To mark International Women's Day, Toronto's Design Exchange is hosting its inaugural DX Talk, Doin' It for Themselves. The Thursday evening panel will feature 10 creative and innovative Canadian women who will discuss how their products, services and systems are shaping the future. The talk takes its format from the dynamic PechaKucha style, where slides are shown for 20 seconds each for a total of six minutes and 40 seconds per presenter.
Doin' It for Themselves was inspired by the fact that women in Canada are still underrepresented in the fields important to design, including science, technology, engineering, mathematics and architecture, despite women making up the majority of university graduates. Speakers at Thursday night's panel work in fields ranging from fashion to cannabis to senior care.
At the DX's debut Expo for Design Innovation and Technology (EDIT) last fall, the organization developed a mandate that included addressing gender equality. "We believe that women should be empowered and that ultimately the planet will only benefit from empowerment," says Shauna Levy, president of the Design Exchange. It's a direction that's steering the programming at the DX in 2018, and is encouraged by tangible impacts like the $70-million investment from the Business Development Bank of Canada into its Women In Tech program.
Hosting this event is not only about highlighting the female talent in Canadian design industries, but demonstrating that there are plenty of opportunities for women to succeed. "We just want to be a platform to continue those conversations and those really meaningful moments where women can again be empowered and understand that they too have an opportunity here," says Levy.
In the wake of EDIT, Doin' It for Themselves is part of the ongoing evolution of the Design Exchange and its role in Canadian culture as a facilitator of conversations about the place design has in concepts, ideas and change. "The Design Exchange for many years was very much about the design of things, and what EDIT demonstrated to people is that design is very much more than that," says Levy. "Sure, it can be very much about beautiful things but it has so much more potential. It is about the design of communities and the design of systems. We can use design to make the world a better place."
This week's styling happenings
Town Shoes has partnered with White Ribbon on an International Women's Day initiative, Lace Up. Speak Out. For the entire year, purchase a pair of orange shoe laces at any Town Shoes, Shoe Company, Shoe Warehouse or DSW stores across Canada and all proceeds will go to White Ribbon's campaign to end violence against women. For more information, visit laceupspeakout.com .
Beauty brand L'Oréal Paris is celebrating its second annual Canadian Women of Worth program. On March 8, ten Women of Worth honourees will be celebrated at a gala in Toronto with host actor Helen Mirren. Each winner is selected for her volunteer contributions, and will receive $10,000 in charitable grants for a non-profit organizations, with the National Honouree receiving double that amount. For more information, visit www.womenofworth.ca.
Toronto Men's Fashion Week and Toronto Women's Fashion Week are both kicking off in Ontario's capital. Running from Mar. 9 to 11, the men's shows will hit the catwalk at 1 Yonge St. The following three days will showcase women'swear collections. For more information, visit www.tomfw.com and www.tw-fw.com.