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For Immediate Release
Feb. 16, 2018

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The B.C. government is supporting the advancement of women in the workplace and the global economy with its involvement in this year’s We for She conference.

The Province has signed on as one of three organizing partners of the 2018 conference — to be held in Vancouver this fall – joining the Women’s Enterprise Centre and the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. The announcement was made at a Greater Vancouver Board of Trade-sponsored event, A Conversation with Michelle Obama.

Now in its fifth year, We for She annually attracts close to 1,000 young women from throughout B.C. to learn about career opportunities, gender equality and mentorship.

“We are proudly contributing $350,000 in support of the 2018 We for She conference to create greater awareness of career possibilities for women around B.C.,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “Your government is working hard to encourage more young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, which are predominantly occupied by men. We value this event because it introduces young women to successful and inspiring role models, motivating them to follow their lead and helping them become active participants in B.C.'s economy.”

Premier John Horgan set the tone for gender equality in B.C. by appointing 11 women to his 22-member cabinet, and on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, appointed Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Mitzi Dean as Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity.

“We are thrilled by today’s announcement by the B.C. government that it has made this substantial funding commitment to We for She 2018,” said conference co-chairs Jill Earthy and Lois Nahirney. “It will ensure that professional men, women and girls from around B.C. can meet again for a day of inspiration, learning, mentorship and action to support gender equity for current and future generations.”

Participants in We for She gain a greater understanding of their career options and potential, expand their confidence in what they can achieve, and are provided with the opportunity to meet successful role models. The one-day conference features a number of workshops led by inspiring speakers, leaders of private companies and representatives from women’s business organizations.

“We for She has been building momentum over the past four years. Now, with this essential funding commitment from the Province, We for She 2018 will continue to bring together women and B.C. students for a fifth annual one-day forum, with the ultimate goal of making gender equality in leadership a priority,” said Iain Black, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.

We are delighted to work with proactive business and government leaders in B.C. on their commitment to leading the way in diversity and sharing best practices,” said Laurel Douglas, CEO of the Women’s Enterprise Centre and co-founder of the WEB Alliance of Women’s Business Networks in B.C. “Through exposure and resources shared at We for She, we aim to empower participants throughout the province.”

The We for She movement started in 2014 to advance gender equality and grow the Canadian economy by championing gender diversity in leadership as a business necessity.

Quick Facts:

  • With more than 900,000 job openings expected in B.C. by 2027, women will play an increasingly important role in keeping the province’s economy diverse, strong and growing.
  • B.C. has more than one million women working — the most in B.C.’s history and nearly half of the current provincial labour force.
  • Approximately 38% of all business owners in B.C. are women, above the national average of 36%.
  • Women comprised 38% of all self-employed people in B.C. in 2017, ranking B.C. third among all provinces and above the national average of 37%.
  • B.C. continues to foster an entrepreneurship culture, including the declaration of Small Business Week in October, and supporting programs that connect women and youth to business training so they can become the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Learn More:

  • To learn more about We for She, visit weforshe.ca.
  • To find out more information about Women’s Enterprise Centre, visit womensenterprise.ca.
  • To find out about career, education and training resources, visit workbc.ca.
  • For information on the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, visit boardoftrade.com.

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