As we work toward achieving gender parity in Canada, we must recognize that feminist leadership is for everybody.
Growth in inclusive leadership has been slow-going in Canada, but we’re making inroads. From corporations to government to civic society, we’re seeing more diversity of leaders and an increase in programs, practices, and policies to build the infrastructure to sustain it.
We’re not at gender parity and there are many gains to be made here. Nonetheless, I take our current trajectory as a positive sign. My expectations are high for more inroads we can make in the range of leadership diversity we’re still missing. This includes efforts to open space for and provide ongoing support to women and gender-diverse leaders who are Indigenous, Black, living with disabilities, newcomers, younger, and more.
With overwhelming evidence about the benefits of inclusive leadership across boardrooms and decision-making tables, there’s no question about the power of growing our pool of women and equity-seeking leaders. We sorely need their excellence and unique perspectives and skill sets.
Still, echoing the insights of writer and thinker bell hooks, feminist leadership is for everybody.
Unlocking the power of inclusive approaches
We should never leave it to women and equity-seeking leaders to carry the weight of gender-sensitive, equity-mindful, and diversity-unlocking decision-making alone. That’s a setup and a missed opportunity.
We should never leave it to women and equity-seeking leaders to carry the weight of gender-sensitive, equity-mindful, and diversity-unlocking decision-making alone. That’s a setup and a missed opportunity
Competent leaders in all sectors, reflective of all genders and backgrounds, need to embody feminist leadership skill sets. Where they don’t, they need to build them now — and their organizations would be wise to hold them accountable for it. The health, sustainability, and success of these organizations depend on it.
Everyone can learn from abundant data and best practices and boost their ability to bring gender-based equity analysis into their leadership. Every leader can ask under-asked questions and unlock the power of inclusive approaches in their work. All leaders, men, women, and gender-diverse alike, need to do it. Feminist leadership is key to facing pressing economic and social problems today
Visit canadianwomen.org to learn how you can join the movement for gender equality and justice.