by Mark Razzolini – Vice-President of People, Wellness and Innovation at Alberta Blue Cross®

A side-on shot of a stage set to host a panel. There are black and red curtains handing behind the stage, with decorative screen just in front of the curtains. There are four white chairs, that have a back to match the screens, on the stage. In front of the stage in large, block Styrofoam letters it says Hashtag One Thousand Women.

On June 19, I was honoured to have attended Norquest’s 1000 Women luncheon as a part of Alberta Blue Cross’s® sponsorship and ongoing efforts to support inclusion. The 1000 Women luncheon will always be important to me. As our team at Alberta Blue Cross® continues to grow, so does our work to increase representation on our teams. The fact of the matter is we live in a hugely diverse province, and we are better for that. Our team at Alberta Blue Cross® is working to reflect the diversity within the province. Whether that representation be different backgrounds or different life experiences, building our team to reflect those diverse perspectives is a necessary link in our mission to support our customers.

1000 Women is an initiative that started with 15 women, including NorQuest president and CEO Jody Abbott. The initiative began with the idea that if they could find 1,000 women to donate $1,000 each, they would create a million-dollar endowment to help women pursue higher education by reducing barriers. With 60 per cent of students at Norquest School born outside of Canada, 40 per cent living with a minimum of one dependant and 65 per cent of students being women, it is obvious that a large number of students at Norquest face unique barriers. Whether it be unexpected expenses, access to support for raising a child or merely the ability to get to school, the 1000 Women Fund has met these barriers with the creation of an emergency fund. This fund will support unexpected financial adversity, the opening of the 1000 Women Child Care Centre and the Child Care Access Bursary. Supporting Norquest’s 1000 Women means making that diverse representation possible despite adversity or barriers.

To learn more about Norquest’s 1000 Women, check out their website.

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