Celebrating International Women’s Day

March 06, 2020

March 8 is International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of women, and to renew our commitment to end the inequality that women continue to face at home and around the world.

We can be proud that, in 1974, SFU was the first Canadian research university to appoint a woman pres-archiveident, Pauline Jewett. And we can be doubly proud that another extraordinary woman, Joy Johnson, will be assuming the SFU pres-archiveidency later this year.

We also have a woman chancellor and strong repres-archiveentation of women on our Board of Governors. In addition, more than half of our executive team and our deans are women.

However, there is still much work to be done. Even as we celebrate women’s achievements, we need to continue to work to create a more equitable and inclusive society for all.

At SFU, we have taken, and continue to introduce measures to counter inequality and to promote the success of women throughout the university and the communities we serve.

To this end, SFU is one of the 17 post-secondary institutions to participate in the federal government’s Dimensions pilot program for post-secondary institutions. The goal of the program is to eliminate systemic barriers and inequities in access, admissions, recruitment, career development, pay, working and learning conditions, resources, retention and progression.

This initiative builds on other work we have undertaken in recent years. In 2016, the University took steps to correct gender inequities in faculty salaries based on the recommendations of the Salary Equity Recommendation Committee.

We have since implemented a Sexual Violence and Misconduct Prevention, Education and Support Policy, and developed a Canada Research Chairs EDI Action Plan. And our Emerging Thought Leaders Program provides workshops, coaching and other support to help academic women build their profiles and have their voices heard.

Many individuals and groups, such as SFU Academic Women, are also doing important work within the university community.

On International Women’s Day, and every day, talented women across SFU, and across Canada, are breaking down barriers, raising awareness, and inspiring others to advance the inclusion and success of women and girls.

I urge everyone to check out and attend some of the events that are planned to mark International Women’s Day.