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March 11th, 2016

Our Pledge for Parity

As many of you will be aware, it was International Women’s Day this week – an opportunity to celebrate the valuable and vital contribution that women make to the world but also to remember the inequalities that still exist and the work still to be done.

This year’s campaign called on people to make a “Pledge for Parity”, an aspect of which being to encourage girls and women to pursue their ambitions. This is something that we are passionate about at the Canaan Project – helping young women to know what opportunities are available to them, to have aspirations and to develop the resources to pursue them.

One of the ways that we encourage this is by inviting women to come and talk to our girls about their lives and work. We were really grateful to have two women visit this week, both of whom not only have successful careers but are also both mothers and imminently expecting new additions to their families. They shared about the steps they’d taken to pursue their chosen careers, their motivations, the challenges they’d overcome and how they navigate their various roles and responsibilities. The girls listened more intently than I’ve ever seen and many questions and conversations were inspired, preconceptions challenged and ideas sown.

I’m reminded again of how important role models are in developing aspirations. Hearing stories of people like us, who’ve gone before us, and of what they’ve seen and achieved, opens up new possibilities. So as part of our “Pledge for Parity” we commit to giving space for many more women’s stories to be told in the hope that they will inform a new generation of stories that are in the making.

Fiona