Shelley McCool, a commercial lines broker, took home this year’s Bread and Roses Award, given out at the Pledge for Parity event celebrating International Women’s Day in Kenora Tuesday.
The Bread and Roses Award acknowledges a woman who has earned special achievements, accomplishments and shown volunteerism, passion, courage, leadership and dedication to the community.
McCool, from the Kenora office of Gillons Insurance Brokers, was humble in victory.
“It’s one of those things where you look out in the audience and you see people you’ve worked with all of your life and women who have come up from the ranks and are lawyers, doctors, police officers. Forty, 30 or even 20 years ago you wouldn’t see as much of that,” McCool said. “To see a room full of women like that, there has to be someone who deserves this honour more than me.”
During presentations at the event it was noted that the World Economic Forum had predicted in 2015 that the estimated date for gender parity won’t be reached until 2133.
“We want to recognize that women have struggled to reach parity in our culture,” said Kendall Trembath, executive director at Saakaate House. “We’ve come a long way but there’s still a long way to go.”
The event was sponsored by Women’s Place Kenora, Kenora Sexual Assault Centre, Saakaate House Women’s Shelter, Ontario Native Women’s Association and the Metis Nation of Ontario.