Honouring Women

On March 8 we celebrate International Women’s Day and throughout the month of March, we recognize and honour women’s contributions to our society. For me, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on the ways women make our city better and contribute to the communities of Ward 5. It is also a day to consider how we can do better.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, the City of Edmonton is currently falling behind on electing women to public office. Women in politics face challenges that their male counterparts do not. Women in Canada, on average, earn about 73 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

Even so, inspiring women are finding ways to be leaders across our city. Through my years of work with community leagues and more recently through my campaign, I have been fortunate to work with women who lead the governance and programming of community leagues across Ward 5. I work in the not-for-profit sector where I am surrounded by women who lead organizations and charities that are making incredible contributions to Edmonton. I have also had the pleasure of working with many female leaders within City of Edmonton administration, including current City Manager Linda Cochrane.

When I reflect on the path that has brought me to becoming your candidate for Edmonton City Council, I also think about the women who have influenced this journey. Many women have offered me advice, guidance, and opportunities to learn new skills and to shine in my own way. It is because of those women, I am a better person each day.

Many examples come to mind, like my High School English teacher, Debra Empson, who believed that with a bit of coaching, I could make an impact on the world. And one of my first bosses, Susan McGee, who demonstrated how to lead with strength and compassion. There have also been many women who have helped me reconnect with my Indigenous culture, like Miss Betty Letendre, through sharing teachings and helping me to find pride in my heritage.

Growing up, I was connected to strong women who inspired me to contribute to my community and strive to be a better citizen. As a youth and adult member of Girl Guides of Canada, I learned and honed my leadership skills under the mentorship of other women and girls while making lifelong friends across the province. As a teen, I participated in Alberta Girls’ Parliament and began to understand the role of women in elected office. There I also learned about parliamentary and political process while gaining an understanding of speech writing, public speaking, and legislation.

To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, I am honoured to be a part of several events that are recognizing the outstanding women of our city. Tomorrow night, I will be a keynote speaker at the Na’amat Canada event “Inspiring Women, Inspiring You: An Intercultural Celebration for International Women’s Day” at Talmud Torah School in Callingwood. I hope you will join me for this free event in our neighbourhood.

As well, on March 8, I am delighted to be speaking at two events. During the day, I will visit two Grade 6 classes at Lynnwood School in Ward 5 to talk about about government. I am excited that on International Women’s Day I will be able to inspire the next generation of leaders in our community! That evening, I will be a part of a panel discussion on the southside for the official International Women’s Day event in Edmonton.

Finally, later this month on March 15, I will be speaking at the Edmonton International Women’s Film Festival event at Metro Cinema. This panel discussion on women in politics will be a follow up discussion to the recent podcast, The Broadcast, that I was a guest on.

This month, I hope we all take a moment to reflect on the women who have impacted our lives and our community and find a way to honour them and say thanks. Women are life givers and the caregivers of our society. As a community leader and your candidate for Ward 5, I look forward to continuing to support ways for more women and girls to have their voices heard, find mentorship and inspiration from women in leadership positions, and influence the future of our city.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Name *