The year is 1989 when Ilyce Glink, then founder and president of Think Glink Media walked into her local bank with her husband to apply for a mortgage. Now sitting down with the bank’s mortgage specialist, Ilyce began describing her monthly income to help the mortgage specialist determine the couple’s borrowing threshold. “Don’t worry honey, your income doesn’t even count”, she recalls being told by the mortgage specialist (1).
In recent years, attitudes towards women and money have certainly come a long way. There are encouraging examples of this including efforts by grassroots organizations such as Start Up Canada or the government owned BDC to help make financial capital more accessible to aspiring female entrepreneurs. However, you don’t have to look far to realize that a lot of work still needs to be done to properly level the “playing field” for women when it comes to money and financial services. For example, a 2015 UN Human Rights report raised concerns over “persisting inequalities between women and men” in Canada including (especially) issues revolving around pay-equity. This is an issue that quite glaringly exists today. And we need to hold our politicians accountable to implement change on this issue (2). In response to pressures on this issue, our federal government had recently assembled a special committee on Pay Equity on February 17th, 2016. The committee had tabled its “Time to Act” report later that year calling for more reforms as it pertains to providing proper pay-equity leadership in Canada (3). The pace of change sometimes is painful and I look forward to see more being forwarded on this issue.
With today being International Women’s Day, I felt that it was important to take the opportunity to recognize the important and unique roles that women play in our society. Growing up, I can certainly say that I was surrounded by a number of strong and exemplary women. Starting with my mother, who at times juggled a full-time work schedule and a part-time school schedule, all the whilst raising 3 children, putting meals on the table, making lunches and getting us to hockey, dance or soccer practices. There was never any shortage of challenges to make it to the end of the week. And let’s not forget Grandma Vaillancourt & Grandma Musial, who took on the primary role of raising 10 & 7 kids respectively. I tip my hat off to anyone who could do this and still keep their sanity. And then there’s my younger sisters Monique and Natalie who have each been leaders in their own respective professional lives. They are each working hard to break through any glass ceiling put in front of them.
So I challenge you to take 5 minutes out of your day today and reach out to 1 woman who made a difference in your life. Tell them why they mattered and why you care.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Authored by Isaac Musial Sources:
(1) The San Diego Tribune https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/entertainment/beer/sd-et-beer-temple-20190301-story.html
(2) United Nations Office of the High Commission for Human Rights. “Concluding observations on the sixth periodic report of Canada,” 2015, p. 2. http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CCPR%2FC%2FCAN%2FCO%2F6&Lang=en