Category: Empowering girls
This story was originally published in the Fall 2014 issue of SHE Magazine.
I am an architect and defied the stereotype that an immigrant woman can’t be successful in this male dominated world. It was hard to gain credibility and respect. I only would get jobs that used half my skills, so I worked to get accreditations that only a few people have in Canada. Today I work with the same men that openly said I wouldn’t make it. But I did—because I always believed in myself!
People assume I am a ‘girly girl’ because I usually wear dresses or skirts to the office. In reality, I play soccer, run half-marathons, and watch way too much sports on TV. The highlight of my year is my annual March Madness trip. I wear skirts because I HATE shopping and can never find pants that fit. I always enjoy that moment when people finally get to know me and say “Oh, wow, you’re not at all who I thought you would be.” Exactly.
This story was originally published in the Spring 2016 issue of SHE Magazine.
“Are you having a boy or a girl?”
I wonder how much longer we’ll ask expectant parents this question. Maybe instead we should start asking ourselves why assigning a gender at birth is so important to us.
More and more young people in Canada are starting to express their gender in unique ways that go beyond the masculine/feminine binary. As parents, it is critical that we respond with love, curiosity, and an open mind.
Does the idea of becoming a leader make you anxious? Are you already so over-extended that the thought of ‘leaning in’ makes you ready to fall over? Do you think becoming a leader means being aggressive—and that’s just not you? Many women seem to resist taking on leadership. Maybe the problem isn’t us, but our concept of leadership itself.
IN THE NORTHERN ALBERTA TOWN of Fort Mackay, a group of Aboriginal and Métis girls sit quietly in a school classroom. Their eyes are closed.
It is Day One of the Friendly PEERsuasian program, where these adolescent girls will learn healthy ways to cope with stress and peer pressure. One of the main goals of the girls' program, which runs in ten schools across the region, is to help the girls avoid the deadly trap of substance abuse that has claimed so many young people in their communities. If all goes well, they will also learn to become healthy role models—PEERsuaders— for younger girls.
After a long break, I’ve started working out again. Every morning I sweat along with the cheerful woman on my exercise DVD as she calls out the standard encouragements: “You’re doing great!” and “We’re almost there!”
But she also says something I find profound: “Challenge to change!” In other words, if my workout isn’t making me uncomfortable it probably won’t give me the results I want. The idea motivates me when I’ve had enough, allowing me to do 10 (or two) more jumping jacks.