International Women’s Day – reflections from Ian Robertson, CEO

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD) and I’m reflecting on this day and how to acknowledge. It would be easy for me to say 4 of 7 positions on our leadership team are comprised of remarkable women, the Chair of our Board is a woman, and 55 per cent of our staff are women so as an organization we are in good shape. It is indeed something to celebrate and I feel very fortunate as CEO to have an amazing team of women to work with. However, I believe there is more that needs to be done.

IWD is such a valuable opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and to also examine the gender gaps in our community. In my opinion, we still have some work to do. Men are still largely silent in the important discussions regarding IWD. We don’t get involved as much as we should, and we don’t take the time to think through what IWD means for the women in our lives. We sometimes sit on the sidelines – not always aware of our inaction. Men need to realize that our roles in the community, our decisions, and actions, either take us further towards or away from a gender equal society.

IWD should be a moment each year to reflect on how we have treated the people in our life. Have we created even playing fields for career recognition or advancement? Called out inappropriate or sexist behaviour in social situations or the workplace? Have we stepped up and accepted our fair share of responsibilities at home? Have we taken the time to fully celebrate the accomplishments of women in our life–and how they’ve contributed to our successes? I hope so.

Growing up, my mom was a real mentor to me. She served in the war, drove jeeps, and took on roles that most men would occupy. As a mom, she worked full time, balanced home life miraculously, kept me, my brother, and my dad in line 🙂 and was the leader of a Scout troop. This was remarkable in my opinion.

So, there you have it, some food for thought on this IWD. Let’s take the time to reflect on those women that made a difference in our life, look back on progress made and look ahead to more work we all have to do.

Thanks, and take care.