Joanne Bernard, Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women Act, helped commemorate International Women’s Day today, March 8, at a celebration breakfast hosted by Mount Saint Vincent University’s Centre for Women in Business.
This year’s theme is Pledge for Parity.
“Gender parity is linked to economic prosperity,” said Ms. Bernard. “Women’s advancement and leadership are central to business performance and economic prosperity. Profitability and innovation all increase when women are counted among senior leadership.”
The province has made significant commitments to women including:
— undertaking Nova Scotia’s first sexual violence strategy
— working with the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association to strengthen opportunities for Aboriginal women and girls
— hosting the first Round Table for Girls in 2015, with another upcoming this year
— strengthening government support of the Women Innovating in Nova Scotia bursary, a collaborative effort between government and the Nova Scotia Community College Foundation, supporting women at NSCC who are studying in the sciences, trades and technology fields
— working closely with federal, provincial and territorial governments and national and local aboriginal organizations on the National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and to support the design and implementation of the national inquiry
–- increasing the Nova Scotia Child Benefit income threshold from $25,000 to $26,000
–- providing safe and affordable homes to those who struggle to make home ownership a reality for their families
–- continuing support of key programs by the Department of Labour and Advanced Education empowering young women to explore careers in science, trades and technology
The province is also committed to making the public service an inclusive place, with six female cabinet ministers, eight deputy ministers, and seven associate deputy ministers.
As part of this year’s celebration for International Women’s Day, people are encouraged to make a pledge to do one of the following:
— help women and girls achieve their ambitions
— challenge conscious and unconscious bias
— call for gender-balanced leadership
— value women and men’s contributions equally
— create inclusive, flexible cultures
“I’m proud to make my pledge today, to do all within my power to challenge conscious and unconscious bias,” said Ms. Bernard.