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At the Canadian Women’s Foundation, we promote leadership that is based on collaboration, listening, and diversity.
“All through my career, I hadn’t been the kind of person to tell others what to do. But I always brought people together to accomplish amazing things.”
-Melanie, graduate of Canadian Women’s Foundation Leadership Institute
“When I began the Canadian Women’s Foundation leadership program … I wanted to get a better understanding of leadership -- not as a title, or a measurement of power, but as a way of sparking change and community development.”
-Sylvia, graduate of Canadian Women’s Foundation Leadership Institute
“…They (mentors) are always telling us that we can do it. Push your limit and just go for it and do it! They believe in us and they have boosted a lot of the girls’ self-esteem, including me, to 120 million per cent!”
-A participant in the Hamilton Boys and Girls Club, a program supported by our Girls’ Fund
Women make up just over half the Canadian population, yet we continue to be underrepresented in politics, business and the media:
- Although Canada’s federal cabinet is now evenly split between men and women, only 26% of the seats in the House of Commons belong to women.
- Just 8.5% of the highest-paid positions in Canada’s top 100 listed companies are held by women.
- Women comprise 11% of the board members for Canada’s large, publicly traded companies.
While the Canadian Women’s Foundation believes strongly in the power of grassroots organizations to spark social change, we also need women in leadership roles to achieve gender equality.
The Foundation supports programs that provide opportunities for women and girls to recognize their potential as leaders, to practise using leadership skills, and to understand that there is more than one way to lead.
We advocate for a broader perception of leadership, which we call inclusive leadership.
An inclusive leader is one that:
- Respects non-traditional ways of leading
- Embraces diversity and reaches out to include the most marginalized voices
- Shares knowledge and empowers those around them
- Inclusive leadership is about “power with” rather than “power over.”