This Sunday, March 8, 2020, is International Women’s Day. In Canada, this year’s theme is #BecauseOfYou, which pays tribute to diverse and inspirational gender equality change-makers.
Worldwide, the theme of the 2020 International Women’s Day is #EachforEqual, which stands for celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness against biases, and taking action for equality.
We believe it’s important to empower women to participate equally in economic, social, and political life. On March 8, and every day, we celebrate the women in our organization, industry, communities, and families.
Fariba Rawhani, Chief Information Officer at Teranet, spoke to the importance of International Women’s Day, both for current leaders and for future ones.
“Humanity is coming of age and we’re becoming very aware of the importance of equality and inclusion,” Rawhani said.
“We are collectively working become more aware of ingrained values and beliefs so that for this generation and the generations to come, society will be more accepting and inclusive. We have a lot more in common then as one species.”
History of International Women’s Day
The first International Women’s Day (IWD) gathering took place in 1911. However, the roots of it began three years earlier, in 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights.
In 1909, the first National Women’s Day was observed in the U.S. on February 28.
In 1910, Clara Zetkin, the Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day at the second-ever International Conference of Working Women.
She proposed that every year, in every country, there should be a celebration on the same day to press for women’s demands. The proposal was greeted with unanimous approval and March 19, 1911 marked the first such occasion.
In 1975, International Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations. In 1996, the UN began adopting an annual theme.
The movement has continued to grow throughout the years and today, in 2020, we are fortunate to see International Women’s Day celebrated around the world.
Women in the Canadian Real Estate, Mortgage, and Financial Industries
The Canadian real estate, mortgage, and financial industries are home to many impressive women across the country.
In recent years, women leaders have been receiving more recognition.
Canadian Mortgage Professional (CMP) releases an annual Women of Influence list, naming 60 of the mortgage industry’s most ground-breaking, trend-setting women. While only 60 make the final list, CMP reported that they received hundreds of nominations from path-paving women.
Real Estate Professional (REP) and Canadian Real Estate Wealth hosted their first-ever Women in Real Estate event in Mississauga, Ontario in the fall of 2018.
“Women, when they are allowed to be and to express themselves, are a creative, innovative and supportive force to be reckoned with. The evidence of which can be found in every corner of the real estate industry,” REP stated on its website.“Their empathy inspires fresh, effective solutions; their dedication – to clients, to their communities – can literally change lives.”
REP publishes the annual Elite Women list, which celebrates women in real estate. While 50 finalists made the list in 2019, REP noted that they received more nominations for this feature than any other they have produced.
Across the industry, groups such as WIMI – Women in the Mortgage Industry — and WREN — the Women’s Real Estate Network — are providing spaces for women to collaborate, mentor, and share ideas, experiences, and opportunities.
In her career, Rawhani has seen deep-rooted behaviours that often prevent women from stepping into positions of leadership or embracing work with confidence.
“I noticed early on, and in other companies, that when women are talking, they are talked over, interrupted, rephrased, not heard,” Rawhani said.
“This has been so ingrained in our culture and society. We want to make sure that we are aware and take the necessary steps to correct it.”
Teranet’s Commitment to Women in Leadership
At Teranet, we are dedicated to providing a safe, equal work environment for women.
Our women leaders drive us forward towards continuous innovations, leading-edge solutions, and an engaging workplace.
“Teranet is a great company to work in,” Rawhani said. “It is highly diverse and committed to making sure our culture is inclusive of women and their talent.”
In 2020, for the fourth consecutive year, Teranet Inc. was selected as one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers.
Part of the reason for our selection was the way that we support women in the workplace, including providing employees who are new mothers with maternity leave top-up payments and investing in growing young leaders.
In 2019, we launched a Women’s Leadership Program and recently piloted a Return to Work Training Program to help reorient women coming back after a maternity leave, or any employee returning from an extended leave.
“When we started to understand the need of Teranet women, we didn’t want to make any assumptions,” Rawhani said.
“We wanted to hit the nail right on the head with what women need for leadership potential and make sure that we are promoting their needs and opinions. It takes time, but we are on the right path.”
Teranet is dedicated to providing an inclusive workplace where everyone helps each other succeed, and we deliver on what we promise. That path also includes practices and policies that ensure longevity and sustainability for women within Teranet.
Learn More About International Women’s Day
Discover more about International Women’s Day in Canada and how to take part: https://cfc-swc.gc.ca/commemoration/iwd-jif/theme-en.html
Join the worldwide International Women’s Day community and learn more about the collective efforts of all: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/
Teranet is an international leader and pioneer in electronic land registration systems and commerce. Learn more about our workplace and solutions at www.teranet.ca.