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March 8th is International Women’s Day – a day to mark support and rally for equality in social, economic, cultural, and political issues. The first International Women’s Day gathering was held in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland in 1911. Over one million people met and rallied for women’s rights to work, vote, and be part of public office. In 1975 the United Nations officially celebrated International Women’s Day and encouraged countries worldwide to celebrate. The United Nations is now the primary sponsor of the day. Every year people of every gender, sex, and race come together to celebrate diversity and continue to fight for equality.

This International Woman’s Day, Devco is proud to work with Women Building Futures and Women Engage – two great organizations promoting diversity in trades. Women Building Futures began in Edmonton in 1998, offering education and mentorship to women wanting to build their own careers and earn their trades apprenticeships. Women Building Futures started as a small community of individuals teaching carpentry to offer 6 full courses (carpentry, plumbing, electrical, steam/pipefitting, welding, and sheet metal), affordable housing options, and giving the opportunity for all women to feel confident in the workforce. In 2013 Suncor and WBF collaborated in a co-op program for women to train as heavy equipment operators, through this program 66 women have been hired by Suncor. Suncor has been dedicated to diversifying workforce and partnerships. Women Engage is Suncor’s own “Employee Inclusion Network,” supporting their own staff, partnerships, and collaborations. It is important to embrace the culture and society we live in – understanding and learning from those around us from all walks of life.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day and strive for equality, realize the capabilities we all have and the opportunities we all deserve.

Written by: Hannah Reynn

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