Celebrate International Women’s Day by breaking the bias

Tuesday, March 8 is International Women’s Day – a global day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

International Women’s Day dates back more than a century. In March 1911, the first International Women’s Day was marked by more than a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland attending public events to show their support. Other countries followed suit and today, more than 80 countries, including Canada, observe International Women’s Day.

But it also marks a call to action to accelerate women’s equality. The 2022 theme for International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias.

Gender-based biases continue to contribute to the global gender gap, which has grown in recent years. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Gender Gap report, the time it will take to close the global gender gap has increased from 99.5 years to 135.6 years.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionally affected women as pre-existing gender gaps have been amplified. The industries hardest hit by the pandemic are those where women are more frequently employed. Combined with the additional pressure of providing care in the home, the pandemic has slowed or halted the progress toward gender parity in many areas.

Whether it is deliberate or unconscious, gender biases make it harder for women to get ahead and women are more likely than men to occupy undervalued jobs, including roles in caregiving and services.

In Canada, women currently make on average about 89 cents for every dollar men earn. That is up slightly from 2018, when women earned 87 cents for every dollar earned by men.

However, new legislation enacted by the Government of Canada last summer aims to reduce the pay gap between women and men.

The Pay Equity Act, which went into effect on August 31, 2021, means that employers in federally regulated sectors with 10 or more employees have three years to identify and correct pay disparities – which often result in women earning less than men – within their workforces.

About 1.3 million people, or 6% of Canadians, are employed in federally regulated sectors covered by the legislation.

GUS Canada is committed to breaking the bias by shattering stereotypes and breaking inequality. We strive to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive and equitable. As an equal opportunity employer, GUS Canada promotes unbiased treatment in the workplace and creates unlimited opportunities for women to thrive. We take measures to safeguard against bias in all aspects of employment and across our institutional brands.

GUS Canada institution, University Canada West (UCW), is marking International Women’s Day with a few events, including the Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Stories webinar where Rabab Al Tarazi of UP Fundraising will share her story. Students will also have an opportunity to engage and share their personal stories in a safe space. And in the student lounge of the Vancouver House Campus, students will be encouraged to write the names of the inspiring women in their lives on the UCW Wall of Fame.

There are many ways to participate in International Women’s Day. Strike the IWD 2022 pose as shown in this post and share your #BreakTheBias image, video, resources, presentation or articles on social media using #IWD2022 #BreakTheBias to encourage further people to commit to helping forge an inclusive world. You can also participate by attending an International Women’s Day event near you.

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