What is something that everyone has? Well, there are literally quite a number of things we each have in common but for the purpose of this blog, we will go with : An opinion
In the spirit of opinions, Christina and Drew give their own thoughts about the latest PowHERtalks event in Sechelt, finding out that they each had their own different ''lightbulb" moment.
This past weekend, I went to a female focused TED-Style talk series and the words that resonated with me most and changed my day to day mindset, came from a man. Some would say this is logical given that I am a man and could appreciate the male point of view more easily. Others may think I completely missed the point of the 18 female speakers. Trust me, I definitely didn’t and came out of the event as a bigger champion for women than when I entered.
The event is the PowHERtalks Speaker Series, of which Praxis performance Group is a proud sponsor. The Sechelt event was the second in the series, following up on the inaugural event in Nanaimo. This series features remarkable women lending their stories, voices and experiences in a TED-style speaker series aiming to connect 1,000+ women in six communities across Canada. In addition to being a sponsor for the event, Praxis also had a booth set up where we could interact with a variety of women and emphasize the importance of team building and collaborative working environments. Go for the speakers but stay for the business connections was my foremost thought.
I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to get out of listening to the speakers themselves. I think of myself as extremely “progressive” and a supporter of women in all that they do but still this wasn’t going to really resonate with me was it? Truth be told, some did and some didn’t but with the volume and difference of the speakers I’m sure my experience was no different than most in the audience. At about the halfway point of the speakers and before a break, a representative of Community Futures addressed the audience to talk about their special offer to female driven start-ups and businesses of low interest loans. Part of what motivated him to be there and so proud to offer such a great opportunity was because he has a four year old daughter. At that point, my ears shut off and I was completely in my head. Have you ever had words you read or are said to you that metaphorically slap you right in the face and you cannot believe you missed the importance of them the whole time? That is what happened to me when he spoke about his daughter. He didn’t talk long about her, it was just a brief mention but it inescapably changed my perspective.
I have two daughters, ages three and six. My family (which includes my eight year old son) are absolutely everything in my life. However, until now, I had believed in women’s rights and supported equity in pay and their voices in the boardroom meetings mostly in support of my wife. I had never really even thought about how it impacted my daughters. This completely changed the lens which I viewed the second half of the speakers. I fast forwarded several years in my mind’s eye imaging them on stage telling the same stories that were being told by these remarkable women and it become much more personal to me.
What makes this speaker series unique, at least to me, is that each speaker has an ‘’ask.’’ This is something the speaker is asking of each audience member in order to go from being inspired to taking action in their life. Examples of asks range from supporting their business or potentially investing or buying their book. Others can be more holistic and ask individuals to listen to their heart of life their best selves. In the spirit of the ‘ask’ I am asking other fathers of daughters out there to attend the next PowHERtalks event in Vancouver on Jan. 30th. Be part of the change to get women to same level of respect, responsibility and authority that men enjoy, especially in the workplace. Parenting can often be a thankless act but helping change the way the world views women is one thing your daughter will be eternally grateful for.