“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader." - Dolly Parton
This quote describes exactly my feelings as I participated in the 2019 YWCA Women of Distinction awards.
Being nominated was such a highlight, however I didn’t realize at the time what an impact this experience would have on me as I learned more about the 62 other nominees. Exceptional, passionate and accomplished are just a few words that come to my mind to describe the attributes of these amazing women.
The annual YWCA Women of Distinction Awards is a celebration of the best in women’s achievements across industry, culture and public service, honouring ordinary women for their extraordinary contributions to the Saskatoon community. The newly implemented Saskatchewan Spirit award recognizes these contributions by women residing outside Saskatoon.
The YWCA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Founded in the 1940s, the YWCA has worked tirelessly empowering, supporting, and coaching women, girls and families every day.
Michelle Obama said: “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.”
The YWCA has been doing what many of us are trying to achieve in our quest to increase women’s involvement in our communities by helping women lead, climb, and thrive as they become part of the decision making process in every sector.
We know a healthy society is one in which importance is given to formal and informal relationships that facilitate interaction and engagement, and thus engender a sense of belonging. It is also one in which there is broad participation by all sections of the population. Communities with these characteristics do better in moving forward to meet common aspirations and build strong, healthy communities for all of us to live in.
The Honourable Dr. Lillian Eva Quan Dyck, this year’s Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement recipient, is well-known for advocating for equity in the education and employment of women, Chinese Canadians and Aboriginals. She is the first female First Nations senator, as well as the first Canadian-born Chinese senator.
Senator Dyck recently commented that although women and girls make up more than half of Canada’s population, they’re underrepresented when it comes to leadership in business, politics, science and other areas. And that discrepancy costs all of us, regardless of gender.
There is evidence that a lack of elected representation trickles down into all areas, including laws that affect the lives of women and girls, but also those of boys and men. More voices offer a wider range of perspectives, which leads to better solutions for everyone.
I’ve made women in leadership an essential part of my advocacy as Warman City Mayor. In fact, on June 11 I am hosting a casual discussion with local women interested in leadership positions in our community and beyond. This follows last fall’s forum, Your Voice, during which we started the conversation. I am looking forward to the brainstorming and support to arise from that evening.
If you are interested in joining us that evening, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.