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5 Game-Changing Steps for Gender Equality at Work


three bodies hold boxes of joni period pads

International Women's Day is on March 8th, and the themes this year are #InvestInWomen and #InspireInclusionwhich couldn't be more timely, especially within our workplaces.


Achieving gender equality isn't just about a one-day celebration; it's about rolling up our sleeves and taking concrete actions day in and day out to tackle biases, stereotypes, and discriminatory practices.


Here are five ways your workplace can step up for gender equality, inspire inclusion, and invest in women employees for International Women's Day and beyond.


1. Get Serious About Inclusive Policies and Practices

"Investing in women, a human rights issue: Time is running out. Gender equality is the greatest human rights challenge, benefiting everyone." - United Nations

Does your organization have an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) policy? Building a gender-equal workplace begins by walking the talk and updating HR policies to ensure they're fair and equitable across the gender spectrum, including policies around:


  • Equal pay

  • Transparent promotion processes

  • Parental leave that caters to all caregivers, irrespective of gender


Global Affairs Canada | Affaires mondiales Canada has developed a gender equality policy for workplaces, which recommends principles, analysis, good practices, and guidelines for making your workplace more equitable. 


2. Dive Deep into Diversity Training


Building an inclusive workplace begins with education and awareness. It’s time to shine a light on gender biases and unconscious prejudices that may be lurking in your organization's corners.


Diversity training programs are important for all staff, helping everyone recognize their own biases and how they can be active players in building an inclusive workplace. Look for workplace diversity courses online through post-secondary institutions or organizations like the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI).


3. Cultivate a Culture of Support and Empowerment:


Create a workplace steering committee or working group to champion support and create mentorships, especially for those facing barriers to career advancement. Committees can also facilitate open communication and feedback for voicing concerns and, most importantly, making changes.


4. Invest in Women-led Businesses


#InvestInWomen extends from supporting women in the workplace to supporting women-led businesses as well. According to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, only 17% of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses are owned by women. However, loan approval rates for women entrepreneurs are 15-20% less than for male entrepreneurs (Entrepreneur.com).


Yet, women-owned tech companies, for example, have a 35% higher ROI than those run by men! (Forbes


three pairs of diverse legs

The funding gap is even greater specifically for women entrepreneurs who experience overlapping layers of discrimination by identifying as Indigenous, living with a disability, Black or racialized, immigrants, or 2SLGBTQ+, signifying that calling out gender alone is not enough.


Shout out to investment organizations like Backbone Angels that support BIPOC entrepreneurs, and other female-focused venture collectives like The51 and StandUp Ventures (CBC). 


At joni, we're grateful for organizations like Women's Equity Lab who have believed in our mission from day one, and for all the organizations who have helped us grow by doing business with us, including VIATECYYJ Victoria International Airport operated by Victoria Airport AuthorityCamosun CollegeKWENCHSheridan Student Union and many more.

By investing in women-led businesses, you send a strong message to your employees and customers and help to level the playing field.


➡️ Refer to this excellent report from Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) to learn more about supporting diverse women entrepreneurs.


5. Provide Free Onsite Menstrual Care Products:


two pairs of hands hold boxes of joni period care for vending machines
joni has turn-key period care solutions for organizations of all sizes

Free onsite period care goes a long way in promoting workplace equity. 

That’s the very reason Canada’s Labour Code changed in December 2023, requiring workplaces to provide period care to support a natural bodily function in the same way that toilet paper is required. 


This is important because 86% of those who menstruate are caught off guard without products, resulting in 34% leaving work to get what they need.

For the small effort and expense of providing period products, you can reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, and support more opportunities for the advancement of women and all those who menstruate. 


➡️ Download this free handout on the benefits of free workplace period care and check out this flow chart to see how easy this is to implement. 


Inclusivity and gender equity don’t just happen. 


It takes a concerted effort by everyone in your organization. And it begins by implementing policies, addressing barriers, and fostering a supportive culture. 


Providing onsite period care is low-hanging fruit that you can pick today. Drop joni a line at sales@getjoni.com and we’ll make it even easier with wholesale period care subscriptions and dispensers that meet your organization’s unique needs. 


Together, let us continue to advocate for gender equality, not just on Women's Day but every day. 

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