July 19, 2016 - by Rachel Hayward - 1 Comments

Mother with childIt feels like a radical approach to parenting to say this, but mother’s lives are just as important as children’s lives. Parenting takes a focus on the child, and once you become a parent, parenting becomes a full time occupation. So where do a mother’s needs fit into all of this? Maslow’s hierarchy of needs applies equally to mothers as it does to anyone else. I encourage you to take a moment and say it out loud: “I am as important as my children, my needs matter.” Let it be your mantra.

I can safely assume that most people will agree with the mantra. Of course you matter. But when is the last time that you took a critical look at your day, your week or your month and said yes there is sufficient “me” time in my schedule?

Our children’s health and wellbeing becomes our focus, and rightfully so, but this should not be at the expense of our own health and wellbeing. From the moment I became a mother my life became a shadow my children’s. Their needs became more important than mine, more immediate, more demanding. It was a gradual progression. And it’s something many mothers struggle with.

July 12, 2016 - by Jillian A. Brown - 2 Comments

Jeep in the middle of a roadMy story begins having a childhood of travel, from Ottawa all the way west by air and road. Growing up the majority of my life in Winnipeg, I was inspired at age 10 to become a photographer. Taking a road trip from Toronto to Winnipeg, I was given a Crayola camera. I snapped hundreds of images… and not a single one worked. From that point on, I knew I had to recapture all those beautiful moments.

I focused my entire life around photography, attended specific schools and studied in and outside of classrooms, leading me west to Squamish. Here I became a photographer for a reputable snowmobile and dogsledding outfitter and fell in love with the sport and one of its workers, so much that we moved to Golden to start our own dogsledding outfit together.

Until a year ago, I spent seven days a week dog sledding, photographing, working hard and in a partnership. But one sudden decision ended it all. At that moment, I decided to leave an entire life - my life – behind so that I could really live.

July 6, 2016 - by Morgan Radbourne

Woman with striped t-shirtIn May, a wildfire engulfed Fort McMurray, Alberta, and thousands of people were evacuated as the flames scorched forests and homes in its path. In response, people from coast to coast demonstrated the kindness Canadians are famous for.

The crisis came at a difficult time in Alberta—the province has been struggling to deal with a recession for months. As the fire died down, another disturbing story emerged: domestic violence has been on the rise in Calgary.

Police believe that the stress of the province’s economic slump and subsequent job loss has exacerbated the problem. Alarmingly, research also shows that violence between partners can increase following a natural disaster. After Hurricane Katrina, violence between partners rose by 98%. In unstable conditions, shelters may be forced to close, making women increasingly vulnerable to violence.

July 4, 2016 - by Morgan Radbourne

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.

June 30, 2016 - by Morgan Radbourne

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.

June 28, 2016 - by Jean Boampong

Teacher with studentsThis post was originally published on LinkedIn.

In the non-profit world, you’re taught that being in a position of a facilitator or community leader means that everyone (and their mothers) will trust you in what seems like record time. This is simply not true.

There is a young girl in my program called the Village Bloggurls (VBG), a mentorship and media literacy program for young girls. Let's call her "J". On J's first day at the Village Bloggurls, she cried upon seeing me and the other girls in the program. She was flustered with her words, telling me over and over again she didn't want to be here and would rather be at home. I gave her some time to sit with her feelings, and she eventually decided to stay.

June 21, 2016 - by Michele Ellison - 1 Comments

Purple flowerThe Woman in Red is stretched tall and thin. It is more of an expression of her being, than a body type. She is in the fishbowl on display to the world and keeping her head above water.  All the issues of life are at her feet and her head is clear of the waves.

I wanted to speak about the pressures and opinions that we face every day - in a visual way. In the transparent water of my collage is the floating city where she works, her home and the school where she sends her children.  Everyone can see her vulnerabilities.

When I look at the results of my ideas on paper, I see myself and hope to engage with other women.  How do you feel about your life?