Marianne Marck

Gender diversity and the pay gap

The Women's Leadership Network in Prince Rupert discuss gender diversity at their latest event held to empower women in the community.

The Women’s Leadership Network hosted an event to conjure gender diversity and its benefits in the workplace.

At the Championing Change dinner at The Crest, four female leaders from the community and the province spoke on the issue to a group of approximately 100 people on Oct. 5.

Marianne Marck, the chief human resources officer for Richie Bros. Auctioneers spoke on how her company is using metrics to promote gender diversity and to provide hard evidence that the company is doing what it’s saying.

Director of the Women’s Leadership Network, Michelle Bryant-Gravelle, who is also the corporate affairs manager of Ridley Terminals, discussed what gender diversity means to her and what it means from a First Nations perspective.

“I spoke about how we have to unlock our unconscious bias about people and what that means in the workplace. I highlighted the need for corporations and companies to not pay lip service and use metrics to show evidence, how they’re actually doing it and encouraging women to ask the difficult questions,” she said.

Bryant-Gravelle also raised the issue of the pay gap and how women make 66.7 cents to every dollar a man makes.

“It’s time to be progressive in racial and gender diversity and to pay someone less simply because of that is not acceptable.”

The other speakers’ message was along the same thread. Gillian Kirk, director for Ridley Terminals, and in 2016 became the chair of the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, spoke on being persistent in achieving her goals.

Sandy Jones, the superintendent for School District 52 for the past four years, reflected on growing up in Melbourne, Australia where there was not a lot of diversity and how that led her into the position she’s in today in Prince Rupert.

The next event was a child care committee that is on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Prince Rupert Public Library where they will discuss what the community needs in terms of child care.

In November, there are two events on the 29th and 30th at the Northwest Community College on mentoring to empower women and working with human resource leaders on how to encourage diversity in the workplace.