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Equality Matters

This year, Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day is Equality Matters and we would like to share with you all some interesting facts. #EqualityMatters because it is good for the economy, for the children, for the democracy, for EVERYBODY!

Did you know that…

-According to RBC, the increased economic participation of women resulted in a $130 billion contribution to economic activity in 2012 alone. This is equivalent to approximately 7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

-In February 2016, the international report Is Gender Diversity Profitable? found that an organization with 30% female leaders could add up to 6 percentage points to its net profit margin.

-Research suggests that having a more diverse corporate board of directors may lead to stronger financial performance for companies.

-Companies with higher representation of women on their boards demonstrated a 26% higher return on investment.

-It is estimated that violence against women costs Canada more than $9.3 billion a year.

-Father involvement is related to positive child health outcomes in infants, such as improved weight gain in preterm infants and improved breastfeeding rates.

-Father engagement reduces the frequency of behavioral problems in boys while also decreasing delinquency and economic disadvantage in low-income families.

-Research shows that women in politics raise issues that others overlook, pass bills that others oppose, invest in projects others dismiss and seek to end abuses that others ignore.

-Where women are able to participate in peace processes, the chances of reaching an agreement at all improve, and the peace is 35 percent more likely to last at least 15 years.

-A study of statistics gathered from various equality indexes showed that living in one of the more gender equal countries in Europe was associated with having a higher quality of life and a lower chance of depression, divorce, or becoming a victim of violent death for both men and women.

Source: Status of Women Canada

On my way to Europe, I Noticed The Changing Face of Air Travel

GEM Creative Writing Intern, Mishal Dar, travelled to Europe this summer with her family. In this week’s blog she investigated first hand if the air travel industry is still stuck in stereotypical gender roles, or is it changing?

Summer travelling. That special vacation time when everything imaginable goes into the suitcase and anticipation of hotel room service and warm beach sand becomes unbearable. The destination is all well and good, but the airport in between caught my attention as well.

The last time I travelled on an airplane I noticed that there were far more female flight attendants than male. I’m pleased to report that this time around I not only noticed a more even split, but was able to chat with a female flight attendant to get a firsthand account of the situation.

Stella Vantendelo, a bubbly and sweet blonde, told me that she had always wanted to become a flight attendant because, as a child, she had admired the pretty uniforms. When asked whether she thought there were more female flight attendants than male she responded that her airline has made recent changes to encourage more gender equality, and that she has noticed an increase in male flight attendants since. Looking around, I could verify that statement as the cabin crew in my plane were an even split between female and male attendants.

GEM Creative Writing Intern Mishal Dar with flight attendant Stella Vantendelo. (photo: Mishal Dar)
GEM Creative Writing Intern Mishal Dar with flight attendant Stella Vantendelo. (photo: Mishal Dar)

It feels good knowing that certain airlines have finally awoken to the realization that they had been perpetuating the stereotype of being served by a woman. Opening up the job of flight attendant to males not only helps to eradicate this stereotype but it also creates gender equality in the workplace. With this promising discovery at the airport, I was able to start my vacation with a little hope for the future.