International Women’s Day: Making a Difference

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International Women’s Day: Making a Difference

“My heart still cries for those women and children in Kenya even though I am miles apart.”
Helping impoverished women: Pauline Ngure helps women break the cycle of repression and desperation — as part of TransCanada’s global outreach efforts.

Helping impoverished women: Pauline Ngure helps women break the cycle of repression and desperation — as part of TransCanada’s global outreach efforts.

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International Women’s Day – TransCanada associate given second chance for global outreach. http://spr.ly/6017Begi1
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - 2:45pm

CAMPAIGN: TransCanada Community Investment

CONTENT: Blog

Native Kenyan given second chance for global outreach

As a child and young adult in her native Kenya, TransCanada’s Pauline Ngure witnessed the heartbreak inflicted on young girls.

She grew up among neighbours and friends who discriminated by gender — daughters were treated as “second class” members while sons were given “priority,” says Ngure, an associate in Supply Chain Operations.

"It really broke my heart to see my neighbours take their sons to school, but leave their daughters to look after the young ones, tend to the garden or fetch water," explains Ngure.

Some tribes preferred to marry off their daughters at the tender age of 14, leaving them with a life of drudgery and little hope for the future.

Shaken by that experience, Ngure joined CARE Kenya as a young adult helping impoverished women break the cycle by starting their own small businesses.

Mostly single mothers with no source of income, interest-free loans were provided to help them get started.

“Within a few months, you could tell from their faces that their lives had changed,” says Ngure. “They had enough food to put on the table. Some of them even managed to build permanent houses for their families.”

Ngure continues her efforts to end repression

Now in 2016, Ngure continues her efforts in helping women break the cycle of repression and desperation — this time as part of TransCanada’s global outreach efforts.

She is helping to coordinate the company’s participation in another CARE initiative — the Walk in Her Shoes challenge, a worldwide fundraising campaign to help women and girls living in poverty.

(In developing countries, women and girls walk thousands of steps each day for access to food, water and healthcare for their families — leaving little time for education or paid work.)

Employees have joined in the effort, walking 10,000 steps each day from March 6 to the 12 and have so far raised well over $60,000, which includes the matching grant from TransCanada.

In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8, employees have also planned a noon-hour walk in Calgary to support the fundraising effort.

Celebrating social, cultural and political achievements of women

Says Alex Pourbaix, the Chief Operating Officer at TransCanada who was recently named the new Diversity Officer: “International Women’s Day is an opportunity for us to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

“We know that a diverse and inclusive workforce makes TransCanada a better company, so we are committed to empowering women to achieve their full potential every day whether it is at work, at home or in the community.”

TransCanada has almost 2,000 women in their workforce today; meanwhile, 22 per cent of the company's leadership roles are held by women.

Adds Ngure: “It really warms my heart to know that the company I work for is helping CARE. This is like a dream come true for me.”

“Yet my heart still cries for those women and children in Kenya even though I am miles apart.

“I can’t wait for the day when women and girls are treated with the respect they deserve in Kenya just as they are in Canada.”

Keywords: 2016 | Social Impact & Volunteering | CARE | Education | International Women's Day | Kenya | Social Change | Social Impact & Volunteering | TransCanada | Walk In Her Shoes

CAMPAIGN: TransCanada Community Investment

CONTENT: Blog

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