Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Women propel economy Letter of the day

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Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press Local March 8/2009 - Members of local feminist group MS. Citizenship Collective Breanna Carels (left in Tweed) and Milena Tlacentile (black) passionately participate in local International Women's Day March down Main street Sunday afternoon.  See story.

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Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press Local March 8/2009 - Members of local feminist group MS. Citizenship Collective Breanna Carels (left in Tweed) and Milena Tlacentile (black) passionately participate in local International Women's Day March down Main street Sunday afternoon. See story.

Tuesday is the 100th International Women's Day, and in anticipation, the Catalyst research company released its 2011 report that, big surprise, tells us women continue to be absent from the executive suites of large companies. Their VP is quoted as saying that "women are the engine of our economies."

So if they're not at the board tables of the nation, where are they? In my opinion, many of them have left the building, literally and figuratively.

There are plenty of statistics that tell us about the disengaged workplace -- meaning many professional women stay with companies, make less money than their male counterparts, and show up to count the days to retirement.

Others choose to leave their jobs and start businesses of their own, where they are not limited by corporate structures, exclusion from the informal networks of the guys at the table (or the golf course, etc., where much of the advancement happens) or their pay grade.

I believe this is why professional, mid-career women represent the fast growing segment of new business startups in Canada and the United States. This is where the engine of the economy is. I would like to see more services and resources focused on stimulating this segment.

SHERRI GARRITY

East St. Paul

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 7, 2011 A11

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