350 students filed into the auditorium at Khalsa School on October 11th to learn about, and engage in conversation on gender equality, unconscious bias, diversity, and inclusion. Fittingly held on the Day of the Girl, Khalsa marked the first school to participate in the WE for SHE NextGen Leaders Program.
Over the course of the day, students heard a range of speakers, including Gurp Sian (Dancer, Musician, and TV Radio Host), Brittney Sharma (Residence Youth Manager), Manpreet Dillion (Founder and CEO of Veza, HR Consultant), Anoop Virk (President and Founder of Project L.O.V.E), and Danielle Hofer (spearheaded WE for SHE Kelowna). The topics ranged from Gurp’s talk linking passion and career to Danielle leading a workshop on unconscious bias. Although each speaker had a unique message for the students, all of them lent career advice and honestly discussed the biases they have faced in the workplace.
After spending the morning learning and listening, it was then the students turn to engage in discussion with each other. Through a world café style discussion, students brainstormed what diversity and inclusion meant, and how they can champion these ideas at their school. The illustration below is a visual representation of the ideas that came out of the conversations.
The students’ and speakers’ willingness to engage in authentic and candid discussions spurred insightful reflection about gender equality, diversity, and inclusion. For the 81,000 girls in grade 10-12 in British Columbia right now, these are issues they currently are facing and will continue to face as they graduate high school. It’s never too young to start thinking about gender equality, or how we can all work together to achieve gender parity in the future.
To learn more about how you can plan a similar event at your school, or engage in leadership mentoring workshops, head over to the Programs for BC High Schools tab on our website.