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Groundtruths – Advancing Gender Equality through Innovation and Partnerships (Peru and Haiti)

July 7 @ 5:00 am - 6:00 am

Join us to learn about the innovative work of two organizations in gender equality and the empowerment of women in Peru and Haiti. Presenters will be sharing their case studies, their lessons learned, and context-specific as well as general recommendations for advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Deetken Impact’s ILU Women’s Empowerment Fund promotes financial inclusion for women through micro loans, and enhanced access to mobile phone-based digital wallets, and digital literacy training. By removing financial barriers for vulnerable women, enhancing their access to capital and strengthening their capacity to use digital technology, this innovative pilot project has improved women’s financial inclusion and promoted their equal economic participation. 

The CoLab Project, based in the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University works with companies and institutions who are looking for radical shifts, bold ideas and new ways to engage and partner for more inclusive, sustainable outcomes. Their project ‘Unleashing the Power of Women’ was conducted in Peru to strengthen innovation and collaboration capacity among system stakeholders – civil society, private sector, government, communities and universities – for more inclusive and resilient solutions in governance, polices, processes and business practice.Through this project, they created processes and spaces where women from very different parts of the society (community leaders, government, NGOs, private sector, rural/urban, indigenous/non indigenous) worked collaboratively to innovate actionable and transformative solutions to women’s full participation in decision making, economic and social benefits and political voice within mining contexts. The project supported increased cross-cutting gender policies and practices at the national/regional/local levels and the incorporation of gender analysis into management instruments across agencies and ministries. It also strengthened women’s capacities to be central agents in addressing the gendered impacts of mining, gendered inequalities in relation to the benefits of mining and as economic actors – mineworkers, suppliers, entrepreneurs and executives. These initiatives fostered collaborative action networks, and cross sector linkages among women from industry, community, government and academia to help drive future initiatives. 


About the Presenters

Dr. June Francis, Co-Director -The Co-Laboratorio Project / Director Institute for Diaspora Research and Engagement / Associate Professor, Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University 

Dr. June Francis is Associate Professor Beedie School of Business, SFU and Co-Founder of the Co-Lab Project (http://Colabadvantage.org), that works with organizations who are looking for radical shifts, bold ideas to move beyond  diversity to true equity and inclusion. As Co-Chair of The Hogan’s Alley Society’s Board she leads an organization whose mission is to advance the social, political, economic and cultural well-being of people of African Descent. She is an advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion for racialized groups as well as the advancement of non-traditional intellectual property law related to community well-being and cultural and human rights through her research, consulting, the media and as a volunteer.  Dr. Francis has extensive experience in the private sector, as an entrepreneur, with civil society on governance boards and as an academic. Originally from Jamaica, June earned her BSc (first class Honours from the University of the West Indies) and later moved to Canada where she earned her MBA (Schulich School of Business). June completed her PhD in the United States (University of Washington) later earning a LLB from the UK (BPP School of Law)

 June is also the Director of SFU The Institute for Diaspora Research and Engagement previously directed the Program in Development and Sustainability in Faculty of Environment at SFU. She served on the SFU’s Board of Governors from 2012-2018 and previously served for several years on the Board of Directors of MOSAIC, a key immigrant and refugee settlement society. More recently, she has worked internationally with governments, industry and civil society to advance diversity and inclusion in governance and economic opportunities and across a wide range of formal and informal sectors including non-profit and public sector, resource management, high and information technology, agriculture, housing, consumer products and subsistence sectors for large organizations, small business, entrepreneurs and micro enterprises. An award-winning teacher, she has worked internationally with universities to support governance and experiential learning in China, Caribbean, South America, and Europe. 

Her research and academic writing focus on diversity, inter-culturality, leadership and participatory engagement approaches with vulnerable and excluded groups. She specializes in negotiated agreement-making, governance and inclusive market-based enterprise to increase the value-added for non-traditional intellectual property and organizations – such as community ownership, geographical indicators and traditional knowledge and through business development for export-led strategies for information technology and high technology firms, small businesses and micro-enterprises.

June and her husband have also written a series of guidebooks about World EXPOs & national parks in the USA and produced a major multi-cultural event in Vancouver. June adores travel, basketball and Reggae music. A former player with the Jamaican netball national squad, June has coached the BC netball team to the Canadian national tournament. She has three children and two adorable grandchildren.


Chadley Parsons, Senior Loan Officer, Deetken Impact

Chad has been working with Deetken Impact since its inception in 2007.   He works as a Senior Loan Officer focusing on the Financial Inclusion portfolio in Mexico, Haiti and Central America.  He is involved largely with conducting due diligence on Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) financing companies and clean energy projects in the pipeline, gaining an understanding of governance, information management, risk management, operations, individual clients and lending groups, as well as non-financial offerings towards health, education and the environment. This includes collection of gender scoring data for submission to the women-led Ilu Fund gender committee.  He is also currently involved in technical assistance projects related to digital wallets and telemedicine.

 Chad studied Civil Engineering here in BC focussing on environmental hydrology, and did a masters in Manchester, UK on the relationship between information technology and social and economic development in underfunded contexts. 

 Prior to joining Deetken Impact, Chad worked briefly as an engineer in salmon habitat and oil spill recovery.  He moved into Information Technology, working for Microsoft in Seattle, Hewlett Packard, and a mobile health solution in Delhi, India.  He later worked as a consultant on IT, health care and social services projects for Deetken Insight, a sibling company of Deetken Impact.  


What: GROUNDTRUTHS – Advancing Gender Equality through Innovation and Partnerships Case studies from Deetken Impact and the SFU Beedie School of Business CoLab Project

When: Tuesday July 7, from 12:00 – 1:00  pm (Pacific Time) 

Where: Zoom

Cost: Free for BCCIC members, $30 for non-members.

Register:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIqcu-pqTkiE9z_yH8S4WO3YZYh6OYUErci


We look forward to seeing you online!


July 7
5:00 am - 6:00 am