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Closing the Gender Gap: Addressing Inequality through Policy Change

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CIGI Campus Auditorium

67 Erb St. W.

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6C2

Canada

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Closing the Gender Gap: Addressing Inequality Through Policy Change

All over the world, women face barriers of all kinds to equality, many institutional in nature.

According to a 2018 study by Statistics Canada, women in Canada still earn on average over 13% less than their male counterparts, and globally, that figure is closer to 23%. The World Bank estimates that globally, women are on average only afforded about 75% of the same legal rights as men. UNESCO estimates place the number of girls out of school to be 130 million, for reasons ranging from poverty to child marriage, which contributes to massive gender disparity in education levels.

The roots of these imbalances, by and large, stem from policies that inherently discriminate against women. As a result, sweeping systematic changes in policy are needed in order to address, and ultimately stop the gender gap.

In partnership with the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation and KPMG, CIGI is thrilled to host an International Women’s Day panel featuring experts from a broad range of professions working to address these issues from both practical and policy-based initiatives.

CIGI, KWCF and KPMG Logos

About the Speakers

Carinne Chambers-Saini, CEO and Co-Founder, Diva International Inc.

Carinne Chambers-Saini has followed a 15-year journey to create and market the revolutionary product and brand, DivaCup. As the only real innovation in feminine hygiene in decades, The DivaCup has completely disrupted the industry by providing the most eco-friendly, clean and comfortable way to address menstrual care on the market today. The incredible growth of the company and rise of The DivaCup brand have received much recognition. To name a few, Carinne has been awarded the EY Entrepreneur of The Year for Sustainable Products and Services, EY national Special Citation Award for Industry Disruptor, and has been recognized as one of Canada's Top 40 under 40, ranking #103 on the PROFIT 500 list.

Sarah Shoker, Founder and CEO, Glassbox; Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Waterloo and Balsillie School of International Affairs

Dr. Sarah Shoker is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo where she works on issues related to gender, emerging technologies, and international security. Dr. Shoker is also the founder of Glassbox, a consultancy firm that analyzes software products that use big data, AI, and machine learning for signs of bias and legal risk. Glassbox trains software development and legal teams to identify how choices made along the technical pipeline can translate into bias.

Amy Smoke, Graduate Student, Masters of Social Work-Indigenous Field of Study, Wilfrid Laurier University

Amy Smoke is Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan from the Six Nations of the Grand River. She is a mature student, mother, public speaker, singer, and active community member. She received a BA in Social Development Studies and then a Bachelor of Social Work from University of Waterloo, and is currently a graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University in the Masters of Social Work-Indigenous Field of Study program, with her practicum placement at MPP Laura Mae Lindo’s office. She also spent a year with the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre as the Events Coordinator. She sits on various Indigenous Advisory Circles in Waterloo Region and is also one of the founding members of the local First Nations drum group, The Blue Sky Singers. Amy has worked hard to overcome the intergenerational trauma from residential schools in her family and now shares her experiences with other students. Her culture has been her lifeline and she is determined to pass this on to her two daughters.

Jess Tomlin, Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Equality Fund

Jess Tomlin is the Co-CEO of the Equality Fund (formerly the President and CEO of The MATCH International Women’s Fund). Emphasizing the role of innovation in social movements, Jess leads an effort to resource women’s organizations around the world working to change systems and dismantle barriers. Jess has worked in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Asia for a range of actors including the World Bank, the UN and USAID. Prior to her appointment at The MATCH Fund and the Equality Fund, Jess was with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), managing large-scale reform for the Agency that supports Palestinian Refugees across the Middle East. Jess was named by the Stevie Awards as 2017's Most Innovative Woman of the Year.

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CIGI Campus Auditorium

67 Erb St. W.

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6C2

Canada

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