Celebrating International Women’s Day means acknowledging all the powerful changes that previous generations laboured so hard to bring about. But it’s also about taking stock of the work that has yet to be done. It’s easy to forget that women have been sharing the same sentiments and echoing the same appeals for decades, and while the scales have tipped in the right direction, we still have a long way to go to achieve true equity.

Back in 1915, Nellie McClung wrote, “What we plead for is equality of chance, equality of opportunity.” More than 100 years have passed since the noted suffragist penned those rousing words, but they’re still as relevant as ever. It’s the same story for trailblazing politician Rosemary Brown, who, at the height of her career in 1973, said, “Until all of us have made it, none of us have made it.”

It’s exactly why Scotiabank, through several initiatives, is resolutely committed to dismantling the barriers faced by women.

Take ScotiaRISE, for example, the company’s newly launched, community investment program. Bolstered by a $500-million commitment, it aims to make an impact in three important areas: increasing high school graduation rates and post-secondary enrollment; helping newcomers to secure meaningful employment; and removing barriers to career advancement for underrepresented groups, like BIPOC women, to help increase their chances of financial success.

Additionally, The Scotiabank Women Initiative champions women by offering education and access to a suite of financial advice and solutions. The end goal is simple: to raise awareness of unconscious bias and provide access to capital, financial services, innovation, education, mentorship, and advisory solutions.

So what’s next in the fight for gender parity? For starters, we have to aim higher than “better than before.” It’s important to act now, along with allies like Scotiabank, so that future generations won’t have to repeat our rallying cries. As feminist activist Gloria Steinem once said, “When unique voices are united in a common cause, they make history.”

Check out scotiabank.com/saidbefore to see how Scotiabank is striving for equality today and every day.