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Leading with Purpose and Closing the Gap

Store Owner In Front Of Store
Store Owner In Front Of Store
Dwania Peele

Dwania Peele

Founder & Executive Director, Canadian Small Business Women

As women, our holistic approach to career and business can help close the gender gap. Let us focus on combining our strengths to achieve our goals.


“I might be the first, but I won’t be the last.” I’m sure you all heard that statement ring in January as the U.S. government inaugurated its first woman of colour to serve as Vice President — the second-highest office in the country. That thought is often what goes through our minds as women when we’re in positions of leadership. How do we ensure that we aren’t the last? How do we contribute to the necessary shift that’s required for a more equal balance of power?

According to Statistics Canada, women make up 35.8% of management in corporate Canada (2019) and 18.4% of business owners (2013). As women, what can we do to help ourselves close the gap?

  • We need to be our own champions. Lead by example and be supportive and collaborative. Foster an environment of teamwork and mentor other women. Be an ally to other women. Encourage each other to recognize and embrace our strengths. Encourage each other to speak up in rooms that they otherwise would not be heard.
  • Embrace our womanhood as an advantage. Oftentimes, women who want to be leaders try to emulate the behaviours of men. Our emotions and compassion are assets — not hindrances as society might want us to believe.

As women, we should bring all our strengths to the table. Our holistic approach to career and business can help with closing the gender gap. Let us focus on combining our strengths to achieve our goals.


Canadian Small Business Women was established in 2013 by Dwania Peele. It was created as a place for aspiring and current Canadian entrepreneurs to find the necessary resources to take their businesses to the next level. Dwania Peele is a lover of entrepreneurship, volunteering, and networking. A chemist and political scientist by training and education but an entrepreneur at heart, Peele has started two successful businesses since 2008. A master strategist and consultant, she often provides valuable information to those in need as a guest speaker or panelist at events. Peele also champions the success of immigrant entrepreneurs in her books, The Power Within: Inspiring Stories of Female Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Voices of Strength: Inspiring Stories of Entrepreneurs.

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