Nanaimo city councillor Erin Hemmens at her campaign launch in 2018. (NEWS BULLETIN file photo)

Nanaimo councillor sparks initiative to stress importance of women in leadership

Coun. Erin Hemmens to work with Equal Voice on meeting, workshop, mentorship

The city councillor who led the polls in last year’s civic election wants to help motivate other women to become leaders.

Coun. Erin Hemmens, in partnership with Equal Voice Central Vancouver Island, was granted $5,000 to go toward a Women Lead program proposal, according to a City of Nanaimo press release. The money comes from the federal government through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

The Women Lead initiative includes a community dialogue session on the importance of gender parity, a workshop for female youths and a mentorship program.

The press release notes that the vision is for the program to have an “immediate impact” on young women, inspiring them to consider careers in politics or leadership positions of other sorts.

Hemmens said in the release that she’s excited to move forward with Equal Voice on the initiative “that would allow young women to ‘see’ themselves in political and leadership positions.”

Ashwak Sirri, chairperson for Equal Voice CVI, said the intent is to turn the grant initiative into an annual, ongoing program “with community dialogue and more opportunities to inspire young women who will eventually become mentors for future generations. “

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