International Women’s Day 2019

February 21, 2019

International Women’s Day is here! A celebration for all the progress made thus far and a call for even more action towards a more gender-equal world, this year, the day’s powerful theme is #BalanceforBetter.

We’re highlighting some of the amazing women using their platforms to raise awareness and inspire advocacy around gender-based issues facing women and men today.

Kim Campbell

19th Prime Minister of Canada, Founding Member & Former Secretary General of the Club of Madrid

In her 2018 parliamentary address on International Women’s Day, Ms. Campbell discussed the topic of bias towards those who fall outside of the historical norm. As Canada’s first female Prime Minister, she encountered this issue many times in the media and in the government. She concluded that changing people’s assumptions about who is fit for a job is a difficult but necessary task that won’t happen all at once. In the case of global leadership, out of 195 countries in the world, only 70 of them have ever been led by a woman. As of January 2019, 11 women are serving as Head of State and 10 are serving as Head of Government. That marks a significant uptick from the mere 20 countries that had been run by a woman when Ms. Campbell first took office. She believes it’s just a matter of time before we see another female Prime Minister in Canada – and perhaps America’s first female President. Ms. Campbell’s humour, experience, advocacy, and sincerity make her an excellent keynote speaker on leadership, diversity, current events, politics, and international relations.


Most requested topic for International Women’s Day:

Gender & Power 
Ms. Campbell has spent much of her life breaking barriers for women. Through her political career serving at all three levels of Canadian government, Kim knows what it’s like to make it in a man’s world, and is widely regarded as one of the foremost thinkers and speakers on gender issues. Both men and women will be inspired by her unique leadership experience in the political arena.

Key Takeaways:
Sticking to your principles: the value of having a vision.
Battling stereotypes: how to change perceptions of what’s possible.
Reality Check: Being the first to break-through a stereotype will often require sacrifices. 

Rumeet Billan

Leadership & Emotional Resilience Advisor

Rumeet Billan is an award-winning entrepreneur, learning architect, and humanitarian. As part of her work as the President & CEO of Viewpoint Leadership, she raises awareness of the positive impacts of a more gender diverse, inclusive workplace. Her presentations help organizations uncover and nurture potential in their employees by using innovative strategies that utilize emotional intelligence and resiliency.  

Most requested topic for International Women’s Day:

The Tallest Poppy: Solving the Silent Systemic Syndrome
A recent survey found an overwhelming number of women have experienced Tall Poppy Syndrome (TPS) in the workplace. Tall Poppy Syndrome, a term that was popularized in Australia, occurs when people are attacked, resented, disliked, criticized or cut down because of their achievements or success. The result of this silent systemic syndrome has a direct impact on everything from engagement and productivity to retention and workplace culture. This presentation examines the eye-opening results of a large study led by Dr. Rumeet Billan and focuses on understanding how TPS impacts the workplace and explores strategies to prevent TPS – eliminating distrust and strengthening organizational culture.

Key Takeaways:
• Training and Development: How to develop better-crafted policies & transparency in paths for promotions.
• Leading by Example: How leaders can address, highlight and bring up TPS within organizational communications.
• Speaking up: Encourage women and support them in reaching their full potential without experiencing backlash for their success.

Vivek Shraya

Artist, Educator & Performer

Vivek Shraya is a powerful interdisciplinary artist who has been an advocate for diversity, inclusion, and feminism, just to name a few. In a profile by FLARE last year, she was referred to as “as a tour-de-force” with her work crossing the boundaries of music, literature, visual art, and film. On stage, Vivek is sincere, passionate, and positive while examining the difficult questions around gender, race, privilege, sexuality, and representation. Her vulnerable, authentic stage presence leaves audiences with “redefined possibilities of existing” with the goal of promoting accessibility through understanding. Vivek’s presentations help organizations find more equitable ways of operating successfully.

Most requested topic for International Women’s Day:

Celebrating Femininity
Being forced into masculinity, Vivek has spent most of her life fighting for and reclaiming various parts of her femininity. Using her multi-faceted artwork—poetry, prose, and music—Vivek shares her journey to celebrating femininity, in herself, her mother, her religious upbringing, and in pop culture, despite her early experiences of misogyny, sexism, and homophobia. Audiences members will leave inspired with a framework for celebrating their own femininity.

Key Takeaways:
Education: How & why we need to change the way we educate youth about gender.
Misogyny & Sexism: The communal benefits of recognizing & addressing our complicity in the prevalence of misogyny and sexism.

Andrea Bain

For a customized event programming proposal including keynote speakers to inspire your #IWD2019 audience around #BalanceforBetter, contact us today.