Broadening access to learning, fostering leadership, and empowering others to value inclusion and equity are keys to change. TVO proudly lights the way.
Women have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and these impacts are amplified by other identity markers like race and economic status. This is creating a phenomenon some are calling a “she-cession.” A recent TVO.org interview with Sarah Kaplan, director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, notes that women have overwhelmingly shouldered increased demands for childcare and healthcare, with many stepping back from their careers to do so.
According to a Royal Bank report in November 2020, over 20,000 women left the workforce in the first eight months of the pandemic. This number includes some of the leaders we desperately need in media, technology, and education – not just for today, but for the girls who are yet to follow in their footsteps.
What can we do to ensure unpredictable shocks like this pandemic won’t reinforce generations of gender-based barriers to achievement? It starts with building more resilient systems that strengthen pathways for girls and women to achieve more, while easing demands on parents and caregivers. TVO, a digital learning and media organization based in Ontario, takes a holistic approach to supporting the development of women leaders through learning experiences that value representation, equity of access, and recognition of value, helping to remove inherent bias. “The seeds of leadership begin early in life,” says Rashmi Swarup, VP Digital Learning at TVO. “That’s why we prioritize diversity and inclusion in TVOkids series like 16 Hudson, Dino Dana, Odd Squad, Fish Heads and When I Grow Up; and in TVO mPower’s K-6 math and STEM games like 3 Alarm Patterns, Care Clinic, Food on the Move and Amazon River Researcher.”
“Education plays a critical role in developing leadership potential,” adds Swarup. “TVO helps to level the playing field for girls, providing strong role modeling and opportunities to acquire skills. We enable educators, families, and students to strengthen the links between at-school and at-home learning; and we unlock possibility through quality educational resources.” Here, Swarup is referring to life-changing educational resources at the heart of TVO’s offering — like TVO Learn, which ensures students in grades 1-12 continue to learn at home during the pandemic, free 1:1 math tutoring with TVO Mathify, and Ontario’s premiere online high school, TVO ILC.
TVO helps to level the playing field for girls, providing strong role modeling and opportunities to acquire skills.
Rashmi Swarup, VP Digital Learning at TVO
The pandemic has shone a light on gender-based inequities that continue to hold women back. Broadening access to learning, fostering leadership, and empowering the next generation to value inclusion and equity are keys to change. TVO proudly lights the way for the advancement of women now and into the future.