Women’s Day Inspiration: Diamond Isinger

Women’s Day Interview with Diamond Isinger, Provincial Commissioner of Girl Guides of Canada
– Diamond is a strong advocate for volunteering and getting involved in the community. Guiding has helped her develop skills to thrive in all aspects of her personal and professional life, and she continues to share this with girls of all ages and from all walks of life.

International Women’s Day was created in the early 1900s as a way to celebrate the accomplishments of women. Today we are honoured to share with you women who inspire us in the Arts, Media, and Community. Because it’s not just the future that is female, it’s right here, in the present.

How did you get involved with Girl Guides of Canada?
I joined Girl Guides as a five-year-old, becoming a Spark – our youngest members of Girl Guides – with many of my friends in Kindergarten. I’ve stuck around since then as a youth member and now as an adult volunteer, because of the lasting impact that Guiding has had on my life.

In your initial reach out to us you mentioned how volunteering can benefit your life. Please expand on this.
Volunteerism is such a powerful way to make an impact, not just in your community, but in your own life, as well. Women who volunteer with Girl Guides are able to transform the lives of girls, participate in training opportunities, take advantage of international travel, develop skills that look amazing on your LinkedIn profile, and connect with other women who become lifelong friends. Choose a cause that you are passionate about and offer your time and enthusiasm!

In your opinion, how does Girl Guides of Canada empower girls and young women?
Girl Guides gives girls of all ages, from all walks of life, the opportunity to grow and thrive. Guiding puts girls in the driver’s seat to decide what and how they want to explore, and empowers them to make decisions, from what fun game to play with their friends to what action they want to take to create a better world. Every girl has the opportunity to lead and to be everything she wants to be. With a current membership of 18,000 girls and women across British Columbia, the reach of our empowering programs is huge, and we want to keep growing to reach more girls.

What is the biggest challenge facing girls/women today? How can they overcome this challenge?
Girls today need adult allies in their lives who can share their skills, talents, and time. Positive adult role models beyond a girl’s family or usual social circles can introduce girls to new career paths and interests. However, research by Girl Guides shows that up to 25% of girls ages 15-17 don’t know any woman role model who works in their dream job. Having inspiring mentors can broaden girls’ horizons and make them consider diverse paths for their futures. Girl Guides aims to provide that, by connecting girls with adult catalysts for girl empowerment. We need more amazing women to help Guiding do that, so we are always looking for new adult allies to be part of our organization, whether they can help out weekly, monthly, or on a more occasional basis that suits their busy schedule.

How do you create a supportive environment for yourself and your team?
I’m personally very passionate about creating safe spaces and inclusive environments for everyone, and I’m so proud that Girl Guides shares that commitment all across Canada. We strive to be a place where girls and women with diverse lived experiences can grow and thrive. I think that the most important thing that leaders in any organization can do is be their own authentic selves – doing so encourages others to embrace their true strengths as well as identify areas for personal growth in the safe environment you’ve provided.

Who has been the greatest influence/mentor in your life?
Besides my family, my biggest influence has been having access to mentors of all ages through Girl Guides. As a child and teenager, I participated in so many Guiding opportunities that I would not have otherwise had access to, with a lack of awareness as well as a lack of financial means. My Girl Guide leaders encouraged me to try anything and everything to broaden my horizons. Those women taught me so many “soft skills” that I use in my everyday life, like how to deliver a confident sales pitch (learned while cookie-selling) and fearless advocacy skills (from our community service activities where we took action on issues we cared about), as well as practical tips such as how to survive in the outdoors or do basic home repairs. I still learn new skills now, from girls who share their knowledge during fun girl-led activities, as well as my adult peers who are amazing sources of ideas and inspiration. You’re never too old to have a mentor and no one is too young to be someone else’s mentor!

What advice can you give to girls and women looking to advance their lives and careers?
Get involved in your community. No matter what cause you want to champion or organization you choose to participate in, as a team player or someone taking on the responsibility of leading teams, you’ll be able to create a better world and a better you. Girl Guides is all about creating A Better World, By Girls – not for girls, but rather by girls – so we encourage all girls and women to decide what you care most about and take action. Our communities are stronger when girls can fully participate and every girl can be everything she wants to be.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Oakridge is proud to present an engaging and inspiring panel of women of influence. Key topics of discussion include the modern working woman, entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and taking your career to the next level.

Join us on Thursday, March 5 in the West Galleria at 5PM for some real talk, delectable cocktails and canapés, and a chance to connect with like-minded women.

Tickets are $20 each while supplies last. All proceeds will go to Avalon Women’s Society. Please register here.

Carol Liu
Carol’s look may be minimalist, and her favourite clothing lines known for simplicity, but she works her role as Marketing Coordinator to the maximum and with her super-power energy. Organized and button-down, Carol rolls up those chic sleeves and gets it done. Throw in a journalism background to keep it real, and a great quick smile to deliver the spin. Which reminds us, she’s fast too. Must be all that running.

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