Source: International Women's Day

International Women's Day 2019: #BalanceforBetter

March 02, 2019

Written by: Vanessa Reich-Shackelford

"The future is exciting. Let's build a gender-balanced world. Everyone has a part to play - all the time, everywhere. From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence. Balance drives a better working world. Let's all help create a #BalanceforBetter." -International Women's Day

Source: International Women's Day

International Women's Day is on March 8th, and this year's theme is #BalanceforBetter. According to the event's official website, this campaign runs all year long, not just on International Women's Day. The event celebrates the accomplishments of women, dives into conversations of creating worldwide equality, and explores how everyone can support women, and this quote from the website encapsulates what issues the event is tackling: "Balance is not a women's issue, it's a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage...Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive."

International Women's Day events take place all across the globe, including various events here in Vancouver, Victoria, New Westminster, Kelowna, and Nanaimo that are meant to empower women, discuss injustice and poverty, and even networking for women in STEM. Here's a look at some of the events offered here in British Columbia:

March 7th, 2019, 6:30pm-9:30pm / Vancouver: Women in Science, Health and Innovation: Leadership Looking To The Future. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Consulates-General of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States, and Neuroethics Canada at the University of British Columbia cordially invite you to attend this conference. Featured speakers include WWEST's Chair Dr. Lesley Shannon, along with Corinne Alberti, MD, PhD; Robin Bennett, M.S., L.G.C., Ph.D. (hon.); Ineke Klinge, PhD; Mona Nemer, CM, CQ, FRSC; Simone Schürle-Finke, PhD; Ilina Singh, EdD, MA; Christiane Woopen, PhD; Judy Illes, CM, PHD; and Santa J. Ono, PhD. Welcoming remarks by The Honourable Janet Austin, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. For more information about this event and to register, click here.

March 8th, 2019, 6pm-10pm / Kelowna: #BalanceForBetter International Women's Day Dinner. International Women’s Day will be marked with a special 5-course collaborative fundraising dinner at The Canadian Mental Health Association's 'Wellness Centre'. This year’s celebration will bring together the culinary talents of Aman Dosanj (The Paisley Notebook, Kelowna), Davina Moraiko (RGE RD, Edmonton), Sarah Maw (Block One at 50th Parallel, Lake Country), Kaleigh Jorgensen (Creek & Gully Cider, Naramata) and Sarah Farmer (formerly The O'Brien House, Ottawa). Along with wine pairings generously donated by top Winemakers/owners from across the Okanagan Valley – Karen Gillis (Red Rooster Winery), Pénélope Roche (Roche Wines), Nicole French (Little Engine Wines), Ruth Hanbury (Liquidity Wines) and Stefanie Schales (8th Generation Vineyard). Each Chef will take on a course with the 2019 International Women’s Day #BalanceForBetter theme in mind. Lots more information and registration can be found here. The tickets for this event are $165.

March 8th, 2019, 6pm-8pm / Nanaimo: BCFMWU Women's Committee Meet and Greet. BC Ferry & Marine Workers' Union newly reinstated Women's Committee is holding a meet n' greet at their Union office in Nanaimo BC on March 8 from 6 to 8 pm.  This event will give community members, local elected officials, members and community organizations a chance to connect with the new committee members. There is a silent auction as well to raise money for Haven House Society. Register here.

March 8th, 2019, 9am-4pm / New Westminster: Widening the Lens: Inclusion and Diversity in Restorative Justice Symposium. In hosting this symposium, the Fraser Region Community Justice Initiatives Langley hopes to increase awareness of diversity needs, and the importance of inclusion for marginalized individuals and communities in restorative justice. Their keynote and panel speakers from various communities will provide an opportunity for dialogue around the topics of access needs, meaningful participation, and culturally-sensitive practice. Diversity workshops will provide opportunities for practitioners in the field to reflect on experiences of power and privilege. The breakout sessions will invite participants to engage in critical discussions regarding current approaches in restorative justice and consider ideas for steps forward in building a more inclusive and diverse practice. Lots more information and registration can be found here.

March 8th, 2019, 5pm-7:30pm / Vancouver: ISACA Vancouver Event: Celebrating International Women’s Day! SheLeadsTech is an ISACA program that seeks to increase the representation of women in technology leadership roles and the tech workforce. In honor of this important day, and to celebrate the achievements of women in the Greater Vancouver area within the tech industry, SheLeadsTech Vancouver has teamed up with Palo Alto Networks to provide an evening of drinks and appetizers while you network with our partners and allies that support women in technology and advocate for change. Find more information and register here. Tickets are $25-30.

March 8th, 2019, 5:30pm-8pm / Vancouver: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs. In alignment with the SFU Beedie School of Business calling to develop innovative and socially responsible leaders, and in celebration of International Women's Day, the SFU Beedie School of Business are excited to host a panel event, Empowering Women Entrepreneurs. Join them for a panel discussion about women in entrepreneurship. Open to all entrepreneurial minded (and entrepreneurial curious) members of the Beedie community including current students, prospective students, alumni, staff & faculty, and Beedie's entire business network. SFU MBA alumni panelists will share their diverse paths as female entrepreneurs, how their MBA journeys impacted or influenced their current businesses, and highlight the successes and failures that brought them to where they are today. The panel discussion will be followed by networking will give you the chance to ask questions and make connections. Light refreshments will be served. Find more information and register here. This event is free!

March 8th, 2019, 5pm-9pm / Vancouver: Vancouver & District Labour Council International Women's Day Dinner. The VDLC Women's Committee invites you to celebrate International Women's Day at their Annual IWD Dinner - Women for Economic Justice: Taking on Poverty with guest speakers Viveca Ellis & Phyllis Joseph from the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition and entertaiment from Jacky Arrah Yenga, who will share her African rhythms and joyful sounds. Doors open at 5:15, Welcome at 6:00, and Dinner at 6:00 (provided by Potluck Catering) For more information and to register, click here. Tickets are $30-50.

March 8th, 2019, all day / Vancouver: International Women's Day Fundraiser & Art Show at Bandidas Taqueria. Bandidas Taqueria, a bustling restaurant on Vancouver’s Commercial Drive, regularly fundraises for and donates to causes concerned with human rights and environmental protection. On March 8th, Bandidas will donate 100% of the profits from the sale of food and drinks to a variety of local organizations which serve women. Based on a community vote, they will donate proportionately to the the following organizations: WAVAW, Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, Canadian Council of Muslim Women, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Girls Rock Camp, East Van Roasters, Pads4Girls, and WISH Drop-In Centre Society. Find Bandidas and more information about this event here.

March 8th, 2019, 11am-2pm / Victoria: Bridges for Women 9th Annual Int'l Women's Day Luncheon. This luncheon is an inspiring gathering for women and men in Victoria BC, with keynote speakers, networking opportunities, a delicious lunch, and solidarity for women’s empowerment. Keynote speakers include: Laura Poland, General Manager at Mayfair, Sybil Verch, Senior Vice President, National Director, Wealth Management, Raymond James Ltd., and Penny Sakamoto, Publisher of Black Press. This panel of powerful women will share their insights about women’s empowerment in business, social responsibility, and promote Bridges important work in ending violence against women through healing and empowerment. Fundraising activities at the event directly support women impacted by violence and trauma by sustaining healing, education, and employment programs at Bridges for Women. These programs are essential in ending the cycle of violence, poverty and isolation for women in Greater Victoria and across BC. For more information and to register, click here. Tickets are $85.

There are lots of other events planned not only across Canada, but across the globe. You can find an event to support women and gender equality in your neck of the woods here.