From the founder – 

There has never been a better time in human history than now to be a woman. The facts are beyond dispute – when women and girls get equal opportunities, the whole society benefits. Our collective future depends on improving the status of women and girls.

March is an important month at EGRC. We celebrated our girls and their achievements, partnered with other women’s organizations to raise awareness of women empowerment, and many organizations across the continents hosted events to support EGRC.

Women Empowering Women Event

On March 6th, EGRC initiated and co-hosted our first Women Empowering Women virtual event with WeWorkingWomen. The event was live-streamed via WeChat and Facebook and amazingly drew in over 2000 viewers that included a large number of EGRC girls.

Every young woman, whether for life or for career, needs a mentor and role model to guide her and inspire her… This is exactly what happened during this event. We invited three inspiring women leaders who have established amazing careers with a main focus on gender equality and women empowerment – Farah Mohamed, Sarah Kutulakos and Dr. Daisy Singla.

The event was graciously hosted by Sherry Zhang and Vera Tsui from WeWorkingWomen, and Ashleigh Au from EGRC. Please learn more about our three speakers:

Farah Mohamed headshot

Farah Mohamed

Of Indian heritage, Farah Mohamed was born and raised in Uganda before her family came to Canada as refugees when she was a young girl. Her upbringing instilled her with a strong work ethic and keen sense of curiosity. Farah started her career in Canadian politics, and for 10 years she worked closely with some of Canada’s most senior women politician. These days she is best known as a passionate and magnetic champion for advancement of girls and women: She founded Canadian non-profit G(irls)20, to cultivate a new generation of young women leaders through education, entrepreneurship and global experiences, and she has served as CEO of the Malala Foundation of the inspired by Malala Yousafzai, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban for going to school and became the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sarah Kutulakos headshot

Sarah Kutulakos

As Executive Director and COO of the Canada China Business Council since 2007, Sarah Kutulakos has led Canada’s premier organization promoting bilateral trade and investment for nearly 15 years. She is a leading voice promoting Canada-China business growth and activity, helping Canadian companies do more and better business in the China market, and helping Chinese businesses succeed in Canada. Sarah has been involved in the Greater China region since the 1980s, has spent time living and working in Greater China and Taiwan, and she even speaks fluent Chinese. As a leading Woman in Canada Business, in 2019, Sarah launched the Canada-China Women in Business Mission to encourage Women CEOs, Founders and Entrepreneurs from both countries to strengthen their cross-border network and learn about business opportunities.

Dr. Daisy Singla headshot

Dr. Daisy Singla

Dr. Daisy Singla is a Clinician Scientist and Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry at Sinai Health (Mount Sinai Hospital) and the University of Toronto. She is a clinical psychologist by training and a global health researcher at heart. To date, Dr. Singla has led or contributed to developing and evaluating programs focused on improving child growth, health and development, as well as reducing maternal depression worldwide. She has worked in rural Uganda, Kenya, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan and aims to bring these innovative lessons to local contexts involving health and community partners in Toronto. Through her PCORI-funded Pragmatic Clinical Studies (over 13 million USD), she has recently launch the Scaling Up Maternal Mental healthcare by Increasing access to Treatment. Within SUMMIT, she works closely with a range of stakeholders to conduct a large, pragmatic trial examining the use of non-specialist providers and telemedicine for perinatal populations within existing healthcare settings in Toronto, Chapel Hill and Chicago. In short, Dr. Singla aspires to increase access to evidence-based psychological treatments to enrich the lives of all women, their children and their families.

Second Annual SAY NO Campaign

Illustration of three women holding Say No! signs

In March, EGRC launched its 2nd annual “SAY NO” campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness and empower our girls through knowledge and confidence to SAY NO when they encounter sexual harassment or abuse. Since EGRC is an all-women organization, we care about the girls and realize how important this subject is for their wellbeing – both physical and mental.

The event was hosted online targeting our university students and alumnae. In May of 2021, it will be the first time we extend this campaign to all our high school students, and in-person workshops will be delivered to four regions in Gansu where they are located.

Pro Bono Coaching Program

Erickson Coaching International provided a large-scale coaching program to EGRC girls that was launched in March as part of their CSR outreach. 70 EGRC students and graduates applied, and each was matched with a certified coach. Every participant will receive six coaching sessions in the next three months free of charge.

Providing mentoring and coaching opportunities to our students and graduates have become an important element of EGRC’s program. EGRC partners with professionals to implement courses and training which cover the areas of self-discovery, mental health, confidence building, career planning and leadership skills. We would like to thank Erickson for this opportunity and their generosity!

First Partnership with A Canadian University

As part of the curriculum of the new EGRC Further Leader Program, we have planned for the students to come to British Columbia to participate in a summer leadership camp after they completed their third-year studies. Our proposal was accepted by the Royal Roads University (RRU) with great warmth and enthusiasm. RRU is EGRC’s first partner university in Canada.

Due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, the girls are not able to travel to Canada this year. RRU designed an online leadership course tailored to our students. The first session was successfully completed in March and 16 EGRC students participated. This is the first time EGRC girls experienced a course taught in English by a teacher from a foreign university. The girls were pleasantly surprised that they were not just listening in class, but were asked to participate. We hope the girls can travel and attend the course in person in 2022.

Organizations Supported EGRC

Throughout the month of March, many organizations hosted events and campaigns to raise awareness and funds in support of EGRC, and most of them are first-time supporters. We would like to acknowledge and thank their efforts –

  • Toronto – WeWorkingWomen, Little Red Book blogger JunhongSi, Seven Cake Boutique
  • New York – Salesforce
  • Shanghai – Wagas, Paper Crane, Boss Lady, ACS, Wellington International School, Unravel Storytelling
  • Beijing – Keystone Academy, ChoosetoChallenge Beijing, Moka Bro, Kroxigor Music, Avery Dennison, Fitness for a Good Cause