Inspired by Women Deliver, the world’s largest gathering on gender equality held earlier this summer in Vancouver, the Consulate General of Canada in Atlanta convened a panel on gender empowerment to highlight many of the same themes and the Government of Canada’s commitment to female empowerment.
The panel discussion focused on the innovative work of three millennial female entrepreneurs – all Georgia Tech graduates – who are trying to make their communities and the world better. For example, Jasmine Burton, the founder of Wish for WASH, a social impact start-up, attended Women Deliver as a Young Leader. She designs socially-inclusive toilets to advance gender equality and women’s health and education. She told audiences in Vancouver and Atlanta that too many girls around the world miss school during menstruation, and end up dropping out. She is trying to change this, and has been recognized by the Center for Disease Control’s Division of Global Health.
The panel also included Sarah Biggers, a makeup artist who launched her own cruelty-free, vegan cosmetics line CLOVE + HALLOW, and Rachel Ford, who co-founded FIXD Automotive, a connected car company, and now runs strategic operations at Bakkt, which builds infrastructure for digital assets like bitcoin. These women spoke to their experiences as millennial business owners and the importance of making business decisions through a social impact lens. Both talked about using their businesses to accelerate progress toward inclusion, diversity, gender equality and women’s empowerment for underprivileged communities.
Referencing Women Deliver, Canada’s Consul General Nadia Theodore shared her own message on the importance of gender equality and women’s empowerment around the world: it benefits economies and leads to the creation of a strong middle class. She urged the crowd to “consider ways to accelerate progress toward inclusion, diversity, gender equality and women’s empowerment for communities that lack our privileges.” This is why the Government of Canada is making historic investments in women’s organizations around the world and encouraging young women like these Georgia Tech grads to become models and mentors in their communities.
In the coming months, the Consulate General in Atlanta is partnering with local institutions to host additional events exploring how organizations may address the unique challenges faced by women of color in achieving equality at senior executive levels. Stay tuned!