Published in Toronto Star
By Carola Vyhnak
On International Women’s Day, leaders share their advice after lessons learned in what was once a man’s world.
Salima Rawji, 38, vice-president, development, CreateTO
No woman is an island. That, in a nutshell, is Salima Rawji’s philosophy behind helping the sisterhood advance in their profession.
Rawji, who holds a top job at the city’s new real estate agency, CreateTO, is grateful for the boost she got several years ago from groups with Urban Land Institute Toronto and CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellows program.
Exposure to accomplished colleagues from both genders provided inspiration, role models, mentorship and growth opportunities, says Rawji, who moved here from Vancouver 16 years ago.
“Having strong women leaders is paramount but it cannot be women by themselves,” she says, urging senior business people to reach out to younger women and say, “this is something you can do, too.”
A passionate advocate for inclusivity, she relishes “playing the role of connector” in her industry.
“It’s male-dominated, there’s no doubt about that,” notes the community volunteer who has felt gender bias in subtle forms. “But I do feel it’s changing.”
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