EXCLerator Project: women as leaders

28 09 2014

The Women & Diversity EXCLerator Project is the first of its kind to present a comprehensive overview of women’s representation in senior leadership positions in Hamilton and Halton’s most prominent organizations. In a project report recently released by YWCA Hamilton, in partnership with McMaster University and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Women’s Leadership Group, an analysis of women in leadership across nine sectors provides a benchmark for measuring future progress.

“Ensuring women are proportionately represented at the decision-making table makes sense from a social and business perspective. Fair representation of women in top positions impacts organizations’ policy choices, improves their ability to serve communities, increases innovation and creativity in problem solving, and advances perceptions of institutional legitimacy”.

Board_of_DirectorsThe report shows that women are underrepresented in senior leadership positions across all sectors in Hamilton and Halton. The EXCLerator Project will continue to collect and analyze data on women in leadership across these communities, with an emphasis on recognizing barriers and then setting goals, devising strategies, and measuring changes in inclusivity over time.

To view the full report, visit www.ywcahamilton.org

 

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GoldieBlox – engineering for little girls

14 02 2014

Debbie Sterling, an engineer from Stanford, found few women in her university class and decided young girls needed more encouragement to experiment with engineering and innovative design concepts. Her research led to the revelation that 87% of the world’s engineers are males, and to the development of a combination storybook and toy building set designed specifically for little girls – Goldie Blox. Her original crowdfunding launch successfully reached its $150,000 target in less than 5 days (watch the launch video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-AtZfNU3zw) and GoldieBlox is now a series. The first building set, incorporating a belt drive, is available online and at select Target and ToysRUs stores along with #2  (wheel and axle) and #3 (hinge) in the series. goldieblox

For more about GoldieBlox, check out the web site: www.goldieblox.com

Thanks, Debbie, for recognizing the need to cheer on young inventors, and for tapping into young female minds with something more than pink packaging.





Stereotypical costumes? Booooooo!

26 10 2013

Our friends at MissRepresentation (now The Representation Project) recently spotlighted the “increasingly gendered nature of Halloween costumes” and challenged us to be more creative with our efforts this year. And, they report, the response has been inspiring…

“Halloween is thought to have originated as a night to remember those who had passed or as a ritual to appease the “spirit” world. Today, most of us love the night because it gives us a chance to dress up and momentarily pretend to be something or someone else. There’s also the joy of collectively facing the “scariest” elements of our world.

Yet, over the years – as a result of widespread commercialization – Halloween has also devolved into a parade of our society’s worst impulses. From the hypersexualization of women and girls to encouraging violence in boys – not to mention racially and culturally insensitive costumes of all kinds – we often spend this night perpetuating the most harmful aspects of culture, rather than imagining something better.”

(takebackhalloween.org)

(takebackhalloween.org)

Instead of opting for the typical princess and super hero costumes for our girls and boys this year, we can stop perpetuating unfair stereotypes and help youngsters feel comfortable wearing costumes that go beyond the traditional.  At the very least, we can help offer them options that stretch beyond the predictible.

Check out the “Take Back Halloween” campaign, a website featuring creative costume ideas (for adults too) that are thoughtful and, in many cases, simple to assemble with commonly found items: www.takebackhalloween.org

By joining the move to “take back” Halloween, we can replace hurtful stereotypes with a celebration that is a fun and inclusive holiday for all.

Happy haunting!





Play On!

18 08 2013

Strong kids = Strong families = Strong nation. That simple but powerful mission is behind Canadian Tire’s new campaign to bring play back to childhood. It is an inspiring and  welcome partnership to get youngsters active again with the help of influential athletes and players of all types. It reminds us about our longtime “passion for play” while pointing out that “play doesn’t come out to play as much anymore”. Nostalgic and iconic images of children at play are appearing on the company’s TV commercials, and supporters of the campaign are posting their own videos and photos online showing how and where Canadians play.

-we-all-play-for-canada-Confidence. Creativity. Strength. These qualities, cited as goals of the campaign, are ones we can all encourage in children of all ages. “A country without strong children cannot stay strong”, says the campaign. No argument here.

Play on!

http://www.weallplayforcanada.ca/





Dads Matter

16 06 2013

Can’t say it any better than the folks at Miss Representation (link below) – celebrating fathers who empower their daughters…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHKcO_C4JlE&feature=youtu.be

Happy Father’s Day!

(photo: David Cooper, Toronto Star)

(photo: David Cooper, Toronto Star)





Happy International Women’s Day!

8 03 2013

Borrowing from another excellent message distributed today by Miss Representation (www.missrepresentation.org), here’s a reminder to think about change as we celebrate women and girls in all their potential…

toddlers and tiaras

Today is International Women’s Day, so let’s take this collective moment to pledge to end the oppression of women worldwide – in all its forms. Let’s pledge to end not only the overt violence directed at women daily, but the institutional sexism holding us back and the destructive representations of women in the media which contribute to that same culture of negating women and denying them their equal seat at the tables of power. After all, as long as the media hypersexualizes and objectifies women, they normalize treating women as second-class citizens and objects for the male gaze, which further contributes to violence against women.

Katy Couric

We encourage you to spend this special day not only supporting those organizations creating change in the treatment of women globally, but thinking personally about how you can make an impact on the lives of women and girls everywhere. Each of us can play a small part in transforming the way our culture views, values, and treats women and girls.





Dads Matter

15 06 2012

Happy Father’s Day, and a special shout out to fathers everywhere who empower their daughters…this wonderful salute to them is from Miss Representation…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHKcO_C4JlE&feature=youtu.be