The Conestoga community celebrated International Women's Day on March 8 with activities, including panel discussions, a contest and workshop.
Conestoga’s Employee Experience & Development and Student Engagement teams, with support from the student-led International Women's Day committee, hosted an event featuring a screening of a pre-recorded panel discussion around this year’s theme: embrace equity.
Recognized globally, International Women's Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. Conversations this year focused on embracing equity and why equal opportunities are not enough: individuals start from different places, and therefore, true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.
More than 130 Conestoga students and employees joined the International Women's Day event at the college's Kitchener - Doon campus. Hosted in collaboration by the Employee Experience & Development and Student Engagement teams with support from the student-led International Women's Day committee, the event featured a screening of a pre-recorded panel discussion with Conestoga community members: community researcher and author Peggy Plet; 2013 Bachelor of Applied Technology - Architecture, Project & Facilities Management graduate and 2020 Alumni of Distinction recipient Yumna Nasir; and Goranka Vukelich, executive dean to the School of Community Services. Panelists shared experiences and reflections to broaden perspectives and find inspiration to embrace equity.
"Equity, I think, is a really complicated construct and I think it can mean many different things to many people. If I was really honest with myself, I think it perhaps has meant different things to me at different stages in my own life," said Vukelich. "I think at the end of the day, what it really means is creating a space -- a safe space -- for everybody to have their voices heard. I think it's really about recognizing that there are many different ways to do things, that diversity is something to be embraced and cultivated and nurtured and welcomed into our work and living spaces."
The panel discussion recording is available online.
In addition to the screening, the committee launched a video contest calling on the Conestoga community to share stories highlighting important women in their lives. Submissions are open until March 15.
Other events at Conestoga included a panel discussion with women influencers hosted by the college's student association Conestoga Students Inc. at the Kitchener - Doon campus and a women in tech community workshop hosted by the Conestoga Google Developer Student Club at the Waterloo campus.
Conestoga's Student Engagement team meets the needs of students through innovative programming designed to achieve goals with learning outcomes-based initiatives, including the Co-Curricular Record; Orientation; equity, diversity and inclusion education and programming; the Leadership Workshop series; and various student volunteer and committee opportunities.