October 11 marked the United Nations International Day of the Girl, which aims to amplify girls’ voices, advocate for their rights and elevate their position in society. To celebrate this important day, YW Calgary hosted a two-hour long virtual event that featured an intergenerational conversation around current issues facing girls and women today. The event featured speakers that shared years of expertise on gender equity and mental health and provided practical strategies to cope with COVID-19 related anxieties.  The event drew more than 100 attendees and it was all made possible by the generous support of event sponsors including BrokerLink, TD, Royal LePage Benchmark and ENMAX.

We asked our presenting sponsor, BrokerLink, what the Day of the Girl meant to them and their employees, and how they’ve been coping through the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s what they said:

What motivated BrokerLink’s Day of the Girl Support?

 Day of the Girl is all about building up girls and women through long lasting relationships. You might not know it, but insurance is all about relationships too! We find we are most successful when we create strong ties throughout our communities. That’s why we thought BrokerLink and Day of the Girl are a great match.

Do you have a hobby, pastime or passion that supports your mental health?

“Riding bicycles of all kinds”  – Mike Sarnecki, Manager, National Commercial Lines, Calgary, AB

“I try to go for a walk at least 3-4 times a week.” – Kay Baptiste, Branch Manager, Toronto, ON

“I love getting outside and hiking for my mental health. Getting out of the house and being active really lifts my spirits and it doesn’t hurt if there’s a nice view at the end of the hike!” – Stephanie Edwards, Marketing and Communications Consultant, Calgary, AB

“My hobby is cars and driving. I find it very supportive towards my mental health because I’m able to spend time in a community of people who share my passion for cars. Being in a community of “likeminded” people is a great way to get your mind off of your stresses.” – Lloyd Lim, Marketing Coordinator, Richmond Hill, ON

Can you remember a positive experience from your youth that helped you build resilience and still serves you in adult years?

“Camping and exploring in the Alberta backcountry with my family” – Mike Sarnecki, Manager, National Commercial Lines, Calgary

“I wanted to play basketball at a nearby community centre. Unfortunately it was “mens only” and there weren’t any female sessions. I would go to play as it was competitive 5/5 pick-up games. It was about 3 weeks where unfortunately I wasn’t picked. (And I went twice weekly.) On the 4th week, I stayed on the court – which meant I had to be picked. I didn’t stay on the sidelines after that. It was a silent and lonely move but I wanted to play. And I’m glad I did. I played since then and became part of the “team”. Had to be resilient but more importantly – I just really wanted to play. To this day – I may be silent but I’ll still stand my ground.”  – Kay Baptiste, Branch Manager, Toronto

“At a young age my mom introduced my sister and I to yoga. I still love doing yoga and if I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I turn to yoga to relieve those negative feelings.” – Stephanie Edwards, Marketing and Communications Consultant, Calgary

“When I was younger, I didn’t have the confidence to be alone. When I got my driver’s license, being able to drive gave me the confidence to be alone, be independent, and comfortable in my own skin. This has helped me now in my adult years as it’s given me trust and independence with a lot of the things that I do.” – Lloyd Lim, Marketing Coordinator, Richmond Hill, ON

Thank you BrokerLink!  We’d like to again thank all of our sponsors, attendees and other supporters for being part of the success of the inaugural YWCA Calgary Day of the Girl event. Together we can create a brighter future for young women, for ourselves and for society as a whole.