Defence Champion for Women’s Message for International Women’s Day 2021

March 8, 2021 – Defence Stories

As we mark International Women’s Day 2021, let’s celebrate the incredible contributions women in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence have made and continue to make, every day.

Women in Defence are qualified and recognized national leaders who are driving Defence goals, making the Defence Team stronger by leading operations halfway around the world or at the forefront in the deployment of vaccines here at home in the ongoing fight against COVID-19. They are important players in spaces that were previously inaccessible to women in Defence. Civilian women in Defence hold senior appointments in finance, military intelligence and science & technology. CAF women are commanding NATO missions abroad, leading as Environmental Command Sergeant-Majors, and managing teams of technicians and engineers.  

Today is a day to celebrate these accomplishments and inspire the next generation of women to achieve the highest levels in Defence. Know that you are valued as equal members of our team and that you are appreciated for all that you do.

The United Nations’ theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” This is a timely message. We know that women around the world have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. They’ve rearranged work obligations while in many cases taking on the lion’s share of responsibilities at home. This pandemic has amplified the economic disparity that many women around the world experience both globally and here in Canada.

We are mitigating this reality in the CAF and DND with initiatives like the business resumption plan that allows supervisors to take into consideration the unique demands the pandemic has placed on families and individuals. This will help to ensure that once this pandemic is over, everyone will be ready to engage in a post-pandemic road to recovery. 

While we know there is still work to do within our organization, let this not diminish the celebration of the positive and crucial impact women have had on the success of Defence.

This day is about the lasting contributions women are making to Defence. It's about recognizing the women of the Defence Team for the integral operational role they play in support of Canadians at home and Canadian interests around the world.

Achieving an equal future is possible. Now more than ever, women’s voices and perspectives must be engaged if we are to move forward in achieving an environment where everyone can achieve their full potential.

This starts with us – as a team – and as leaders - promoting an inclusive climate where women feel they belong and maintaining an environment that is inclusive, supportive, professional and, above all, respectful.

Happy International Women’s Day.

Rear-Admiral Rebecca Patterson

Defence Champion for Women

 

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