Signals Blog

International Women’s Day (IWD), also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace, is an opportunity to honour women’s achievements, “to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.”

I don’t dispute the need to have an international day for women. Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, says “Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world.”

This year’s theme, #PressforProgress, feels particularly timely considering the global phenomenon #MeToo and other campaigns launched by women to change the status quo and protect women’s rights. In a 14-month period where we have witnessed women’s marches happening around the globe, it is clear that women are mobilizing. Cue the song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister.

As pleased as I am to acknowledge this day, supporting women’s rights and their equal status in society is something that should happen every day. Many of us don’t wait for a special day to remind others that women deserve to be treated fairly, especially in the workplace – whether in business or the hallowed halls of academia.

Because it matters to me, I sometimes blog about issues affecting female scientists and engineers. I do this to raise awareness, provoke discussion and ideally offer useful tips and information, or at least encouragement. I also welcome similar content from Signals’ bloggers.

At CCRM, all staff are invited to an IWD event today to recognize our own female role models and women who have inspired us. There are countless women, alive and deceased, who are trail blazers and mentors, remarkable yet underappreciated. It should be an interesting discussion.

Let’s make the most of IWD and make some noise, celebrate women’s extraordinary accomplishments and push for change (#PressforProgress!). The video below, part of a campaign launched by GE Canada, is a wonderful example of showcasing impressive women in STEM, right here in our community. CCRM was delighted to be involved.

My favourite part of the video is when host Samantha Yammine is talking about GE’s plan to hire 20,000 women by the year 2020 and says “…but we can’t be what we can’t see.” So let’s acknowledge great female role models and share videos, such as this one, so young women can see what they can be.



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Stacey Johnson

Stacey Johnson

For almost 20 years, Stacey has been providing strategic communications counsel to government, corporate, technology and health organizations. Prior to that, Stacey was at the CTV Television Network, first as a researcher, then as a story producer for “Goldhawk Fights Back,” a special ombudsman segment that aired weekly on the National News and Canada AM. Before joining CCRM as the Director, Communications and Marketing, Stacey was the Director of Communications for the Canadian Arthritis Network. Stacey is editor of Signals. You can follow Stacey on Twitter @msstaceyerin.