This International Women’s Day, Learn How to Bridge the Gender Equity Gap at Your Workplace


Insights from Denine Das, VP of Global Inclusion at Scotiabank, on how to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Global gender parity will likely not be attained for 131 years, according to World Economic Forum projections. From bridging the wage gap to achieving representational parity in leadership roles, progress is stalled or even reversed. However, women continue to make history, signaling hope for accelerated change ahead.

In celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March, Catalyst is recognizing people committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and respectful and rewarding work environments who create a powerful force leading to a massive wave of change—what we call the Catalyst Effect. Join us on 5 March, when we will discuss the Catalyst Effect at our webinar, Driving the Catalyst Effect: Women Leaders Cultivating Workplace Equity.

We reached out to Denine Das, Vice President, Global Inclusion, Scotiabank, for a banking industry perspective. Das shared her thoughts, giving us an advance taste of the exciting webinar conversation.

Please tell us about someone who embodies the Catalyst Effect who has made a difference in your workplace, past or present. Who comes to your mind and why?

Denine Das: Michelle Garica, who was my boss when I was at Home Depot. During the downturn of the economy in 2007, when the decision of other stores was to lay off all part-time employees, Michelle supported my decision to not lay off anyone from the store. Instead, she supported me working with the associates to find a way in which everyone could keep their jobs through hours/shift sharing. Michelle set an incredible example to us all, with the courage and conviction to support a controversial decision (based on the actions of other store managers), which inspired others in the region and the country. She was guided by a bigger purpose to empower others and to lead with empathy, humanity, and understanding.

This resulted in the store beating forecasted sales for the two years that followed and having the lowest turnover in the region. Michelle was celebrated at the annual all-store manager meeting for the US, Canada, and Mexico as the longest-tenured store manager, the first female store manager in Canada, and one of the most successful managers coming out of 2007-2008 for all of Home Depot.

What is the number one thing organizations can do to promote gender equity in the workplace?

Denine Das: Support the growth of young women professionals through sponsorship and mentorship programs. To develop their leadership skills, it’s important to provide them with mentorship, skills-building, and sponsorship opportunities. But mostly, it is important for them to see themselves in these roles, meaning that there must be women in roles all the way up the corporate ladder that they can emulate, that they look like (representation matters), and that they can celebrate.

Is your workplace addressing the gender equity pay gap? To learn more, tune into the Catalyst webinar, Driving the Catalyst Effect: Women Leaders Cultivating Workplace Equity on 5 March at 10:00 am EST.

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