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Inspiring Inclusion: Celebrating International Women’s Day at VHA Home HealthCare

March 7, 2024
Four person holding each others waist at daytime

“Inclusion is not bringing people into what already exists; it is making a new space, a better space for everyone.” – George Dei, Canadian scholar on race and anti-racism

Every year on March 8th, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, girls, Two Spirit, trans and non-binary people. This global movement is a reminder of the progress we’ve made and the work that still needs to be done to accelerate equality.

This year’s theme, ‘Inspire Inclusion’, is centered around uplifting and amplifying the voices of women. This challenges everyone to question norms and confront biases in order to be the change we want to see in the world. When difference is valued and celebrated, we can work towards a more inclusive, diverse and equitable future for all.

At VHA Home HealthCare (VHA), we’re so proud of our diverse workforce of nurses, personal support workers, rehab therapists, office staff, supervisors, managers and executives, who are predominately women. In fact, 90% of our staff and service providers identify as women and 72% of managers and supervisors are women leaders.

To help us recognize International Women’s Day, staff, care providers and volunteers in different roles across the organization reflected on why this day is important and what it means to them. They are all striking the ‘Inspire Inclusion’ pose to show that when we truly value difference, inclusion comes from the heart.

Sonya Lockhart – Client Partner

Client partner Sonya poses in front of wall, her hands in the shape of a heart.“Through my work as a volunteer, I’ve had the opportunity to mentor women from many different parts of the world as they begin their lives in Canada. The ‘International’ in International Women’s Day speaks to the fact that we as women have so much in common, regardless of our language, culture, or geographic location. We so often share a passion and protectiveness for what we care about. We are listeners, we are empathetic, we are problem solvers, and we are healers.

Many people are surprised to know that International Women’s Day has been celebrated for over 100 years. I encourage all of us to continue to appreciate the women in our lives and the contributions that they make every day. To all of the women at VHA, I am sending a big ‘thank you’ for everything that you do.”

Karen Singh – Board Member, VHA Board of Directors

Board member Karen poses in front of a lake, her hands in the shape of a heart.“International Women’s Day serves as an important reminder that we are all still on a journey. While we have come a long way, unfortunately, there is still a lot of work to do. As a racialized woman in positions of leadership, I have learned that when people see themselves better represented, it shines a light on what is possible.

Women’s diverse voices, perspectives, empathy and problem-solving skills make us powerful leaders in all parts of society. Through my own work and experiences, I hope I can change this journey for other women to help them feel confident and inspired to reach their potential. We all benefit when this happens.”

Dr. Kathryn Nichol – President & CEO

Dr. Kathryn Nichol poses with her family, their hands in a shape of hearts.“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate and to be motivated by the achievements of women—both past and present. Today we reflect on the progress that has been made, while also recognizing the many barriers to equality that still persist. I am proud of the team at VHA for always encouraging different perspectives, promoting diversity in leadership and for our commitment to embedding inclusivity into everything that we do.

I honour and celebrate all of the women at VHA and those who, in turn, honour and celebrate the important women in their lives. Personally, I couldn’t be more thankful for the smart and powerful women in my life—my mother, my sisters, my daughters, my friends and my colleagues—who bring me joy and keep me balanced. I am so happy to share this picture with my beautiful daughter and daughters-in-law.”

Lucie Hager – Case Worker, Toronto Hoarding Support Program

Case worker Lucie poses in front of brick wall, her hands in the shape of a heart.“International Women’s Day is so important to me because we must continue to speak loudly and bring attention to the need for gender equality. Exposure to violence, discrimination and socioeconomic inequality has a profound impact on mental health and women are disproportionately affected. In my role as a case worker, I support many women who have experienced trauma and loss. For these women, mental health struggles combined with the impact of gender inequality can make their obstacles feel truly insurmountable.

International Women’s Day 2024 and the theme of ‘Inspire Inclusion’ touched me because I see the pain of exclusion daily in my work and I also see that when women feel supported and included how much their lives can change.”

This International Women’s Day, lets #InspireInclusion to impact positive change for women and girls everywhere. Everyone is responsible for challenging the status quo, valuing and supporting differences and celebrating the many achievements of women. Happy International Women’s Day from all of us at VHA Home HealthCare. To find out more about events happening in your community, visit:

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