Young Women and Leadership
This project has been supported by Women and Gender Equality Canada.
By Sarah Flynn
Despite these factors, we need more young women to engage in leadership roles. According to an article published by UN Women, “investing in young women will not only change the trajectory of their future, but that of their communities as well” (“The Road to 2030: ‘Leadership by and for young women,’” UNWomen.org). Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, we are experiencing a declining population, particularly seen in rural areas of the province (“N.L. the only province to see population drop since 2016, says new census,” CBC News). Now more than ever we need to engage with young women in rural areas and encourage them to stay, grow, and lead at home.
Beginning in the new year, NLOWE will meet with young women throughout Newfoundland and Labrador to discuss leadership. Our hope is to have relevant and informative focus groups in which we explore what young women see as the potential benefits and challenges of engaging in leadership opportunities. We want to know whether they feel it is an important part of their career development and whether it is something they consider when thinking about future life goals. From these conversations, we hope to gain a greater understanding of young women and leadership in rural Newfoundland and Labrador and how NLOWE can help to encourage young women and girls to become leaders.
NLOWE has embarked on a new initiative to create a gender diversity leadership toolkit. The toolkit will be available to businesses and organizations to assist in developing policies, practices, and overall workplace culture. A larger objective of this project, however, is to encourage young women and girls in rural Newfoundland and Labrador to move into leadership positions in their communities and career paths. We are all aware that young women in 2022 face immense pressures every day: social, personal, and academic pressures can have a significant impact on the well-being of young women. If we think about adding the challenge of engaging in leadership to those stresses, we may find that many young women might not see the benefits of such endeavours or even know how to go about pursuing new opportunities.
Sarah is Project Coordinator with NLOWE. She is currently working on the Gender Diversity Leadership Toolkit project and NLOWE’s Economic Recovery and Growth Symposiums. Sarah is thrilled to travel throughout the province, meet new people, and hear about their entrepreneurial and leadership experiences.