March 8th marks International Women's Day. It's a chance to celebrate the accomplishment and contributions that women have made across the world. Closer to home, there are many women who have made a difference in the southeast. 

Amanda Minchin is the Head Golf Pro and General Manager at the TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club. She shares that even though she works in a predominantly male-driven business, she has not seen a lot of issues.

"Obviously in the last decade, you've seen more and more women in the business in all aspects whether it be as an executive professional GM or in the teaching role or in the head professional role."

She added that gender was not an issue in her household and was brought up to believe that anyone could be successful, regardless of gender. In fact, Minchin worked with Jennifer Baker, a golf professional who was based in White City. 

"I worked with a female gold pro when I was coming up through the ranks. At the time when I was 15-16, there were even fewer head professional females than there is now. I never really thought about her being different but when I think back to it now, it's definitely pretty cool."

Now Minchin is in that role of shaping young golfers.

"I think girls and boys can be whatever you want. I try to be a positive role model for boys and girls. Hopefully, if we can get out of this gender driven workforce, then it's better for the community as a whole and for individuals as well."

Jackie Wall, Executive Director at the Estevan Chamber of Commerce echoes that statement of equality. 

"I don't think being a woman has helped or hindered my career. I've been very fortunate where I've either been the sole proprietor or I've worked with organizations where they looked at the merit of the application rather than whether it was a gendered decision."

"I think sometimes women can be treated differently in certain business sectors and I think it's more of an awareness at an individual level rather than at a business level."

Early in her career, Wall shares that she saw many successful women in the workplace. 

"I was in the Credit Union system and there were a lot of women in the credit union system and a lot in management so I had role models there. I also had my mother. She worked very, very hard and I must say, she did have a position, and you have to think, this was in the 1980s, where she was paid differently because she was a woman."

"I was a young girl when Kim Campbell was Prime Minister and that was something else that was an experience for me. It's unfortunate that we haven't had the opportunity to have another female prime minister. "

She adds that she sees the importance of celebrating International Women's Day.

"I think it does raise awareness for women in the workplace. It does celebrate how far that we have come and I think we really do have to celebrate that we have so many women that are great role models in this day and age and that gender really should not impact your pay in the workplace or your potential for getting a position. And I'm very fortunate that I have never experienced that."

Lori Carr, the MLA for Estevan, mentioned that being a woman has helped her work harder to achieve her goals.

"I think that as being a woman, you have to work sometimes a little bit harder than the men to get where you want to be. Having said that, I've been surrounded by a great group of men all throughout my career. Whether that was working on Estevan city council now my role in provincial politics, they have all been very good to work with and supportive colleges."

She added that while there may not be a lot of women in politics, she did have one major role model.

"Doreen Eagles was one of my role models. Prior to getting this role here, I actually took the time to get on her committee, I was there for ten years. I had the opportunity to watch her in her role and she really inspired me."

"I take every opportunity I can get to go to classrooms or events where I can get in front of the kids whether it be young women or even young men and encourage them that really and truly, through hard work, you can be anything you want to be."

International Women's day is celebrated every year on March 8th. 

 

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