Creating A Supportive Community of Women

After a long hiatus, Workhaus has returned to in-person events! We hosted our first International Women’s Day event since March 2020. On March 8th, a […]

Know Your Community

After a long hiatus, Workhaus has returned to in-person events! We hosted our first International Women’s Day event since March 2020. On March 8th, a powerhouse of women from the Workhaus community, spanning a number of different industries, came together to discuss strategies to support other women both within and outside their organizations. 

Attendees had the pleasure to hear and learn from Yasmin Aboelsaud, Executive Editor at Curiocity, and her inspiring journey to become the leader she is today.  Yasmin opened the event by reminding us to “…not forget the women that came before us that got us to where we are, and in honour of them we must work together to get the next generation even further.”  

She also highlighted the importance of taking time to yourself to avoid burnout and outlined that it may look different for each person. Whether it’s taking an hour or day each week for yourself, taking a break to chat with a friend, or going to the gym, we cannot feel guilty for taking care of ourselves first and foremost (understandably, this is much easier said than done).

All attendees participated in an open forum, where thought-provoking, validating, and empowering conversations were had. Although each person at the event has different experiences and works in a different industry, there were recurring themes that we all related to, including the pressure to outperform our male counterparts, pay equity and transparency, attribution bias, and overcoming the burnout that these challenges lead to.   

Another challenge we discussed was the micromanaging of how women communicate in the workplace. If you’re assertive you are seen as “aggressive, angry, and challenging”. If you are empathetic then you can be considered “too soft” and nobody will respect your authority. 

In short – you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.  

Attendees openly and honestly discussed how we can feel a sense of a loss of our identity when we are encouraged to blend in with the males in our industry with our appearance, and this is even more pronounced for LGBT+ and BIPOC women. Facing comments daily such as “you don’t look like a <insert role or industry here>” or “your clothes are extra.” When we can’t be our authentic selves it hinders our ability to speak openly in the workplace and leaves feelings of discomfort, exclusion, and ultimately, resentment. 

So how do we combat the challenges we face daily in the workplace? We support each other. 

We support each other through creating connections, mentoring, sharing resources, and by checking in with each other regularly. 

We remind each other to stay true to who we are because blending in to fit the mold will only contribute to burnout and continue the cycle. And as Yasmin mentioned at the opening of the event, we must break the mold for the women that will follow us. 

Be extra, be assertive, be compassionate, and be your authentic self – you have a whole group of supportive women here rooting you on.  

We will be continuing the conversation and supporting each other through our WOW ( Women of Workhaus) slack channel and quarterly events. Women and non-binary members can join the conversation by emailing