March 3, 2022

Celebrate International Women’s Day with UCalgary March 7 – 11

Explore gender equity, intersectionality, and community-building
A designed graphic shows groups diverse groups of women walking across the image, over a background of differently coloured triangles.

This March, the University of Calgary explores the status of women in the university and the broader society, and celebrates the contributions, knowledge, and determination of women in our community.

International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022 is on March 8, and this year’s international theme is #BreakTheBias. The theme aims to bring awareness to how we can all work together to identify and disrupt persistent gender biases, stereotypes, and discrimination, and work to achieve a plural society in which differences are respected.

Throughout the month of March, you can explore the importance of intersectionality in understanding how the experiences and status of women are shaped by race, class, disabilities and other social vectors of power and privilege. It will also be an opportunity to learn about the achievements of women in our community and to hear about how inspiring women continue to use their careers to create positive change. It will also be an opportunity to learn about the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender equity in the university and broader society.

How to #BreakTheBias

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (OEDI) is exploring how to #BreakTheBias and pursue Gender Justice at the Intersections through an event with Dr. OmiSoore H. Dryden, the James R. Johnson Chair in Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University, Dr. Irene Shankar, associate professor of sociology at Mount Royal University, and professors Jennifer Koshan and Jonette Watson Hamilton in the Faculty of Law at the UCalgary.

“On this International Women’s Day 2022 we recognize that we have much to celebrate, and also much work to do to achieve gender equity in our homes, workplaces, and the broader society. It’s important for all of us to understand the ways we can challenge gender-based discrimination and violence, as well as everyday stereotypes and biases, and take action to advance gender justice in our classrooms, research, workplaces, community engagement, and social circles,” says Dr. Malinda Smith, vice-provost and associate vice-president research (equity, diversity and inclusion).

If we’re aware of the ways that gender-based discrimination, stereotypes and biases persist in our communities, then we can work together to keep breaking them down.

In conjunction with IWD 2022, the Women’s Resource Centre and Career Services are hosting Women’s Week on campus from March 7 to 11. The week will include a series of thought-provoking sessions, webinars and panel discussions on intersectionality, being a woman in the workplace, and more.

This IWD, UCalgary has much to celebrate after a year of advancement for students, staff, faculty and alumnae who work hard to improve our university and our city every day.

We have much to celebrate this year

More women stepped into leadership positions across campus this past year, with Dr. Teri Balser, PhD, appointed provost and vice-president academic; Dr. Renate Weller, PhD, appointed dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Kristin Baetz, PhD, appointed dean of the Faculty of Science; and Verity Turpin appointed vice-provost (student experience).  

In our wider community, Nicole Mfoafo-M’Carthy, BHSc’20, received a 2022 Rhodes Scholarship; nursing alumna Lucy Reyes, MN’91, earned an international award for her ambitious 50-year career; and Dr. Jyoti Gondek, MA’03, PhD’14, was elected Calgary’s first woman mayor.

Meanwhile, many woman researchers and academics across campus were recognized for excellence in their fields in the areas of teaching, research and scholarship.

UCalgary researchers have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of women everywhere, tackling gender-based political inequality, gaps in women’s cardiovascular health, developing a blood test for breast cancer, shining light on the effects of gender-based violence, and studying how prenatal stress affects brain development.

“IWD is a great opportunity to recognize the contributions of diverse women at UCalgary, as well as the important work that so many researchers and public intellectuals at our institution do that improve the status, lived experiences, and livelihoods of women in Calgary and beyond,” says Smith.

Register now for an International Women’s Day event at UCalgary

Keep up to date on the latest IWD stories and events at

Monday, March 7

Social Identities and the Role of Women noon – 1 p.m.  
Online event – open to all

In this session with Dr. Linda Kongnetiman, MSW’00, PhD’18, you’ll explore the impact of intersectionality (social identities) on women and how marginalization is compounded by intersectionality. Today’s leaders need to understand the social implications of intersectionality and how this is constantly changing.

Tuesday, March 8

Grow Your Career Conference: Game-Changers and Trailblazers – 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Online event – open to all

Join us for an engaging panel discussion where we highlight some remarkable women who have used their careers to create positive change in their communities. Hear the stories of award-winning community-builders who have contributed through social entrepreneurship, volunteerism, philanthropy and advocacy.

#BreakTheBias: Gender Justice at the Intersection – noon – 1:30 p.m.
Online – open to all
Since March 1911, the global community has paused on March 8 to celebrate inspiring and courageous women, take stock of the status of women in all spheres of society, identify policies and strategies to achieve gender equality and justice at the intersections of gender, race, class, disabilities, and sexual orientation. We will examine persistent gender gaps and collective actions needed to #BreakTheBias and effect sustainable change.

Women’s Week, IWD Sessions – 9 – 11:30 a.m., 11:30 – 2:30 p.m.
In-person events – open to students, staff, faculty and alumni
Sessions taking place throughout the day include: It's All About Networking with Ariane Guan and David Cataford; Cracking the Dress Code; Women, Work and Well-being; and a women’s rights trivia night. Join the morning session to hear from keynote speaker Alice Lam, one of the driving forces behind many local initiatives such as Volly, the Calgary Community Fridge, Tigerstedt Flea, Good Neighbour Community Market, and activities that help support Calgary's elderly Chinese population. 

Wednesday, March 9

What's your worth? Bridge the wage gap with negotiation – 10 – 11 a.m. 
In-person event – open to students
A pay equity hands-on salary negotiation workshop, geared toward graduating university students. With an introduction to the gender wage gap in Canada, this workshop offers practical tools to help female-identifying students recognize their transferable skills, bolster their resume and learn evidence-based negotiation strategies.

Panel: Women in Tech – 4 – 5 p.m. 
Online event – open to students, faculty and staff
The tech industry still has a long way to go — women continue to be under-represented and even underpaid. What steps can we take to promote change? Women across various roles in tech will share their experiences and advice with students.

First Annual Gender and Sexuality Studies Lecture – 5:30 – 7 p.m. 
Transnational Feminist Solidarities: How Story and Theory Can Save Lives
Online event – open to all
How do we create systemic change? Why is theory under attack? From the 1960s to today, transnational feminists have contributed to significant shifts in decolonial feminist struggles, in global justice movements, and in the struggles for gender justice in our communities.

Women in Sustainability: Appreciation with the Arts – 5 – 6:30 p.m. 
Online or in-person – open to all
Through a diverse array of artistic expression, this event will show appreciation and highlight women who are engaging in sustainable initiatives or climate activism. Hosted by the Sustainability Resource Centre and Women's Resource Centre.

Thursday, March 10

Panel: Overcoming the Voice of Doubt – 9 – 10 a.m. 
Online event – open to students, faculty and staff
Join us to hear from a panel of professionals who overcame their imposter syndrome. Gain the confidence and personal skills to reach a little further, whether that’s embracing well-deserved recognition, taking on leadership, applying for a more advanced role and more.

Imposter syndrome and your inner saboteurs – 10 – 11 a.m. 
Online event – open to students, faculty and staff
Saboteurs are the voices in your head that generate negative emotions which affect the way you handle everyday challenges. They are automated patterns in your mind for how to think, feel, and react. Stress, anxiety, self-doubt, frustration, restlessness, and unhappiness are caused by them. Also, they undermine your performance, well-being, and personal relationships. This webinar is an introduction to your saboteurs and how you can activate your sages in your career journey.

Entrepreneur Foundations – noon – 1 p.m.
Online event – open to students, faculty, staff and alumni
Calling all aspiring entrepreneurs! Jana Boyko will be leading an online webinar where she’ll teach you how to confidently take your first steps as a new entrepreneur and build your business mindfully, from the start. Jana will be sharing personal stories and lessons throughout the webinar, followed by Q-and-A

Designing Your Work Life – noon – 1:30 p.m. 
Online event – open to students, faculty and staff
This experiential workshop offers an introduction to design-thinking mindsets and tools, based on the New York Times bestselling book Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. Through activities and reflective exercises, you will explore and gain a deeper awareness of what matters to you in your career journey.

Friday, March 11

The Nuances of Consent vs. Coercion – noon – 1 p.m. 
Understanding and Preventing Harm in the Grey Area of Consent with Dr. Jessica Wright
Online event – open to all
In this workshop, Jessica Wright will examine the grey area of consent through a trauma-informed lens and explore how nuances between consent and coercion can be obscured. Learn how to better prevent sexual harm and create a more caring and connected sexual culture through more informed conversations about consent.

Little Wiki Edit-a-thon on the Prairies – 2 – 4 p.m. 
In-person event – open to all
Wikipedia's gender trouble is well documented. While the reasons for the gender gap are up for debate, the practical effect of this disparity is not: gaps in participation create gaps in content. Let's change that.

Join librarians Christie Hurrell, Alexandra Alisauskas and Dr. Rebecca Sullivan for a communal updating of Wikipedia entries on women. You'll receive training for the beginner Wikipedian and reference materials. People of all gender identities and expressions are welcome to participate