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View from the Forest recap: Why Set Up a Gender and Development Office

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Last International Women’s Month, MSM Higher Ed president Donna Hooker challenged on setting up a Gender and Development officer to help guide and promote campus gender equality and equity among faculty and students alike. (PEXELS)

In celebration of Women’s Month last March, MSM Higher Ed president dedicated a “View From The Forest” episode in line with gender equality and equity.

Key Points at a Glance

  • March is International Women’s Month.
  • Top HEIs maintain a Gender and Development office in their campuses.
  • According to studies, there is still work to be done in academia to fully integrate gender equality and equity.
  • There is a need for HEIs to be more hands-on, starting with their Gender and Development offices.

The seasoned educator and current high ranking official of Canada-based leading education management company shared the importance of higher education institutions setting up their own Gender and Development office.

“It can go by many names. Yale College calls it the Office of Gender and Campus Culture. The University of Toronto calls it the Sexual and Diversity Office. The University of Stuttgart calls it the Gender Equality Office,” said Donna.

“All offices operate to promote conditions for inclusion and genuine equity between men and women in academia.”

Donna highlights that in spite of the numerous pro-women policies in place, several studies show that results still prove otherwise. 

“A study by researchers at the University of Toronto and McMaster University found out that a gender gap continues to exist in Canadian inter-university sport in terms of participation, coaching and administration,” said Donna, while discussing some of the data in the studies. 

Donna, who is also a mother of three daughters, was alarmed at the recent report that stated that in 2019, the highest number of sexual assault victims were young women and the incidents of sexual assault are more prevalent on campuses compared with the general population.

“These underscore a need for an office at higher education institutions that address the gender skew and change of culture of impunity towards women,” said Donna.

“The Gender and Development Office should spearhead education programming, initiate webinars on gender sensitivity and activities that celebrate one’s gender,” she added.

Watch Episode 14 for more information. For more “View from the Forest” episodes, check out the MSM Higher Ed YouTube channel and click subscribe for more videos.


President, MSM Higher Ed

Donna Hooker has worked in the international education field for 30 years. She has a comprehensive knowledge of policy and practise in the public post-secondary education system in British Columbia, Canada and worldwide. She is a past board chair for the BC Centre for International Education and has held senior management roles at BC Institute for Technology, Vancouver Community College, and most recently at Capilano University.


Donna Hooker, MSM Higher Ed President

Donna Hooker, MSM Higher Ed President, takes you to her lush home in Upper Fraser Valley, British Columbia to talk about different trends and issues affecting the international education industry. Watch, learn and subscribe to the channel to get her invaluable vlog series, “View from the Forest.”

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MSM Higher Ed offers education management solutions that create opportunities for students while building capacity for international student enrollment and new revenue streams for partner institutions. Through viable public-private partnerships (PPPs), licensing agreements, program pathways based on articulation arrangements and pan-national and transnational program delivery, we create opportunities for students to earn career-oriented credentials preparing their career or academic advancement. MSM Higher Ed manages private institutions Eton College Canada, Q College, Q Academy, Taylor Pro College, Extreme Pro Training, and College Multihexa.


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