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Picture of young girls in science labBased on the current pace, it will take over 200 years to achieve gender parity. But, working together, we can speed up progress!

In 2016/17, there were over 81,000 girls in grades 10-12 in BC. They will shape the workplaces of the future, but they need to overcome several disparities:

Jobs: Girls get better grades in school and graduate in higher numbers than boys from university, yet they trail behind in employment rates, pay, business ownership and involvement in politics2.

Pay: On average women who work full time earn 72 cents for every dollar earned by a man3.

Opportunities: Women are great entrepreneurs. They own over one-third of small businesses in BC and start businesses at a greater rate than men; however, women receive less than 4% of venture capital financing4.

Promotions/Leadership: Women are 30% less likely to be promoted from entry-level to manager and 60% less likely to go from director to VP.

Confidence: Between ages nine and 13, girls become less confident. One of the best ways to help girls develop confidence is through mentorship5.

We need to close this gender gap, and it starts with educating and empowering young women.

Why is Diversity Important?

The case for diversity is not just an ethical one; it makes business sense.

A June 2017 study by the McKinsey Institute finds that closing the gender gap can add $150 billion to 2026 GDP, and BC stands to benefit the most.

According to Catalyst Canada, boards with women perform better in terms of their community impact, environmental responsibility and customer relationships.

Companies with gender diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry average. Diversity helps companies retain and win top talent, improve customer and employee satisfaction and enhance their decision making – all of which leads to a positive cycle of increasing returns6.

Where are the Women?

Women are under-represented in leadership roles, as entrepreneurs, in trades and primary industry (forestry, oil and gas) and in non-traditional fields such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). These fields are growing and represent the greatest opportunities for job growth and advancement.

of entrepreneurs in BC are women

of people working in STEM fields in Canada are women, and only 4% in construction trades

of registrants in apprenticeship programs in Canada were women in 2010

of CEOs in Canada are women, even though women make up 47% of the workforce

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What Can We Do to Create Change?

Show examples of leadership to help young women visualize success
Incorporate diversity and inclusiveness training into education
Recognize and call out unconscious bias that may limit opportunities for women
Increase awareness of non-traditional jobs for young women
Encourage girls to pursue careers in business, entrepreneurship, trades and STEM
Develop champions, advisors and sponsors for young women
Foster positive and self-affirming mindsets to help girls build their confidence and a growth mindset

Empowering young women to be bold in their careers and tenaciously pursue their dreams in high school will enable these girls to overcome the challenges they will face after graduation.

Why wait to inspire young women to be leaders and advance gender equality when the tools and resources are available now?

Are you ready to take action?

Let’s work together to grow young women into BC’s women leaders.

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