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As we dive into International Women's Day, why confine the celebration to just one day? Let's spread the joy and recognition across a whole week! So, yesterday, I found myself at this fantastic panel discussion organized by the YWCA, and let me tell you, it was a vibe. The event, aptly named TrailblazHER, brought together a powerhouse of women, each with their own unique journey and insights to share.

Now, let me give you the lowdown on the fierce femmes who graced the panel:

Christine Marie, Awasis Boutique

Deena Simair, Belong Lifestyle/ Clothed Collective

Tisha Page, d’Lish by Tish

Rachel Smith, Bannock Express

Moderated by Caitrin Hodson

These ladies dropped some serious wisdom bombs, and I’m so grateful that I was in the room to hear it all. To see such diversity in panelists followed with breadth in entrepreneurial backgrounds was… refreshing. I have many takeaways however, I really want to emphasize a point that our friend Christine reiterates, especially when we can be so easily paralyzed with inaction. It is her reminder to start small and take it one step, one day at a time. It’s like she's speaking directly to our inner procrastinator, giving us permission to embrace progress at our own pace.

Further, as a white settler woman, I can't help but acknowledge the concept of "lonely only." You know what I'm talking about—many of us know the feeling of being the only woman in the room or the only one from your background at the table. On an oversimplified scale, it’s going to the party where you’re the only one who didn’t get the memo about the dress code. It is very lonely to be the only. Please use all of your access, power, and privilege to change this anytime possible. Let's use privilege to open doors for others, especially those who are often sidelined in the struggle for equality. It's time to trade in our gatekeeper badges for key master capes and create opportunities for everyone to shine.

So, what's the game plan for us TrailblazHERs? Two things come to mind before I dive into how we can break down barriers and harness our power:

  1. Cheers to Yourself: Raise a glass (or a mug of your favourite brew) and celebrate your wins, big and small. I talk about it all the time, but less humility and more hype. 

  1. Pass the Mic: Share the spotlight and amplify the voices of women whose stories often go unheard. Let’s make space at the table and ensure everyone gets a chance to speak their truth.

As we continue our journey beyond International Women's Day, let’s keep the fire burning and pave the way for a future where no woman feels like the "lonely only." Together, we can light up the path and blaze trails that lead to a more inclusive and equitable world. Are you with me? Great. Here are a few final things to think about as we head into International Women’s Day (on Friday):

Gender Bias in the Workplace: It's the elephant in the room that we can't afford to ignore. Whether it's the gender pay gap, lack of representation in leadership positions, or the subtle biases that sneak into performance evaluations, there's still work to be done. Let's challenge outdated norms and advocate for equal opportunities for all. We need allies, I am looking for the men. 

Intersectionality: Recognizing that gender equality isn't one-size-fits-all is key. Women face different challenges based on factors like race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. By embracing intersectionality, we can ensure that our fight for equality is inclusive and truly representative of all women.

Reproductive Rights: It's 2024, and yet the battle for reproductive rights rages on. From access to comprehensive healthcare to the right to make decisions about our own bodies, the fight for reproductive justice is far from over. Let's stand firm in our resolve to protect these fundamental rights for all women.

The Power of Visibility: Sometimes, it's the little things that make the biggest impact. Whether it's giving a shoutout on social media to a fellow woman crushing it in her field or simply acknowledging and thanking the women in our lives for their contributions, let's make visibility a priority.

Lift as You Climb: We've all heard the phrase, "Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back." Let's embody this ethos by actively supporting and uplifting our sisters. Whether it's offering mentorship, sharing resources, or simply being a cheerleader, let's lift each other up as we climb the ladder of success.

As we navigate the complexities of gender equality, let's remember that change starts with small actions. By breaking down barriers and harnessing our collective power, we can create a world where every woman is celebrated, supported, and empowered to thrive. Here's to being trailblazers, today and every day.

May the bridges we burn light the way…





Deena _
Deena _
Mar 06

“May the bridges we burn light the way”—-I keep thinking of this. Love it.

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