International Women’s Day 2020

March 5, 2020

Over the past century, women have made great strides in society to move towards greater gender equality. In recognition of this and to celebrate the incredible achievements that women have made around the world, we honour International Women’s Day annually on March 8. While much progress has been made, there is still a long way to go to reach true gender parity, and this day marks a reminder for that as well.

The 2020 campaign theme for International Women’s Day is #EachforEqual, highlighting the need for each person to make the choice for equality in all senses of the word. As the official International Women’s Day website says, “An equal world is an enabled world.”

The Law Society of Alberta has worked hard to make meaningful change towards this kind of equal representation within the organization. 2019 marked a change in leadership with Elizabeth J. Osler as the first-ever female Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director. On top of that, our Board is now comprised of 12 women and 12 men, demonstrating a true split in the guidance for our strategic direction. The women in these positions and across our organization continue to bring valuable insight and talent to our work, making them instrumental in the regulation of the legal profession in Alberta.

To further recognize this important day, we gathered quotes from a few of these inspirational women of the Law Society to share what International Women’s Day means to them:

“The most rewarding thing in my career has been the friendships I have made with my colleagues along the way. Some have become lifelong friends, and others are more distant memories, but all of them have played a role in shaping my career. Like many others, my career path has involved different types of work and I am grateful for everyone who has inspired me, challenged me and motivated me to always do my best. On International Women’s Day, I would encourage everyone to reach out to your mentors to say ‘thanks’, because after all, mentoring is not an obligation, it’s a choice.” – Elizabeth J. Osler, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director

 “International Women’s Day is a chance to celebrate the women in your life who inspire and support you. It is also an opportunity to focus our attention on how far we still have to go to ensure that women and girls in Canada and around the world have equal opportunity to live and thrive free from violence, harassment and discrimination. We all have a part to play in this important goal whether it is in our profession, our workplaces or our communities.” – Cori Ghitter, Deputy Executive Director and Director, Professionalism & Policy

“International Women’s Day is such an important day – a day to express our gratitude to those amazing women who came before us and fought for gender parity in our profession, a day to recognize and celebrate the achievements of the many strong and exceptional women currently effecting change in our profession, and to encourage and support the aspirations of the many  women who are early in their careers or are considering a legal career.” – Darlene W. Scott, QC, President-Elect

“For lawyers, the practice of law is not just about the business of law; it is a profession, a vocation, a calling that demands equity, diversity, inclusion, and access as a fundamental component of justice in Canada and beyond.   International Women’s Day inspires me as a lawyer for its ability to unite women around the world no matter what their circumstance or hardship. This is a day to celebrate this journey and a stark reminder to us all that there is still much work to be done.” Kathleen Ryan, QC, Bencher

“I attribute my success and happiness largely to the internal power that I believe all women have and that the women in my life have shared with me. Courage to pursue my dreams, integrity to act and speak in accordance with my values, accountability to do the best that I am capable of and compassion and respect to help others do the same.”  Louise Wasylenko, CPA, CMA, Bencher

For more information about International Women’s Day, visit the official website.