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Vancouver's first female councillor honoured as City celebrates International Women's Day

March 8 2018

"As the first woman elected to Vancouver's City Council, Ms. Gutteridge was not only a trailblazer in municipal politics but a strong advocate for the rights of women across our province."

Helena Rose Gutteridge

More than 80 years after being elected to council, one of Vancouver's most remarkable women is being celebrated this International Women's Day.

Helena Gutteridge Plaza

Minister Harjit Sajjan MP, Mayor Gregor Robertson and members of Vancouver City Council today unveiled the Helena Gutteridge Plaza, a newly refurbished public space managed by VIVA Vancouver in front of City Hall.

The plaza has been named in honour of Helena Rose Gutteridge, a political activist who helped shape British Columbia's social reform legislation, fought for improved conditions for working women and advocated for equal pay.

"This year, I am honoured to celebrate International Women's Day with the unveiling of the Helena Gutteridge Plaza right here at City Hall," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "As the first woman elected to Vancouver's City Council, Ms. Gutteridge was not only a trailblazer in municipal politics but a strong advocate for the rights of women across our province. As a city, we've come a long way in 80 years but we need to redouble our efforts to make Vancouver a better place to live and work for all women. We need to work harder than ever to deliver on the priority areas outlined in the recently updated Women's Equity Strategy, and that includes ensuring women are in leadership roles, pay equity, more quality childcare and affordable housing."

Signing the Minerva Pledge

As well as celebrating the strides made by women in Vancouver's past, the City is looking to the future this week as they become the first municipality to sign Minerva BC's Face of Leadership Diversity Pledge.

Developed by the Minerva Foundation, the Pledge has been signed by dozens of private companies and is a commitment by the City to support women's advancement in leadership in our workforce and in the community.

Speaking about the City's actions, Tina Strehlke, CEO of the Minerva Foundation, said: "We are delighted that the City of Vancouver is becoming the first municipality to sign the pledge as it is a real step forward in leadership and demonstrates a top level commitment to women's equality."

The signing of the Minerva Pledge on Friday, March 9, is one of the many steps that the City is taking as part of its recently approved Women's Equity Strategy. The strategy reflects the City's vision to make Vancouver a place where all women have access to resources and opportunities so that they can fully participate in the political, economic, cultural and social life of the city.

Download the Women's Equity Strategy  (5.38 MB)