Wednesday, January 24th, 2018...10:59 pm


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Written by Joanne Liu, Leadership Programming Development Assistant

In light of the Women’s March this past weekend, I’ve been reflecting on ways that women’s role in leadership have evolved over the years. In a December 2010 TedTalk, Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, talked about the slow progress of empowering women in leadership. She recalled pitching a business deal in New York City, and during a bio break finding out that the firm partner did not know where the women’s washroom was. Now eight years after that speech, I wonder… what progress has been made?

Although I understand leadership to be a way of influence rather than a formal title one holds, the numbers continue to suggest that more needs to be done. In fact, an annual report by global talent management firm Rosenzweig & Company revealed that in 2017 women held 9.02% of the highest-paid positions in Canada’s top 100 companies. This coincides with a continuous steady increasing trend over time, but a statistic that many still believe to be unsatisfactory. More closer to home, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives published a study in 2017 that revealed Toronto performs slightly above average when it comes to the presence of women in leadership positions; however, women still only hold 39% of management positions. Having space to explores issues of gender inequality and ways to support the development and advancement of women in leadership is key.

How does U of T create space for speaking about women in leadership?

Join us on Thursday, March 8th from 12:00 P.M. till 2:00 P.M. in women’s leadership event where students, faculty, alumni and administration will have the chance to come together to enjoy food and conversation. The event is intended for students to discuss their personal leadership style and the ways in which they are affected or enhanced by gender. The main question being: “What does community, allyship and support look like for women in 2018?”

How can I get involved?

  1. Register for UofT’s LeadHERship Conference. For more information on how to attend this event, check out our website. Registration closes on Monday, February 26, 2018 at 9 A.M.
  2. Join the Conversation. There are many hashtags on social media that track and encourage this trending social change, such as #WomenLeaders, that you can keep up to date with or even contribute to yourself!

I leave you with this thought that has always challenged me to think of ways I can create an inclusive community:

“The difference between community and a thriving one
is the presence of the women who are valued.”

– Michelle Obama




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