“Countries with more gender equality have better economic growth. Companies with more women leaders perform better. Peace agreements that include women are more durable. Parliaments with more women enact more legislation on key social issues such as health, education, anti-discrimination and child support. The evidence is clear: equality for women means progress for all.”
– U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonAn important global initiative to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate the achievements of women is right around the corner as International Women’s Day (IWD) will be recognized on Sunday, March 8th, 2015. While observations of this day have been taking place since the early 1900’s, thoughts and attitude towards women’s equality and emancipation have changed a great deal over the 20th century and today. This year’s theme is ‘Make It Happen‘. It calls for encouragement of effective action for advancing and recognizing women while calling for greater equality. challenging the status quo for women’s equality and vigilance inspiring positive change. NSB is proud to represent great speakers who Make It Happen everyday and create dialogue by encouraging advocacy for women’s advancement.
Farah Mohamed CEO G(irls)20Farah Mohamed has a decorated history of leading by example since she and her family were exiled from Uganda in the early 70s. Farah created (and is now the CEO of) G(irls)20, a globally active social enterprise that mobilizes girls and young women for economic impact locally, nationally and internationally. The initiative brings together one delegate from each G20 country (and other regions) to provide skills building including entrepreneurship, business planing, communications, technology navigation, leadership and many others. Farah was the inaugural President of The Belinda Stronach Foundation (TBSF) and her list of accolades are long and including a Bellagio Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and one of the top 25 Most Influential Women in Canada by the Women of Influence group.
Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk Women behind Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, authors and co-founders of Swim Leadership LabJanet Kestin and Nancy Vonk are among the very few women in the world to have held top creative posts in the advertising field. Advocates for women in all industries, they have been in the global spotlight for creating ground-breaking communications and leading their teams to do the same. Their passionate belief in helping companies do better by women, and women do better for themselves and their companies, led to the new HarperCollins release: Darling, You Can’t Do Both (And Other Noise To Ignore On Your Way Up). Their groundbreaking Campaign for Real Beauty for Dove was recently voted the Top Advertising Campaign of the 21st century.
Natalie Panek Rocket Scientist and Advocate for Women in TechnologyNatalie Panek is on a mission to inspire the next generation of female game-changers to dive head-on into challenge and pursue careers in engineering and technology. At age 20, she was the first female driver of the University of Calgary’s inaugural solar powered vehicle which raced up from Texas to Calgary. Natalie was named one of CBC’s 12 young leaders changing Canada and recently chosen as one of 23 visionary women to help shape Canada’s future through A Bold Vision. The Financial Post describes Natalie as “a vocal advocate for women in technology” as she was recently named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by Women’s Executive Network.
Amanda Lindhout Kidnap Survivor, Best-selling Author and HumanitarianAmanda Lindhout’s story of survival in the face of lost hope – told through her internationally bestselling memoir A House In The Sky – illustrates the remarkable strength of the human spirit. Her steadfast commitment to positive and sustainable change has led to Amanda’s involvement in organizations around the world striving for women’s advancement. Amanda has been involved with such organizations as; 1 Billion Rising, one of the worlds largest global demonstrations in history to end violence against women; the Nobel Women’s Initiative, a campaign to stop rape and gender violence in conflict; Women Under Siege, a journalism project that investigates how rape and other forms of sexualized violence are used as tools in genocide and conflict. Amanda has also co-founded The Global Enrichment Foundation – a non-profit dedicated to igniting leadership in Somalia through educational and community-based empowerment programs.
Kelsey Ramsden Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneur, 2 years runningKelsey Ramsden is a top Canadian entrepreneur and empowering voice for women within the business world. Recently named as a mentor at the Branson Centre and repeat winner of PROFIT Magazine’s Top Female Entrepreneur, Ramsden is forging a unique path in the Canadian business community.
“Women ought to be surrounding themselves with great women (not to the exclusion of men). Think about how every other powerful movement was started and had impact. An analogy – if women want to see a greater number of themselves in business we ought to surround ourselves with great women, promote them, support them, buy from them, work for them…and vote with our feet and dollars. Work for a company who supports women and spend with companies who support women.”
Dr. Samantha Nutt Global Humanitarian, Founder of War Child and #1 Bestselling AuthorA Toronto doctor with a global conscience, Samantha Nutt co-founded War Child in 1999 to empower local people and organizations to be the architects of their own recovery from the devastation of war. She is an outspoken voice for the advancement of women and children’s rights in conflict zones. One of her most requested topics is “When Women Lead: Prescription for Change in the 21st Century.” In 2013 she had the opportunity to interview Hillary Rodham Clinton, where they shared insight on the women’s equality movement. Samantha recently penned an article for Thompson Reuters foundation for IWD, noting that:
“Despite the strides women have made in many parts of the world over the past half century, the confounding social constructs of beauty, youth, wife and mother still remain. And they are just as hard to overcome.”
International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world with thousands of events to inspire and celebrate. To find an event in your area or find out ways to help, visit internationalwomensday.com.#iwd2015 Tweets