Equal Voice is pleased to recognize a remarkable supporter and champion of our work, Wanda Deschamps.
Wanda is an entrepreneur, and inclusion advocate, especially when it comes to diversity and gender equity in the workplace. She is a professional with over 25 years of experience in the charitable sector, and the Founder of Liberty Co, an organization dedicated to increasing the participation of members of the neurodiverse population in the workforce.
Wanda is also the catalyst behind the collective called #women4women, which is premised on women positivity, women support and women focus. As she explained in an interview with Equal Voice last September, “if we really want gender equality, [women] would do well to support each other, and we would get there faster, and that's not to the exclusion of men who are crucial to our journey”.
Wanda has written several times about this important subject and has often used the example of women in politics to highlight the importance of supporting each other. She has supported women at all levels of politics and other sectors, and encourages others to do the same.
Wanda has been engaged in politics for many years. She has been a volunteer on political campaigns and has canvassed for different candidates and parties, municipally, provincially, and federally. Her interest in actively participating in politics goes back to her upbringing. As a member of a politically engaged family living in a politically active community, Wanda grew up around conversations about politics and social justice issues, and the need to have women participating at all levels.
That is why, in 2013 when Wanda was introduced to Equal Voice ’s mission of working with all political parties to elect more women in Canada, she didn’t hesitate to sign up as a supporter.
In an interview with her, Equal Voice asked Wanda to share what she wished people in Canada knew about gender parity. She responded:
“...it makes such a difference in issues like women's health research, and women in finance. [Gender parity] changes the entire complexion, because you get different perspectives. That is what I mean by it is not enough to just have 50%, but within both groups, men and women, we [need to] reflect the diversity of our country, of our demographics. We know through our supply chain and economics, that we perform at a higher level when we have all perspectives involved.”
As a donor and supporter of Equal Voice, we also asked Wanda to share what she would tell someone who is thinking about supporting Equal Voice.
“I would encourage them. A little goes a long way - and although I know this is important with all charities - with women in politics, symbolic importance goes a little further. Even if you can't make a big donation, donating and sending that signal that you support women in politics, is really important. When you are supporting Equal Voice, you are doing both: you are making a financial donation and you are also giving your moral support. By taking a stand on an issue, you're saying this is important, and that is really crucial. I don't see us moving the needle significantly unless we talk about it. So we have to talk about women in politics. This is important. We need to see change. We need to see all the things Equal Voice is advocating for".
Equal Voice would like to sincerely thank Wanda for her continuous support as a monthly donor, for choosing to take a stand on equal representation through her contributions, and for taking the time to speak with us during the interview. We look forward to continuing to walk on this path together.
“It's time to make the implicit, explicit. It's not enough to say we need gender parity, we need 50% of people at the table to be, not only women, but women from all different backgrounds”. - Wanda Deschamps.
To join Wanda and become a monthly donor to Equal Voice, please visit our website at www.equalvoice.ca/donate.
By: Paola Gonzalez, Fundraising Manager