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Event hopes to inspire women to challenge systemic problems within the workforce
The Ryerson Diversity Institute hosted a diversity conference this week aimed at tackling systemic inequality within the business sector. They worked in partnership with the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) to share research, resources and strategies.
The conference, held in Oakham House on Nov. 19 and 20, featured multiple panels of female entrepreneurs who have faced adversity.
They shared personal experience and advice on how to enable “equitable and fully inclusive environments for women and diverse groups in the workforce.”
Members of the panels looked at challenges and issues people may face through three different levels of ecological models: macro, meso and individual level.
The macro level looked at certain policies, for example child care, parental-leave, or immigration, that can have effects on women and other minority groups within the workforce.
The meso level looked at ways in which institutions can analyze and assess the diversity of stakeholders in their operation to help create more inclusive approaches, whether through leadership, recruitment, or brand values.
The individual level looked at personal perspectives from diverse females entrepreneurs who have experienced certain adversities or biases due to their gender.
One issue entrepreneurial women may face is difficulty in finding equitable funding. One panelist, Danielle Graham, who’s the principal of Dream Maker Ventures, experienced this issue firsthand when she started her career, but now she’s using that experience to help other women.
“I’m driven now to support women at a funding level because I’ve seen the challenges as an entrepreneur,” Graham said.