Erin Seeley, YWCA Metro Vancouver CEO

CEO Update - Spring 2023

It might be cliché to talk about new beginnings in spring, but after such a long Vancouver winter, it’s impossible not to be affected by the days growing longer and the world coming out of hibernation. Maybe we are especially attuned to it here on the wet, west coast, but I feel a sense of renewed energy. 

This Spring/Summer issue of Contact focuses on just that – all of the fresh programs, projects and advocacy work that we have committed to as an organization.  

The YWCA Hotel has been undergoing a revitalization resulting in more rooms to serve visitors and emergency spaces for women and families seeking shelter, while shrinking our environmental footprint.  

Our commitment to ensure universal child care means training more Early Childhood Educators, so we launched Discover, a free program for immigrant women to become certified and begin a fulfilling career as an ECE. 

To move forward our inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility work, YWCA staff is deeply engaged. Our three staff committees continually bring forth opportunities to help us all learn and grow as individuals and as an organization. This year, staff are leading the development of a gender-inclusion toolkit and a declaration on our commitment to Truth and Reconciliation. 

Our advocacy work is also producing results. City Shift is on the minds of municipal leadership across the Lower Mainland and our Hopeful Hair campaign demonstrates our solidarity with women in Iran who continue to fight for their human rights.  

As we marked International Women’s Day in March, we presented a new look for our 40th annual Women of Distinction Awards and had a fabulous time celebrating the women and workplaces that make a difference in our community at the Announcing the Nominees event. But we also took time to acknowledge that women’s rights around the world are increasingly at risk and that we have so much work to do locally and globally to achieve a world that is safe and has equal opportunities for everyone. 

On that, I have gathered together an excellent team to work collaboratively on our forthcoming Strategic Plan – a bold new path to guide us into the future. This work is exciting and feels especially significant as we envision all that we want to do to support our community. 

As always, YWCA staff and supporters are at the forefront of creating meaningful change. I hope the turning of seasons brings with it renewed hope for you, too. Thank you for reading and as always, thank you for being a part of the YWCA community. 

Erin Seeley 

CEO YWCA Metro Vancouver 


This article is part of the 2023 Spring/Summer edition of our Contact Newsletter. 
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