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Women at Edwards: celebrating International Women's Day

Mikaila Ortynsky

Since our first female graduate in 1932, Edwards School of Business (Edwards) has come a long way in advancing women in business.

Today, March 8, is International Womens’ Day which aims to celebrate the achievements of women. This year’s theme #BalanceforBetter, calls for a collective action to accelerate gender balance. 

Important strides are being made in the business world including the introduction of Bloomberg’s Gender-Equality Index and emphasis on promoting equality in corporations.

At Edwards, we recognize that the effort towards a gender balance is a continuous endeavor.

75 per cent of the Edwards senior leadership team are women including both associate deans and the director of resources. Women are not being hired into these positions to merely “check a box”; rather, these professionals represent the most qualified persons for the positions.

Among faculty, the number of women who are leaders in their field of research or delivering teaching excellence is something of which we are proud.

Female researchers at Edwards continue to make important contributions towards advancing women in the workplace.

They are conducting studies on advertising, gender and leadership, corporate social responsibility, persuasive communication, marketing ethics, taxation, e-commerce, and labour force supply.

To date women represent:
• 89% of our staff
• 78% of all our new hires since 2016
• 44% of our B. Comm. students
• 33% of our faculty

To find solutions in the business world, diverse talent is needed. That’s why we take time to recognize the accomplishments of our female faculty, staff, and students that help Edwards School of Business build nations.

Student Initiatives

“You can’t find a student group with a similar mission statement anywhere in North America,” said Young Women in Business, University of Saskatchewan (YWiB USask) president, Jenna Kachur. “We’re about women creating their own success on their own terms.”

Young Women in Business is a national organization with chapters across Canada. The University of Saskatchewan chapter launched in 2016 and is a student club that is not exclusive to business students.

“Surprisingly, a lot of [our] members that aren’t already connected to the group are in psychology, nursing, or education; it’s widespread,” she said.

Kachur remarked that YWiB is filling a gap on campus for professional development events for female students. “[Students] realize and recognize that skills like networking are skills they should know and want to know.”

YWiB USask has hosted events ranging from panels featuring women from backgrounds like fitness, entrepreneurship, and professional practice in addition to professional development workshops.

The USask chapter isn’t exclusive to female members either. “We welcome all genders,” said Kachur, which she believes, plays a large part into the #BalanceforBetter theme. “As much as we need women at the table, we also need men to be willing to give them that seat.”

Professional Development Opportunities

One of the Edwards Executive Education flagship topics is Women Initiatives. With a 100% female staff, the Edwards Executive team sees the value of putting a focus on advancing women. Programs that Executive Education currently host include LUNAFEST, Speak! Canada, Empowering Women Leaders Program, and the Betty-Ann Heggie Womentorship Program.

Annually, Edwards Executive Education hosts the Women of Influence Breakfast presentation to celebrate authentic leadership, inspiring role models, and accomplished citizens. At the 2018 event, more than 400 people gathered to celebrate women in leadership. Proceeds from this event contribute to a scholarship for single parents with dependent children.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Edwards School of Business and the Betty-Ann Heggie Womentorship Foundation screen LUNAFEST, an international film festival featuring female-produced short films. This year’s event was held on March 6, with the proceeds going towards tuition fees for proteges to partake in the Womentorship program. 

For more information on Executive Education’s programs visit their website

Happy International Women’s Day!

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