Vicki Saunders (MA 1989): This year, we’re flipping the script on International Women’s Day

February 22, 2022 by Vicki Saunders

A&S Alumna Vicki Saunders (MA 1989) is an entrepreneur, mentor and founder of #RadicalGenerosity and SheEO, a global community of radically generous women working on the World’s To-Do List. Read an excerpt from her latest article on the Toronto Star about this year's International Women's Day.


On IWD, women are asked to work harder than we already do, hosting and participating in events to showcase women — it is the one day media and corporations seem to actually reach out and look for stories of what women are doing. The rest of the year we’re met with relentless apathy.

The next day we’re back to the same pay gap, the same massive underinvestment in women and the same biases, in the same systems with the same results. Globally, women-founded businesses are awarded a mere 2.3 per cent of available venture funding. If you’re Black, Indigenous or a woman of colour, the data gets dramatically worse — not even one per cent. Further, when women are offered business support, it’s often in the form of mentorship rather than an investment.

Anita Bhatia, deputy executive director of UN Women, estimates the pandemic has set advances in gender equality back 25 years.

These singular days of celebration are a reminder of how much we need to do to transform our systems and stop creating micro-validations as distractions from the deeper work. We need to remedy the harm of decades of institutional bias and trauma. We need to heal ourselves and our systems.

It’s time to flip the script on International Women’s Day.

This year, my colleagues and I are doing #IWD4Me.

Read the full article here