G20 Business Women Leaders task force will focus on women’s economic
VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed Shahrzad Rafati as Canada’s
representative on the Business Women Leaders (BWL) task force, with
representatives selected by participating governments from G20 countries
to drive actionable, measurable, and results-driven solutions to impact
women’s economic empowerment.
This announcement follows the 2017 G20 Summit in Hamburg, where
conversations about empowering women in business and advancing gender
equality were core topics of discussion. The objectives of the BWL task
force are to bring together business women from G20 countries, examine
ways to increase women’s participation in the economy and make
recommendations for next year’s summit on the implementation of global
commitments regarding the female financial health and empowerment.
“Shahrzad Rafati is an outstanding choice to be Canada’s G20 Business
Women Leaders’ task force representative. She’s a proven leader, with a
remarkable success story, whose vision has revolutionized an entire
industry. I know she will bring the same energy and drive to her new
role, to tackle the challenge of equality in the workforce and create
more opportunities for women to work, lead, and succeed,” said Trudeau.
Rafati has created an executive committee of leaders from the private,
public and non-profit sectors in North America who will advise on
specific issues related to advancing women’s leadership in business.
“I am incredibly honoured to represent Canada on the G20 Business Women
Leaders task force” said Rafati. “Gender equality and female economic
empowerment are essential to the success of global economies and
industries across all sectors. In Canada, we have come a long way, but
there is still much work to be done to ensure women have access to equal
pay, quality employment, social services and education, financial parity
and economic opportunity.”
According to 2017 data from Statistics Canada, women make 87 cents for
every dollar their male counterparts make, which shows the country still
has a long way to go to address equality. Women are also less likely to
be employed, more likely to work part time and there is a greater
likelihood for women to work in fields traditionally thought of as
“female” professions such as nursing, teaching, administration and
service, according to the Statistics Canada report.
Since founding Vancouver-based BroadbandTV (BBTV) in 2005 and growing
the company to become the third largest video property in the world
after only Google and Facebook with 33 billion monthly views, Rafati has
been a shining example of a leader who has made pay equity and gender
diversity key priorities. As a passionate advocate for equality, she has
shared best practices and recommendations with other business leaders to
encourage them to adopt equal pay for equal work policies.
“I am proud to say at BBTV we have eliminated the disparity in pay
across our male and female employees and 43 per cent of our employees
are women. Equal pay for equal work isn’t just the right thing to do,
the benefits of operating a gender balanced environment run deep to
benefit our bottom line. We still have work to do, but we care deeply
and we’re committed to continuous improvement,” Rafati noted.
The BWL will work in close collaboration with the engagement groups
Women20 and Business20 to make recommendations ahead of the G20 Leaders’
Summit in Buenos Aires on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. For more information,
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