Closing the Gender Gap: Addressing Inequality through Policy Change

Thursday, March 12, 2020 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
CIGI Campus Auditorium, 67 Erb Street West, Waterloo, Canada
Public Event: Community Event
Mar 12
Display of gender equality concept through signage (Shutterstock)
Display of gender equality concept through signage (Shutterstock)

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 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.


Event Speakers

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 is the founder and CEO of Glassbox, a consultancy firm that trains software development and legal teams to identify how choices made along the technical pipeline can translate into bias. Shoker's PhD, which examined the Bush and Obama-era decision to exclude boys and men from drone warfare’s collateral damage count, was nominated for the the CAGS/UMI Distinguished Dissertation Award. "Military-Age Males in U.S. Counterinsurgency and Drone Warfare" is currently under contract with Palgrave MacMillan, with publication tentatively scheduled for 2020.

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.