel plans, family gatherings, and last-minute-gift dashes?

If your own needs tend to fall off of your to-do list, now is a great time to think about self-care. And it’s not about spending hundreds of dollars at a spa or committing to daily meditation—it’s just about setting aside pockets of time for activities that help you unwind and reset.

Negotiation Skills: What You Need to Succeed

Women in office meetingRegardless of what’s going on in your personal life or what career path you have chosen, there is one skill that all people need to master: negotiating. Skilled negotiators are able to collaboratively solve problems and move ahead in their careers, so why aren’t women engaging in more negotiations? Fear.

According to Salary.com, 55% of women are nervous about entering negotiations, compared to only 39% of men. Women who choose to negotiate are often viewed as difficult to work with, or less feminine than other women who chose to accept what was given to them without making a fuss. Other research has shown that women are viewed this way regardless of whether they entered the negotiation with a smile or aggressive attitude.

You Cannot Reduce Poverty if Women Can’t Work

Jahangir SultanaThis post was originally published on the Coady International Institute’s blog.

Sultana Jahangir has seen too many educated women lose their dreams. It’s why the Bangladeshi-born founder of the South Asian Women’s Rights Organization (SAWRO) in Toronto is laser-focused when persuading politicians and bureaucrats to do the right thing.

“Two out of three women who use our services have a master's degree, but have trouble finding work,” she says.

5 Ways to Lead for Change

Woman smilingWhen you think of leaders you admire, what are their qualities? Perhaps they fearlessly speak their minds, or inspire others by setting a powerful example.

The good news is that you can develop these skills on your own. And there’s no need to wait for a promotion at work to get started. Getting involved social change is a fantastic way to practice leadership skills.

How? When it comes to gender equality, we have a few ideas for how you can lead for change:

Introducing our new President and CEO! A Q&A with Paulette Senior

Paulette SeniorAs a young newcomer to Canada, Paulette Senior wouldn’t have envisioned herself where she is today—stepping into the role of President and CEO at the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

She was 11 when she moved from her grandmother’s home in Jamaica to join her family in Canada, and struggled with culture shock and a new school. “The school system didn’t really value me and didn’t really see me as bright and capable; in fact, it told me the opposite.”

One of Paulette’s teachers decided she didn’t belong in her grade level, so she was streamed into “an incredibly basic form of education”. But when a different teacher later recognized she didn’t belong there, she got the chance to re-join the regular stream.

Elizabeth’s Story: Being Mentally Healthy

Elizabeth standing in theatreAfter taking a self-employment program, Elizabeth Anderson is turning her passion for public speaking and writing into a business that helps people flourish in spite of mental illness. As told to Jessica Howard.

In 1995, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In the years before that, I struggled with paranoia and depression, as well as taking care of myself on a daily basis. I had also left university because I couldn’t keep up with my classes. By the time I was diagnosed, I didn’t know that I would ever recover.

How much will the new school year cost your family?

Mother and childFor some low-income families, sending kids back to school can break the bank.

Right now, school hallways are probably the cleanest they’ll be all year, but soon the floors will soon be scuffed by the soles of new running shoes and littered with discarded lunches.

Between new books, knapsacks and after-school care, heading back to school is expensive. For single women who are raising children, the cost of a new school year can hit especially hard. About 1 in 5 single mothers in Canada are living on a low income. In 2011, the median annual income for single mothers with children under 6 was $21,200. With little money left after paying for food and rent, many moms are forced to turn down their children’s request for dance lessons and the tech gadgets their friends have.

You Can Bet Your Bottom 72 Cents that the Gender Wage Gap Still Exists

BusinesswomanThe city of London, England is famous for its “Mind the Gap” warning which echoes through the public transit system. It cautions riders about the space between the train and the subway platform.

But the warning is also relevant to women around the world as they navigate their careers – there's a gap that's harder to see, impossible to step over, and considerably less charming. 

The gender wage gap is the difference in income that women earn when compared to men. Some attribute the wage gap to the fact that women tend to be concentrated in undervalued, low-paying jobs, and make up the majority of part-time workers.

When More Canadian Women Reach the Top, We Can Really Celebrate

Woman in officeCanada turns another year older tomorrow. We’ll celebrate by dressing up in red and white and gasping at fireworks as they explode in the sky. Canada Day is an exciting reminder of how far this country has progressed in the last 149 years. Yet despite the significant steps forward, women still haven’t reached true gender equality. In 2015, Canada was ranked 30th on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index.

Today, women can legally vote, go to school, become doctors and lawyers, and run for political office. Women can, in theory, do whatever and be whoever they want. But in government and business leadership roles, there remains a significant gap between Canadian men and women.