TELUS supports women’s mental health, new Capterra research reveals women feel less valued than men at work, and AWS Women of Inspiration Panel details the trailblazing journeys of three senior female executives.


Welcome to our Hashtag Trending special Women’s Day edition! I am your host, Samira Balsara, bringing you these stories and more.

TELUS announced the expansion of its Health for Good program to provide women with free access to TELUS Health MyCare counselling services.

The growing mental crisis in Canada affects about 60 per cent of women and according to the Canadian Women’s Foundation report, there is a 45 per cent difference in rates of high levels of depression between mothers and the general population.

Jill Schnarr, Chief Social Innovation and Communications Officer at TELUS said; “The pandemic has taken a toll on mothers, family caregivers, women and gender diverse people.Helping more women through our TELUS Health for Good program, this expansion is focused on removing barriers, making it easier and more affordable to access mental health services and making a meaningful difference in their lives.”

Through theTELUS Health MyCare app, women can have direct access to counselling provided by registered mental health professionals in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.

Source: Telus

According to a new study by Capterra, women feel less valued at work than men.

For this study, Capterra surveyed nearly 1,000 Canadian workers on the topic of salary equity, opportunities for promotion, the recruitment process, and more.

Nearly half of the female respondents reported that their company currently offers no programs or activities that promote gender equality at work. Additionally, more than 40 per cent of women have never asked for nor received a promotion, compared to just 33 per cent of men.

In fact, the study revealed that men are more likely to be in senior and management positions, with nearly half of respondents stating that there are only ‘a few’ women in senior positions at their company.

Alarmingly, 33 per cent of women surveyed agreed that they have experienced discrimination or bias during their recruitment process to some degree.

Plus, while 80 per cent of survey-takers believe that salary equity is upheld in their current company, women feel less satisfied than men with their salaries.

Tessa Anaya, Analyst at Capterra commented; “Without adequate gender equality programs or salary equity assurances in place, it seems women are not being afforded the same opportunities as their male counterparts. On the bright side, Canadian organizations are moving in the right direction, but more progress needs to be made in order to totally eliminate gender inequality in the workplace.”

Source: Capterra

Spotify Canada is one of those companies moving in the right direction by empowering women’s voices through music.

For International Women’s Day, the company will embolden music that celebrates women, gender equality and female empowerment through the EQUAL program, launched in 2021.

Spotify Canada will team up  Congolese-Canadian singer-songwriter, LU KALA, to create and co-curate content for the EQUAL Canada music playlist centered around a diverse range of inspiring stories of movements around the world.

Spotify is also presenting the inaugural Women in Music Canada Honour Roll, which recognizes up to 10 women and gender diverse industry members or artists who are in the early stages of their career and showing success and growth in their work.

To date, Spotify has added more than 5,000 women artists to EQUAL playlists. These artists received nearly half a billion editorial streams within their first month of joining the program. And they’ve also been added to more than 4,000 Spotify playlists.

Source: Spotify

Women of Influence, a Toronto-based company providing women with support, connection and training to excel in their careers, released a first of its kind study called the Tallest Poppy 2023.

Tall Poppy Syndrome occurs when people are attacked, resented, disliked, criticized or cut down because of their achievements and/or success.

The study revealed that almost 90 per cent of women worldwide are belittled and undermined because of their success at work.

4,700 working women from all demographics and professions in over 100 countries were surveyed as part of this study, which sought to find out how their mental health, well-being, engagement, and performance are affected by interactions with their clients, colleagues, and leaders surrounding their success and accomplishments.

Experiencing Tall Poppy Syndrome harms women’s self-confidence and well-being, the study revealed.

The Tallest Poppy study also found that men in leadership positions were more likely to penalize or undermine women due to their success. Women, on the other hand, were more likely to cut down peers or colleagues.

The act of cutting down someone because of their achievements and successes manifests in several ways like having your achievements downplayed, being ignored at meetings, others taking credit for your work etc.

The lead researcher for the study said, “When ambitious workers find themselves in an environment where excelling is penalized, their productivity will be impacted, and they will have one foot out the door. This not only negatively impacts the individual, but the organization as well.”

Workers experiencing TPS shared loud and clear solutions, saying organizations listen to their employees, talk about it, and share why it is unacceptable. Others affirmed- stop talking about it, take action, create a culture of trust, transparency but also zero tolerance

Source: Women of Influence

Three female senior executives at the AWS Canada Women of Inspiration Panel dazzled the crowd as they talked about their personal trials, workplace frustrations and ultimate successes.

“To say that each has led an extraordinary life is not an understatement, and if any of the panelists wanted to write an autobiography, it would certainly make for compelling reading.” Paul Barker from ITWC wrote.

The panel featured Ruba Borno, vice president of worldwide channels and alliances with AWS, Rola Dagher, global channel chief with Dell Technologies, and Rania Llewellyn, president and CEO of Laurentian Bank.

The panelists each detailed their own challenging journeys- from Dagher fleeing Cyprus at the age of 16 with her infant to Borno experiencing war first-hand during the first Gulf War, after the invasion of her native country by Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army.

Llewellyn, like Borno, was born in Kuwait, but she and her family had already moved to Cairo, Egypt when Hussein’s troops arrived in her home country. She finished high school at 14 and soon attended an American University in Cairo, after which her family immigrated to Halifax.

Dagher further explained, “When I arrived here and couldn’t speak a word of English, people made fun of me, people doubted me,” she said. “But every time someone doubted me, I proved them wrong.”

She added that the mistakes that at least three of her horrible bosses made, at the early stage of her career, “helped [me] understand not what to do as a leader.”

Llewellyn described her own professional experiences, recalling being the only woman in a meeting with her male counterparts. She said, “You say something and they ignore you. A guy says exactly the same thing and it’s the best idea since sliced bread.“At one point, I was told I was too outspoken, I was too aggressive, so I turned it back. Then I was told you are not saying enough.”

But she asserts that her goal moving to Laurentian was to create what she described as an environment that is inclusive.

Borno explained how she received some great advice from her country manager while she was anxiously waiting to give her keynote. He told her, “‘just so you know, people want you to succeed, because they don’t want to come here and have a bad time.”

That advice completely changed her mindset. She said, “ I started thinking they really do want me to do well, because they wanted their time to be worthwhile.”

Source: IT World Canada

And these are stories for our special Women’s Day episode!

Links to these stories can be found in the article posted on You can also find more great stories and more in-depth coverage in or in the US on

I’m your host Samira Balsara – Have a wonderful Wednesday and a very Happy International Women’s Day!

The post Hashtag Trending March 8 – International Women’s Day first appeared on IT World Canada.

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