I have been musing over what it means that we have a day to recognize women. I’ve heard men grumble that there isn’t an international women’s day… why don’t they have a day? Well for me it’s not immediately obvious, why? 

 Because I grew up in the late 60’s into the 70’s, when there was a revolution of young people demanding a change to the status quo; where women literally burned their bras in protest of the most egregious inequities. As a married mother of two, my mother could not legally open a bank account, apply for a loan or credit card, and she would only earn $0.57 for every dollar earned by a man. 

 There is an International Woman’s Day because women have had to overcome systemic suppression of their status as equal humans to men. And this is exacerbated if you happen to be a woman of colour or an ethnic minority.

 Long before colonization, indigenous women had a voice in the decision-making process of their communities. The Iroquois and the Mohawk, for example, were a matrilineal society- where property rights, inheritance, voting rights and even the arrangements of marriages were held and passed on through the elder women of the community. It’s taken hundreds of years for women to lift each other up and create a more equal playing field.

For me personally, I think of the women who have lifted me up, those who supported and believed in me. The women I admire, some I know well, and some I don’t personally know, but their focus and authenticity inspire me. What I have seen is that women in large part, still haven’t gotten past the competition mode that so many of us grew up with. Today, young women are addicted to social media and how they look compared to other women/girls. Photo filters that “improve” the way they look, all smiles and travel and relationships, for everyone to see and compare. What I know is that at some point we have to see ourselves without the overlay of how we compare.

I thank all the women mentors in my life, I especially thank all the women for whom I have been a mentor or coach, you all have helped me in so many ways get comfortable in my own skin- start a business in the 3rd act of my life-and you all inspire me to be a better woman every single day.

I want to lay out a challenge to everyone woman who reads this- For one whole week, you cannot judge another woman for how she dresses, talks or acts just because you think it’s unattractive. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be real, let’s face it there are public figures out there who act in disgusting ways who happen to be women. Let’s call them out for their actions, not their gender. So that behavior is unacceptable for any PERSON. Or that person is not dressed appropriately for a day in the office. Give it a try, I don’t think it’s easy not to fall into gender stereotypes:

“She’s aggressive”
“She has a resting b*&ch face”
“What was she thinking when she put on all that make up.”


So, cheers to all the women who stood up for all the women and helped get us to this place in time. And thanks to all the men who understood how important it is to be an equal with the women in your professional and personal life. To my four sons, may you always be one of those men. To my husband, thank you for understanding the dichotomy that exists when you’re a woman, mother, and wife.

Some Canadian history on women…

1960’s: The start of the Women’s Liberation Movement. It consisted largely of white, well educated women who fought for reforms such as paid maternity leave, rape crisis centres, and changes to abortion laws.

1964: Women entitled to open a bank account without obtaining their husband’s signature.

1969: The Criminal Code is amended to legalize the distribution of information on methods of contraception and their prescription as well as sexual acts between two consenting members of the same sex.

1970’s: Women earn 57 cents to every dollar earned by men.

1971: Manitoba no longer fires female municipal employees who marry.

1975: Women earn 60 cents for every dollar earned by men.

1975: United Nations declares the International Year of Women.

1975: The Canadian Federal government modifies eleven pieces of legislation to bring them into conformity with equality principles by adding equal rights between men and women with respect to the federal pensions.

1977: The Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) was passed, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender, and ensuring equal pay for work of equal value.

1978: The Canada Labour Code was amended to eliminate pregnancy as a basis for lay-off or dismissal.

1978: Airline flight attendants gain the right to work after marriage and after they reach the age of 32.

1988: The Supreme Court of Canada invalidates the Criminal Code sections with deal with abortion.

1990: In 1990 male managers earned an average salary of $48,137 while women managers earned an average salary of $27,707; men in teaching earned an average of $38,663 while women in teaching earned an average of $24,767; men in sales earned an average of $27,825 while women in sales earned an average of $13,405.

To all my wonderful, powerful, confident women- Happy Women’s Day.