Plus, the 3 Resolutions up for Discussion in 2019
Coming up this weekend is the biggest Business and Professional Women’s event in the country: the BPW Canada AGM and BPW North America and Carabbean Regional Meeting.
Every year, BPW Saskatoon sends women from our Club to attend this conference. This year, Krista Martens (President) and Lisa Steinhilber (past Director of Advocacy) are your Board representatives. Also attending from our Club are Caval Olson-Lepage (BPW Saskatchewan President, BPW Canada First Vice President, and our Past President) and me, Kristine Flynn (past Director of Marketing). I am attending as your “member at large,” as nominated at our AGM by Caval and Sarah Sirois. Huge thank you to both of these ladies for nominating me!
We’ll be sharing some of our experiences, learnings, and inspiration with you in the next few weeks.
First up though, is the business side of the AGM. One of the core functions of the BPW Canada AGM is to discuss and vote on the Resolutions that will guide the Clubs’ actions in the coming year.
1. What are Resolutions?
From BPW Bowmanville:
Resolutions provide our members the power of voice. Issues are identified and presented to local clubs by their individual members. The resolution development process ensures that a grass-roots approach for positive change remains the foundation for BPW policy. Resolutions are written in the language of governmental legislative change. They help to increase our awareness and understanding of issues affecting women at a local, provincial, national and international scale. Finally resolutions form the basis for our organization’s policy statements that can be used when BPW representatives respond to questions from the media.
In short, Resolutions form BPW’s advocacy platform. Each Resolution is focused on a particular topic and includes background information and implementation action items.
2. Who Votes?
At the AGM, each Resolution will be discussed and debated. Often, clarifications and amendments are made based on the experience and expertise of those in attendance. Once discussion has ceased, voting delegates cast their ballots to determine whether the Resolution passes or fails.
The number of voting delegates each Club is allowed is based on their number of members. Based on the number of members BPW Saskatoon had at the cut-off date earlier this year, we are allowed 3 voting delegates. They are Krista Martens, Lisa Steinhilber, and me, Kristine Flynn.
3. What Happens Next?
If a Resolution is passed at the National level, BPW Canada and all Clubs take action, starting with the “Implementation” steps outlined in the Resolution document. These may include contacting location, provincial, and/or federal governments, creating local initiatives to educate our communities, or taking direct action as a Club or as individual members.
Where appropriate these Resolutions may also move to the International level.
What are the 2019 Resolutions?
The 2019 Resolutions were shared with all of you earlier this spring by BPW Canada. Our BPW Saskatoon delegates will listen all discussions, clarifications, and amendments on these Resolutions before making their final vote. We will then report back to our Club with the results.
Below are brief summaries of the 2019 Resolutions, with links to the full package with all details.
2019-01 Implementation of a just job transition strategy for Canada’s economic development as a result of climate change and advancements in technology.
Climate change is an urgent global issue. Due to this and other factors, the future of work and the economy in Canada is anticipated to drastically change in the coming years. Both climate change and the changing economy will affect all Canadians, in particular, women, Indigenous peoples, and other minorities who are currently under-represented at all levels of decision making.
BPW Canada urges the Government of Canada to ensure representation from all affected at decision making tables, support a just economic transition, and develop strategies for aiding in job transitions and addressing skill gaps for workers.
2019-02 Reducing implicit gender biases and increasing women’s participation and success in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics & computer science (STEM) fields.
BPW Calgary / BPW Edmonton
Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM courses and labour market outcomes by significant margins. Studies show that one reason is implicit bias. This implicit bias starts young and affects women all throughout their lives, from what they are encouraged to play with to whether they get hired. For example, one study showed that both men and women are twice as likely to hire a man for a job that requires math.
ĶBPW Canada urges the Government of Canada to form a commission to investigate the extent of gender bias in STEM, develop programs and scholarships to encourage women’s participation in STEM fields, and take steps to increase women’s labour market outcomes post-graduation.
2019-03 Resourcing Actions Against Human Trafficking in Canada
This Resolution was submitted by our very own Lisa Steinhiber.
In recent years, Canada has come under increasing scrutiny for our failure to comply with international obligations regarding human trafficking. In 2012, the National Plan to Combat Human Trafficking was established and the RCMP established a Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre in Ottawa. Despite this, the numbers of people living in conditions of modern slavery remain staggering. The conviction rate for human trafficking cases is also disappointing.
BPW Canada urges the Government of Canada to provide more resources for the coordination of intelligence and dissemination of information with international and local partners and stakeholders involved in combating Human Trafficking activities.
BPW Saskatoon Member