The Manitoba government is promoting gender equality and highlighting women’s achievements in the province by proclaiming the third week in January Women’s Equality Week, Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for status of women, announced today.
“This is our second year celebrating Women’s Equality Week and together we have made great strides towards gender equality,” said Squires. “However, there is more work to be done. Our government remains committed to supporting women in under-represented areas in the workplace, addressing gender-based violence, promoting the inclusion of more women on corporate boards and supporting women to attain higher education and leadership positions.”
The week kicks off today with the launch of the Nellie McClung Trailblazer Scholarship, which supports women and girls pursuing education and careers in under-represented occupations with a particular focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), business and trades.
“It is so fitting to have these trailblazer scholarships named after Nellie McClung,” said Lila Goodspeed, chair of the Nellie McClung Foundation. “She was a noted lifelong educator and stated, “If I were young again, I would spend my life as a teacher of young children, doing all in my power to give them a vision of the dignity and glory of being builders and planters, makers and menders.”
Through the partnership, Manitoba Status of Women will award 10 scholarships to high school and post-secondary women and girls. Five awards of $1,000 will be granted to Grade 12 students who have demonstrated an aptitude in an area of study that could lead to further education and/or careers in STEM, business or under-represented trades. Five awards of $1,750 will be granted to women who are in their first year of a field of study in these areas.
The minister noted the selection criteria will reflect the diversity of Manitoba’s population and include awards to students from Indigenous, northern and rural communities. Scholarship application information is posted online at www.gov.mb.ca/msw.
Wednesday, Premier Brian Pallister will host a breakfast in partnership with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to highlight the issue of violence against women. The theme is ‘Be More than a Bystander’ and invited guests will reflect on the role men can play to help end violence.
Manitoba Status of Women is providing a $5,000 grant to the Women’s Enterprise Centre to develop an initiative to support women who wish to sit on corporate boards, which will include creating a website where interested women can send their resumes.
“It has been proven that organizations where women are well represented on the board of directors are more successful, both in profitability and in reputation,” said Sandra Altner, chief executive officer, Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba. “We are very pleased to be working on this project that encourages women to seek board positions and align them with organizations that recognize the important and valuable perspectives they bring to both the business and its role in the community.”
Last year, the province committed to developing a gender-based analysis resource for government workers. This learning tool has been developed and will be shared with all government employees as part of Women’s Equality Week.
Friday, women working in STEM and trades are invited to a breakfast with the minister and Dr. Jeannette Montufar, chair of the Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council. Event information is available at www.gov.mb.ca/ms