“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  ~  Mahatma Gandhi

I believe there needs to be a global mindset shift on all issues pertaining to women.  And as it is the change I wish to see in the world, it is what I strive to do with  The She-Ecosystem platform.

~ Iris

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(To learn more about this page, hover over the He-Empowers-Her tab up on the menu, and click on the sub-title: About HER.)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

"Gender equality is not only an issue for women and girls. All of us benefit when women and girls have the same opportunities as men and boys—and it’s on all of us to make that a reality. Our sons have the power and the responsibility to change our culture of sexism, and I want Xavier and Hadrien [Trudeau]—when he’s a little older—to understand that deeply. But I want, too, to help them grow into empathetic young people and adults, strong allies who walk through the world with openness, love, and a fierce attachment to justice. I want my sons to escape the pressure to be a particular kind of masculine that is so damaging to men and to the people around them. I want them to be comfortable being themselves, and being feminists—who stand up for what’s right, and who can look themselves in the eye with pride." - From Marie-Claire, written by M. Trudeau, 11 Oct. 2017 (more here)

Helge Seetzen

1)  As a “HeForShe”, how do you act "Bold for Change" within your company/department?

Supporting women - or anybody really - has multiple layers. First, you need an environment where people can work free of fear. That's the easiest layer, though even here the recent wave of sexual harassment revelations have shown that some organizations struggled at even this basic level. You can manage this through policies and vigilance, but ultimately you fix this by continuous vocal confirmation from the top that inappropriate behaviour is, well, inappropriate.

Without going into the details, I suspect that everybody at TandemLaunch is well aware of the career-ending fury that would result from stepping over that particular line. The second part of empowering women or other minorities is to create diverse organizations. This is harder - hindered by obstacles such as immigration for ethnic diversity, gender imbalances in STEM education, under-representation of Female senior execs to source, etc. - but can of course be done.

At TandemLaunch, we maintain a rough 1:1 gender balance across our leadership team, staff organization and the founders that we finance (and 50-70% visible minorities). That alone helps with a lot of these issues because it creates critical mass for diversity.

Thirdly - and this is the hardest to turn into quick "rules" - you need to invest in coaching (everybody). That's mentorship, openness, inspiration, and lots of other things that would take a book to cover. But it needs to be done.

2)  Do you consider yourself a feminist? What is your definition of Feminism?

In my definition, feminism means equal opportunity for all sexes and, if necessary, the advocacy thereof. Equal opportunity doesn't necessarily mean equal outcomes - all people are different - and it certainly doesn't mean affirmative action which, while well intentioned, just undermines the affected class in the long term. For us at TandemLaunch, this means making sure that we have a diverse mix of candidates for every position and then hire whoever the best person is. Balanced candidate pools lead to balanced teams.


3)  Anything else you’d like to add?

Empowerment takes on a life of its own once it reaches critical mass. If you are building an organization, try to get that critical mass as quickly as possible.

Philippe Dunsky

What do you do?  I run a consulting firm that supports governments and others across North America in delivering sustainable energy policies and programs. We focus on strategies to accelerate energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean mobility solutions. 


1)  As a “HeForShe”, how do you act "Bold for Change" within your company/department?

I’m not sure I do, quite frankly. We try our best to be sure that we don’t have blind spots in our hiring; that we actively encourage women to apply; and that we support everyone – women and men – equally in their professional development. That said, we probably should do more – our  leadership is not balanced right now. I’ll endeavour to think (and consult others) about what more we can do to attract, retain and promote women in leadership roles in our firm.

2)  Do you consider yourself a feminist?  What is your definition of Feminism?

Of course. I consider myself a humanist, and since women make up half of humanity (though not half of its power), I am absolutely a feminist. I’m also the dad of a beautiful, strong and smart-as-a-whip girl who is growing up to know no bounds, and of an amazingly caring and considerate son who is growing up to not think that there should be any discrimination. For anyone.


3)  Anything else you’d like to add?

I’ve been blessed over the years to know, interact with and learn from some of the strongest women in this country. Thinkers, doers, leaders. They have and continue to enrich my life, and I’m thankful for them.

Tomer Tomer Noyhouzer, Ph.D

Post-Doctoral researcher at McGill University and Co-founder of E-Innovation

1)  As a “HeForShe”, how do you act "Bold for Change" within your company/department?

Our first employee at E-Innovation was a highly motivated female engineer. We didn’t hire her because of her gender, but because of her qualifications.

While at McGill University, issues of injustice and prejudice have been resolved or on the right path.

In both my roles, as a researcher and within my start-up, if I had to highlight my biggest contribution to fight these injustices, it is by always treating women as equal, never undervaluing or mistreating them – I simply don’t see a reason to act differently; I will never ignore any idea or experimental result, just because it came from a woman.

2)  Do you consider yourself a feminist?  What is your definition of Feminism?

Yes I consider myself a feminist, but I feel it is a sad that people still need to emphasize the fact that they are feminist/pro-feminism just like the fact the people need to identify themselves as a not racist. I was sure that in a country such as Canada, being a feminist will be the basic assumption.

As previously mentioned, feminism to me is treating the opposite sex as fully equal, and I don't mean as "only" giving them the opportunity to obtain any position, but also not discriminating them when it comes to salaries and conditions. It is sad that in some trades, women earn less for doing the exact same job.

3)  Anything else you’d like to add?

I feel a lot of effort is being focused today on educating adult men, (of course you don’t need to educate adult women about the fact they need equality). For me, education should be focused on the kids: if you educate the young, then you won’t have to deal with these issues later.  And in a generation or two, we can eliminate these issues completely.

By educating the young, I believe it starts with toys; no reason Lego is for boys and Barbie for girls. Toys should be gender free.

But it’s also in schools, where girls and boys should be encouraged to explore their natural talents. For example, when I did my B.Sc., out of 180 electrical engineering students, less than 10 were girls. That is less than 5%, which for me it is a blinking red light. Somewhere along the road, I assume a girl that exhibited interest in science was probably diverted to a less scientific area. The fact that today some trades are considered “male trades” while other “female trades” is a sign that we still didn’t achieve equality. The fact that “female trades” are also lower paying trades is simply an insult!

The right education on gender equality can solve these issues.

As a father I encountered another symptom that can unintentionally cause separation between boys and girls at a young age, the fact that there are girls' colors and boys' colors. Just like there shouldn’t be boys’ toys and girls’ toys, I believe kids should not deal with elements that encourage gender separation.

Basically, I'm a strong advocate in raising kids the right way, with education, both at home and at schools, for full equality (gender and race) - we can definitely eliminate all these discriminating issues that weaken our society, and societies in general (not mankind since it's man and woman kind).

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