Happy International Women’s Day
March 8th is International Women’s Day: a global day for celebrating social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. In the context of employment, women have faced incredible barriers to accessing employment, being treated fairly, receiving equal pay, and having opportunities for growth into leadership positions. Things have changed over time, but women, and especially trans women, women with disabilities and women of colour, still face barriers at work.
“…women workers in Canada earned an average of 76.8 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2019” – Canadian Women’s Foundation
There’s a reason why Causeway rallies behind the phrase ‘Work. Regardless.’. It’s because we believe that everyone who wants to work should have opportunities to work in a supportive environment. Regardless of their circumstances, regardless of their gender. Women have important perspectives, strengths, skills, and ideas that enrich workplaces. According to the Centre for Creative Leadership, workplaces are made better for people of all genders when there are more women present. Having more women in the workplace is related to increased engagement and retention at work.
Employers who actively support gender diversity and invest in the development of their staff create stronger, happier workplaces for everyone.
Today, we would like to celebrate businesses, services, and organizations led and owned by women that make up an important part of Causeway’s community. We asked our staff to help us put together a list of businesses and organizations below. Consider supporting women-owned and women-led businesses and organizations today:
Fora: A Network for Change
Fora is a centre of excellence for young women’s leadership development. Through their Girls on Boards program, we have welcomed Anna Abraham to our volunteer Board of Directors, who brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge that has helped us lead Causeway.
Dress for Success
Dress for Success empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development of tools to help women thrive in work and in life. A natural community partner for Causeway, Dress for Success helps many of our female clients find clothes for interviews and jobs.
The Extraordinary Baby Shoppe
Located in the heart of Wellington West, The Extraordinary Baby Shoppe offers a wide variety of baby and kid essentials. Amy McGann from Causeway’s Intake and Community Supports team had this to say:
“The shop is located very close to Causeway and the owner is a wonderful woman named Susie Pearson. Susie has donated clothing and furniture to Causeway as well as referring clients to us. Susie always goes the distance as a community member and as an employer – Hintonburg and Causeway are lucky to have her as a neighbour! Susie really goes the distance to help the vulnerable folks that we also serve at Causeway.”
The Ottawa Bagel Shop
The Ottawa Bagel Shop offers hand-rolled Montreal-style bagels and a variety of local delicacies in their Wellington West location. Store owner, Liliana Piazza, has been a great supporter of Causeway’s newest social enterprise, Causeway Commercial Cleaning, and helps us build a more inclusive community.
Rosalind’s Garden Blooms
Rosalind grows flowers at her home in Ottawa and sells a variety of beautiful dried and fresh arrangements. Her passion for flowers, gardening and the community has led her to work with local flower growers and to establish the Ottawa Flower Market. In recent years, Rosalind has been a wonderful champion of Causeway and has held fundraising campaigns, including one currently at the Morning Owl Café, where proceeds go to support our clients in their employment journeys.
Women’s Business Network
The Women’s Business Network is a volunteer-based organization that facilitates networking for businesswomen in Ottawa. Members of the Women’s Business Network foster networking, support and education. Causeway’s Executive Director, Hailey Hechtman, is a member of the Women’s Business Network and has met a variety of women-led businesses.
Unleash Your Paws
Unleash Your Paws is a dog walking and dog training service. Owner, Meagan Potter, has an affinity for animals and offers a variety of training classes and walking services. Meagan’s business is based on positive reinforcement training because she believes that training should be based on love, trust and mutual respect. Meagan came to Causeway for employment support and is thriving as an entrepreneur.
Visit her website for more information: https://www.unleashyourpaws.com/
Root in Nature
Root in Nature is a social enterprise that brings the healing power of nature and plants to the community through horticultural therapy, nature-based programs and employee well-being. Root in Nature was born when a group of women with a shared passion for plants came together. Alexis and Sarah came to Causeway to teach the staff about the benefits of horticultural therapy and we are currently working to partner with Root in Nature for our Homes for Special Care program.
Warrior Yoga offers outreach classes in partnership with shelters, nonprofits, and charities serving groups such as refugees, human trafficking survivors, womxn fleeing abuse, and people experiencing homelessness. Cassie from Warrior Yoga spoke with Causeway staff about the benefits of yoga on physical and mental wellbeing, and the importance of accessibility.
Up with Women
Up With Women is a growing registered charity dedicated to helping recently homeless and at-risk women to build sustainable, prosperous careers and businesses with the aim of permanently exiting poverty. Causeway refers many of our clients to this organization for support.
St. Joe’s Women’s Centre
St. Joe’s Women’s Centre is a Day Program that is dedicated to the needs of women in a supportive and safe environment. Causeway’s Intake Team has a partnership with them for intakes and are in the process of developing additional pre-employment opportunities with them.
Canadian Centre for Women’s Empowerment
The Canadian Centre for Women’s Empowerment is a national organization dedicated to empowering domestic abuse survivors through advocacy, education, mentorship, economic empowerment, and policy change. In February, Johannah and Jessica provided Causeway staff with a training webinar to help staff understand economic abuse, how to identify an abuser, and what supports are available.
Strive Mental Health, Wellness & Empowerment
Strive Mental Health, Wellness & Empowerment provides accessible and personalized mental health strategies to promote resilience within the workplace. Vergia Davidson from Strive Mental Health, Wellness & Empowerment is an advocate for mental health and provides trainings on being trauma-informed.
Cornerstone Housing for Women
Cornerstone provides emergency shelter and supportive housing for a diversity of women, led by Sarah Davis who is a fierce advocate for the needs of homeless and precariously housed women in Ottawa. Causeway works closely with Cornerstone through our Intake and Community Supports services.
Shepherds of Good Hope
Led by Deirdre Freiheit, Shepherds of Good Hope fosters hope and reduces harm in Ottawa by supporting people experiencing homelessness and vulnerable adults in our community through specialized services, programs and partnerships. Causeway works closely with Shepherds of Good Hope to ensure our clients’ needs are met during their employment journey.
The Boundless Mindset
The Boundless Mindset helps ambitious Women of Colour to become an empowering force and launch a lucrative business they’ll love. Mona Abow is a Business Strategist for Women of Colour who empowers and encourages women interested in entrepreneurship.
Black Ottawa Connect
Black Ottawa Connect aims to provide a safe space for the Black Communities in Ottawa and Gatineau to be able to come together, share resources, educate and empower one another for full participation in all aspects of Canadian society. Stacey-Ann Morris & Meron Berhe create a community for Black business leaders and entrepreneurs through Build Out Loud where they can have space to learn together and engage in deep work.
Thank you to all our partners who help make our communities more inclusive.
Causeway’s celebration of International Women’s Day wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging our own teams of women who touch all aspects of Causeway: from our Executive Director, Hailey Hechtman, to the women who make up the backbone of Causeway and provide employment supports, along with all the women who come to Causeway to reach their employment goals:
Happy International Women’s Day