Why are women dropping out of the labour force? Is the current pandemic really the only reason for this? According to the National Women's Law Centre, as of February 2020, more than 2.3 million women have left the labour force, bringing women’s participation rate down to 57%; the lowest it has EVER BEEN since 1988.
Oftentimes women are the subject of subtle racist, sexist, and other disrespectful comments. Although these remarks may be subtle, they definitely do not go unnoticed by the receiver. We call these comments microaggressions. Women are subjected to microaggressions all the time, even within professional settings. An affiliate from BoostHER Ryerson shared her experience in which a male customer at her workplace thought he was complimenting her, but rather said something highly offensive and inaccurate. She was approached by the individual who wanted to thank her for her assistance; however, proceeded to remark his appreciation through backhanded comments of his surprise at a woman with a hijab being “allowed” to work given her “religious rules that held her back”. To him, his words were a compliment; to her, his words were nothing short of a sexist, ignorant, and racist statement.
What was she held back from exactly? These types of remarks towards women, across many different backgrounds and cultures, perpetuate uneducated claims and put down women daily.
At BoostHER, we define ourselves as a group of innovative women creating solutions and meaningful experiences for young professionals of all ages, ethnicities, religions, social statuses, and economic groups. Here at BoostHER, our mission is focused on paving the way for all women to achieve their personal and professional goals by empowering, uplifting, and connecting one another to beneficial resources. Through our efforts, we envision a world where a person’s identity does not limit their personal and professional success.
What supports our mission you may ask? Well, our 4 pillars of course! Purpose, Pursuit, Perseverance, and Pride. As our co-founders Christina Nemez and Ria Lyer stated, we are [truly] taking a leap of faith by incorporating BoostHER in the Ryerson community, and we hope that you can take the next step with us, allowing our vision to come to life.
We believe that women’s empowerment is a broad term that means - but is not limited to - gender equality and equity, the relation of sameness and fairness amongst groups of individuals. To give every woman an equal opportunity so that they may strive both professionally and personally, as a result of being given equal chances in the workplace, social gatherings, school settings and so forth. Empowering women reflects the notion of women supporting women, lifting one another up, striving towards goals as a unit, and acknowledging our differences while advocating for each other. It is a means of support in which all women feel heard, safe, and most importantly, not alone.
Along your journey here at BoostHER, you will meet a variety of our organization’s members such as our Blog Writers (hey that's us!) As well as, have the opportunity to connect and interact with us on social media, listen to new podcasts, and join in on some amazing events throughout the semester. Through conferences and our mentorship program, BoostHER strives to connect and build relationships between women in a variety of different industries. In addition, you will have access to our mentorship program, where your very own personal mentor will guide you through your desired profession - giving you career advice, resources, and much more! Our mentorship program is designed to advance your professional development, build confidence, have a positive female leader to collaborate and brainstorm with, as well as offer you access to more opportunities. Collectively, all of our organization's teams value and build ideas off of each other to produce meaningful content for you, but most importantly, we’re here to advocate and empower YOU!
Michelle Obama once said: “There is no limit to what we, as women can accomplish,” and we at BoostHER could not agree more. With that being said, we would love to know: What does women's empowerment mean to you?
Feel free to use the comment section down below to share your thoughts.
~ xoxo BoostHER.
Connely, C. (2021, February 8). Women’s labour force participation rate hit a 33-year low in January, according to new analysis. CNBC.
Bruce, M. (2021, October 26). Mentoring Matters: The Importance of Female Mentorship. Forbes.
Lyer, R., Nemez, C., and The BoostHER Executive Team (2021). Annual Report. p. 1-18.