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For Immediate Release
May 25, 2018

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http://www.womensenterprise.ca/

Jill Earthy and Lois Nahirney honoured for their work on the WE FOR SHE movement to achieve gender equality

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Motivated by their belief in diversity and inclusion, Jill Earthy and Lois Nahirney have volunteered thousands of hours to advocate for equality for women in business in B.C. and beyond.

They have been honoured with the prestigious HSBC Community Contributor of the Year award by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI) for their work as co-chairs of the WE FOR SHE movement. Presented in Calgary on May 24, the award recognizes someone who has gone "above and beyond to effect change" towards diversity.

This is the first time two winners have shared the award, and a significant honour for the women, who have been active both individually and as WE FOR SHE co-chairs in advancing women in senior leadership, on boards, as entrepreneurs, and in emerging industries.

Jill and Lois co-chair the annual WE FOR SHE event, which started in 2014 as a joint initiative of the WEB Alliance of Women's Business Networks (co-founded by Jill) and the Premier's Women's Economic Council (chaired by Lois). The Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and Women's Enterprise Centre are Organizing Partners.

"Along with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade I congratulate Jill and Lois on this tremendous recognition. The annual WE FOR SHE conference is unlike any other event we host and its success is due in large measure to their inclusive leadership, passion and dauntless pursuit of change," says Anne Giardini, 2017-18 Chair of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. "The dialogue among business leaders at WE FOR SHE has made all of us more aware and more committed to implementing diversity and inclusion strategies in our organizations." 

Through the vision of Jill and Lois, and collaboration from WEB Alliance members and partner and sponsor organizations, the WE FOR SHE conference has quickly become one of North America's largest gatherings of women's organizations, corporations, experts, business and government leaders, advocates, and young women. Over 1,400 people attended the 2017 WE FOR SHE event, including 750 young women in grades 10-12, thanks to support from the Government of British Columbia.

"The WE FOR SHE movement asks everyone to speak up, step up and act up to help achieve gender equality," says Nahirney. "We're so honoured that our efforts are making an impact for women of all ages."

The first event in 2014, then known as the "BC Economic Forum: Women as a Catalyst for Growth," resulted in an action plan to help individuals, corporations and government shift the dial on gender equality. The action plan is updated each year, summarizing the input from each annual WE FOR SHE event, tracking progress and setting new priorities to create change in BC. The latest Action Plan is available at weforshe.ca/TakeAction.

The WE FOR SHE movement has also spawned the WE FOR SHE NextGen Leaders Program, presented by Minerva BC in partnership with Women's Enterprise Centre and funded by the Province of BC. The program provides resources for high schools to develop valuable relationships with local business leaders, implement mentoring programs and host leadership events for young women in grades 10-12.

 "Jill and Lois have worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the WE FOR SHE movement. Their advocacy and efforts towards diversity and inclusion in BC have made a real difference," says Laurel Douglas, CEO of Women's Enterprise Centre and co-founder of the WEB Alliance, who nominated the pair.

This year's WE FOR SHE conference is set to take place on November 16, 2018, at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. Learn more at weforshe.ca.


About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:

Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Pacific Canada's leading business association, engaging members to impact public policy at all levels of government and to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.'s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through four unique Signature Programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events programs in the country, providing a platform for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.'s business leaders.

About the Women's Enterprise Centre:

Women’s Enterprise Centre is the leading full-service business resource for BC women who are starting and scaling their own business. We provide business loans up to $150K, business skills training, personalized business advice, mentoring, practical resources and a supportive community to help women business owners gain the skills, mindset, financing and networks they need to realize their business potential.

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