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International Women’s Day celebrated at CKPI


Last Friday marked International Women’s Day and the opportunity to promote and celebrate the roles women play in the workplace and society was on display internationally.
Locally there was an effort by one major employer to show women of their inclusive vision and availability of jobs in an industry that has been dominated largely by women.
Canadian Kraft Paper Industries (CKPI) partnered with the Kelsey Adult Learning Centre to invite approximately two dozen female students of the centre for a tour of the paper mill on International Women’s Day, an all-encompassing tour that took approximately two hours and touched on several areas and jobs within the facility.
The tour culminated with a lunch afterwards where the students and their educators who accompanied them joined a number of female staff at CKPI to mingle and talk.
Ann Evans, Chief Financial Officer at CKPI, addressed the room and briefly spoke about her journey that has included several trips back to school to further her education.
“Adult learning has been a tremendous value to me personally, I commend those of you who are pursuing adult learning, it’s a difficult decision to make and there’s a lot of emotions involved in making that decision. For those of you at CKP I encourage you to look at your careers and what you want to do and where you want to go, somebody has to succeed me one day, it could be one of you,” stated Evans. “I strongly recommend you have a life of lifelong learning because it won’t disappoint you but it opens a huge amount of doors and opportunity.”
Evans is part of a unique balance for management within a business in the forestry industry. CKPI can brag about having a 50 per cent female makeup to their management structure, with half of the 10 management positions being held by women. CKPI is also seeking to grow their female workforce in other areas of operations as well, and currently 38 of the 314 employees at CKPI are female, representing 12 per cent of the workforce. This number includes the Technical division, where once again 50 per cent of the 12 total employees are female.
While declining to provide percentage goals for future hiring of females to the workforce, Janelle Dubois, Recruitment Coordinator for CKPI, did state increasing female representation in the workforce “it is a goal of ours to further develop.”
International Women’s Day may only be gaining a higher notoriety in the past decade but has its roots going back over 100 years to 1909. The suggestion of an annual day for women was brought forward the following year at the International Socialist Women’s Conference; however it wasn’t until 1975 that the day was honoured by the United Nations. In 1977 the UN pegged March 8th as the date for International Women’s Day.
Today, International Women’s Day is a recognized holiday in 27 countries. Of note, few of those countries are in what would be considered the western world. The theme this year for International Women’s Day was Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change.

Trent Allen