International Women’s Day: Celebrating Our Female Clients and Colleagues

International Women’s Day has a special place in our hearts. As a female-founded and female-led organization, we know that amazing things happen when women use their talents to make the world a better place.

March 8, 2024

For us, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of our female staff and clients. It’s also a reminder of our commitment to the Federal Government’s 50-30 challenge, which encourages organizations to reach 50%gender parity.

Carrie Church, Windmill’s National Director of Operations, is passionate about helping our female colleagues grow both personally and professionally. “Navigating an organization founded by visionary women nearly two decades ago, and guided by the enduring influence of female leadership, my journey has been profoundly transformative. Our team, with a diverse blend of talents, comprises a remarkable 80% women. An inspiring 72% of our leadership team are women and within our management, a commendable 75% of women hold key positions. These numbers reflect a conscious decision to cultivate an environment where knowledge and wisdom pave the path for meaningful change.”

Windmill is proud to offer equal opportunities for growth, learning and advancement. Claudia Hepburn, Windmill’s CEO, says: “One of my greatest joy sat Windmill is seeing women thrive when they wrap their arms around jobs they love. Some days that happens when I watch a team member support a client, other days, when I see a woman reach for a role of increased responsibility, or on many other days, I get joy listening to someone tell me why she feels great about her contribution. With a female majority on our board, leadership team and staff, we have so many opportunities to help one another grow and succeed.”

We’re a diverse team –over 60% of us are immigrants. Together, we have a passion for empowering newcomers to achieve career success. Seeing newcomer women succeed with the help of a Windmill loan is particularly heartwarming. Sanaya Italia, a client success coach at Windmill, states: “I get to meet people from different walks of life. The ones who leave me feeling the most inspired are my female clients who are single moms, juggling school, work and their families. They do it all to give their kids a better life in anew country. Being able to support them with resources to reach their career goals is what makes the work we do so impactful.”

For Anjali Shanmugam, Windmill’s Government Relations Specialist, helping newcomer women benefit from government resources is one of her favorite things about working at Windmill. “My role in government relations allows me to actively support women’s empowerment in many capacities. Being engaged with government bodies, I have been able to enhance opportunities to advance gender equality and ensure newcomer women have access to resources to help their careers. I believe my work enables me to break down barriers, provide opportunities for skills development, and contribute to a more diverse and empowering landscape for women within this field.”

Non-profit organizations like Windmill area lifeline for immigrants and refugees who need financial support to resume their careers. Julia Tan, Windmill’s Controller, had years of accounting experience but could not return to her profession after relocating to Canada from her home country, China. “As an immigrant, I started my career from scratch to become a chartered professional accountant when I arrived in Calgary at 36 years old. I hope that my career success journey inspires other women to achieve their dreams. Robert F. Kennedy’s quote, ‘Only those who dare to fail greatly, can ever achieve greatly’ has always inspired and encouraged me.”

We love empowering women to reach their career potential. Whether it’s a Windmill client using our loan to propel her career or a Windmill team member taking on new work challenges, it brings us so much joy to see women in our lives believing in themselves and their capacity to succeed. When we invest in women, the world becomes a much brighter place.

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