The best part about the cannabis industry is that it’s FULL of incredibly talented women and men who are responsible for getting the industry to where it is today. I owe a lot to everyone who came before me in this industry for allowing me a strong and well-developed industry to emerge within – it’s made for one of the most pleasurable experiences of my professional path.
A few months ago, when it came to building a supportive team that could help CannaWrite thrive within the cannabis industry, I made a decision to work with exclusively those who identify as a woman.
As a former Human Resources professional, I had understood the pay gap and the gender bias in the professional world. As a professional within many industries and sectors, I’ve experienced the pay gap and gender bias in the professional world as well.
Emerging as a woman leader within cannabis, I knew I had the opportunity to right some of the wrongs I’d seen in terms of male-dominance in ALL sectors, while witnessing the same phenomena creep into cannabis.
Here’s why I decided to build a female team of talented writers who make up the CannaWrite team:
Feeling jarred that women in cannabis leadership positions has declined
While there are strong efforts within my own circles to promote the role of women in cannabis, the statistics and data aren’t exactly matching what we’re aiming to achieve.
In recent years, women were taking the cannabis industry by storm. I was excited to read the data and the stories I saw about women in this industry. Yet I was disappointed the recent report “Women & Minorities in the Cannabis Industry” by Marijuana Business Daily that indicated, the number of women CEOs and women in leadership companies has declined, while men continue to enter these positions worldwide.
CannaWrite isn’t aiming to be the business that tips the scales in these statistics, but I want to try to level it out a bit. If we can’t show our impact in the data, I know we’re certainly showing our impact in the way we are creating positive change within the cannabis industry.
Being set ablaze by the inspiration of women cannabis entrepreneurs
From Wanda James, to Rachel Garland and Women of Cannabiz, to Jessie Gill, to Jodie Emery on my home country, to Dr. Michelle Ross, to Debra Borchardt who is KILLING it with cannabis business news, to my own clients in Canndora and Oov Lifestyle, the power of the female in cannabis entrepreneurs working alongside me makes it easy to continue the movement.
It was by watching how these women were embracing their own roles, and seeking to elevate the roles of other women that makes me want to bring as many talented women into my content writing world as possible.
These are the women who are responsible for elevating the position of women as cannabis enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. I’ve never felt so empowered by my own role in the feminist movement and how I’m able to connect that to my personal pursuits.
The woman vibe is strong!
Collaborating with male allies for the position of women in cannabis
Prior to my role in cannabis, I worked within education, research and community engagement. Within these experiences, I was direct witness to some pretty shocking power dynamics between males and females within otherwise very important causes. I recognized that no matter what you’re trying to promote, and no matter how good intent may be, there are situations that allow men to jump on board with feminist efforts (male allies), or be the ones that further supress them.
I am fortunate to have built a client base of both men and women. What impresses me most within the relationships I have cultivated, is the degree of respect I have been shown by male colleagues as I work to advance my company’s mission. These are exemplars to the male allies that are crucial in advancing women’s roles in the cannabis industry.
Setting a standard for how myself and my team are treated by our current and prospective clients has been a great way to “weed out” the clients who exhibit the behaviors in the workplace that I’d seen before, and am dedicated to putting a stop to.
A male ally that I had developed in my career and who I often ruminate with on isses of gender in the workplace said this in a recent exchange:
I just recoil at all of the pain and damage that people inflict upon others, including a lot of 'old school, white males.' I am far from perfect, of course, but I do know to my very core that I far prefer helping to hurting.
I will never forget the example this male left on me as a true male ally to women, and I look forward to cultivating more of these relationships with male clients.
Elevating the role of cannabis in everyday women’s lives and families
Many women – mothers, professionals, partners, friends, siblings, daughters – are living in a place of shame for their use of medical cannabis or preference for marijuana over alcohol.
Through meeting women who have allowed me to share their stories: a nurse working in the opioid crisis who wants to break the “grass ceiling” for cannabis in health care; my many mom friends who have or are looking into treating their children with ADHD, epilepsy or autism with cannabis; and the mothers who use cannabis as a way to maintain their mental health and “presence” in parenting – I work for you!
Almost every day I am messaged by a woman within my personal circle, or on social media that has an incredible story to share – and they entrust me with it. It’s my honour to do this, and I’ll never stop working for you, so that you can feel comfortable to explore cannabis in any way you see fit for yourself or your families.
Elevate the Women of Cannabis
How can we all work to elevate the role of women in cannabis? Be an ally, employ women who are dedicated to cannabis, promote the work of female entrepreneurs in cannabis, and be intentional in the way you hire, interact and promote the role of the woman in your work and in the industry.