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The Gender Equality Interview Series: Casar Jacobson, Former Miss Canada
In light of the Gender Equality Forum 2017, we interviewed Casar Jacobson, Former Miss Canada for an interview and asked the following questions on Gender Equality, Women’s Empowerment, and more. Casar is a deaf international entrepreneur and has been published in industry leading magazines, seen on tv, heard on radio and had commercial success – and having been former Miss Canada 2013 National title winner and global Miss Globe Peace in 2012 on an international level.

1. Tell us about the challenges you faced as a young female, entrepreneur, and person with a disability and how you overcame them.

Being deaf has its own obstacles, be that as it may, being an entrepreneur symbolizes that you have an appetite to be independent and society has yet to fully adapt to the idea that this is possible with the outcome of success, but that can be our advantage if we take the necessary steps.

I have interviewed deaf and hard of hearing individuals, the topic of ‘deaf’ covers many grounds with how they identify with being deaf and if their network is ‘hearing’ and they’re deaf, or if they’ve recently lost their hearing or were born hard of hearing or deaf; finally we arrive at if they have desire and an understanding of their market in business.

Being deaf you have to pursue your passion with purpose and skill as you would if you could hear; your needs as a deaf entrepreneur are simply much different and educating others on your specific needs will encourage them to build a relationship with you.

As a deaf entrepreneur, I have to lay groundwork before I start an entrepreneurial task and overcoming them is simply communication and the means in which we communicate and an understanding of the Deaf Culture.

The biggest challenge and ironically ‘answer’ is what I dubbed ‘The Bridge’ because it’s the route from you to the person you’re communicating with, that is what business/relationships are about; every bridge varies and often there are hurdles.

The differently abled have to be creative with this bridge before implementing strategy or gaining knowledge or access if the other side of ‘The Bridge’ is not one of patience/knowledge/understanding amidst your perseverance/non-negotiable attitude it impedes on future opportunity on a larger scale.

By educating society and those we work alongside or desire to work alongside with about what is required for the Deaf/differently abled we lower anxiety & raise awareness to ease the communication bridge.

If everyone knew Sign Language, would being deaf be a disability? In the last half of the 20th-century educational opportunities have increased for us and occasionally you will be able to talk someone into bringing on a translator as part of their ‘right’ but this is not wildly accepted as the norm or even considered in many countries. We do not expect someone born and raised in New Jersey, USA to speak fluent Tamil or Malay while visiting Singapore; this is a gap in communication – the same goes in business, whether we have the same ability or not.

Mindset, behind around a positive environment and groups of people who want to further themselves who are themselves diverse, challenging myself to both verbal & Sign Language environments. I ask for someone to be very clear about the intent of their need for something they wish for me to carry out (e/g a speech, a write-up, an event, I may not pick up on sarcasm due to tonality.. etc)

Being deaf you have to pursue your passion with purpose and skill as you would if you could hear; your needs as a deaf entrepreneur are simply much different and educating others on your specific needs will encourage them to build a relationship with you.

There are stigmas behind pageants, behind females in business & leadership, and behind being deaf. Just as being deaf and a female entrepreneur is a minority so is being successful at it and as deaf females, our hindrances that we find can be the very thing that allows us to catapult forward if we embrace opportunity both with a powerful engaging mindset and collect ideas from our group to work together. The bigger the female entrepreneurial voice is, the more understanding they’ll be of sub-categorical minorities amidst this.

There are companies or individuals who approach myself or someone I know who is deaf and will experience kickback because they’re unsure they’re capable. It takes one or two times engaging in what they perceive you cannot do for them to realize you can, you have to be bold, aggressive, and passionate, eventually it can become the mark that separates you in a positive manner.

Transformation has happened and it is still happening nevertheless as the world changes we have to course shift to grasp the reign on our 2030-mark.

2. Are you optimistic that we will achieve Gender Equality by 2030?

We have a profound pandemic creating a positive wave in this category, historical change with agreement in signed governments to make way for this agenda, strong backed goals and empowered individuals walking the walk, however, statistically still behind. (WEF)

“Argentines taking to the streets to protest femicide” or – as often mentioned – the “ever changing emoji’s that represent equality” – we are moving forward socially in some economies and perhaps forgetting that the easiest way to find a needle in a haystack (haystack being the 50/50 agenda) is not by removing the straw piece-by-piece but rather to light the haystack on fire; a stitch in time saves 9 and in this case could be 9x longer than anticipated if we do not quickly address War crimes and the sexual violence is still happening. Protesting and changing technology that doesn’t improve opportunity for both genders will slow the pace down giving the calendar an ever deceiving timeline on achieving this by 2030.

About two-thirds of countries in the developing regions have achieved gender unity in fundamentals of education, I’m optimistic it’s changing effectively.

Transformation has happened and it is still happening nevertheless as the world changes we have to course shift to grasp the reign on our 2030-mark.

Last but not least, we need to halt child marriage, understand that education in some ways needs to be gender sensitive while not segregating skill/knowledge amongst the genders.

3. What will it take to achieve Gender Equality by 2030? / Why is it so difficult to achieve Gender Equality?

Despite a woman’s proven abilities as a leader and their right to participate equally in democratic governance, women are underrepresented in noted positions and as voters globally.

It’s important to note percentage differences amongst businesses/groups that bring on women in leadership roles and mark the increase in profit/success calculating specifically the roles the genders are playing to see the percentage difference. There are Fortune 500 companies, for example, their ROI was increased when represented/led by women but still is a minority.r miss Canada

As young women, our voices have to be heard. Many do not have the confidence or cultural based diversity. Women and young girls get kick-back and are reluctant to react, especially when they have social media bombarding, degrading, judging/critiquing us for being imperfect or lesser valued. Let’s focus on opportunity itself rather than everything we sacrifice so that collectively we can move mountains.

Studies have shown many young girls and women do not feel worthy of voice or their voice is of less authority, as a norm in their culture. You are worthy, wherever you are right now you are worthy and though you may only be one girl to the world – your voice can impact just one woman/girl and it will be a ripple effect that changes everything. We are imperfect, we are flawed, we live in an imperfect world that’s also flawed; that is the beauty – women and young girls have an opportunity to kick right back.

As women and young girls we feel we have to adhere to a feminine role all-the-while expressing equality and living up not only to past expectations but to the future career orientated aspirations within societies view on gender equality, and with change, comes struggle. Society shouldn’t impede on our voice, our internal driver has a force many do not talk about but new roars from young girls and women are!

Recent studies now show that what drives humans more than biological/profit/praise is the desire to be part of something ‘bigger’ than themselves with a need to have and pursue purpose to creating fulfilment. Psychology plays a much larger role than we realize. Temporary motivations will end in slowly diminishing performance, what we are seeing is a flux where efforts diminish when paid in praise/award/monetary & and women want to display their ingenuity, passion, & education now that opportunities and change have sprouted. Many open access templates grew to the largest profitable organizations today that are some of the largest companies once founded on volunteer open access due to purpose and passion.rmer miss Canada

Last but not least, we need to halt child marriage, understand that education in some ways needs to be gender sensitive while not segregating skill/knowledge amongst the genders. Mother should be empowered and give value to ‘women’s work’ while encouraging women into non-traditional occupational roles in order to confidentially say we deserve equal pay, take backlash seriously (sexual and verbal harassment, lack of comfort of a woman in a predominantly male workforce, also support male roles in taking part of previously predominant female roles i.e. at home with children) this works both ways.

We know that empowering women and girls brings advantage to businesses, communities globally.

An emotional driver that separates women is we have a tendency to oversee an array of factors in regards to a decision or opportunity that would excel our career. It’s important we have empathy, never leave that behind, but we have to tread with deep footprints towards our goals.

5. What can boys and girls do to push the gender equality agenda?

Men’s power over women in many contexts necessitates working with men to change the conditions of women’s lives. Strategizing how men and women focus groups. Alternative peer groups Extracurricular studies to prepare for post-secondary to come out with more education which can lead to increase in wages & opportunities. Boys and girls enjoy ‘creating’ to be a part of change, allowing them to come up with ideas can engage them on a level that directing them sometimes fails to and they’ll create their own volunteer army towards campaigning and acting towards goals gender neutral activities/games inculcating stereotypical attitudes and behaviors in girls and boys.

6. What is some advice you would give to aspirational women and young girls who are trying to leave their mark on the world?

An emotional driver that separates women is we have a tendency to oversee an array of factors in regards to a decision or opportunity that would excel our career. It’s important we have empathy, never leave that behind, but we have to tread with deep footprints towards our goals.

We live in a world where society is asking the elephant to climb a tree, with the monkey being the marker of success. If we lived in a world where there were only one species of animal – the world then cease’s to exist. Much so, so are the drives of difference in humanity as it drives the economy and creates diversity – with diversity comes struggle and with struggle, we desire change.

I sat in a meeting a few years ago whilst colleagues spoke of their trip climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano in Tanzania (highest mountain in Africa 5,895 meters above sea level), they would travel-a-lot in the dark and said-colleague asked the Tanzanian why it was they climbed predominantly when it was dark; the local replied “many people see clearly their destination and give up before they start” – women, more than men, often have a tendency to oversee events, decisions, and outcomes and therefore decide ‘now’ is not a good time. Women have had a historical tendency to fight the urge to take care of those around us while fulfilling our potential in education/career. We can attain and achieve more changing the course of history for women.

Being authentic and speaking about a weakness allows other women/young girls know that you’re approachable. Confidence is not about ego. Be the beautifully flawed individual you are, we make mistakes and it doesn’t have to define you, failure means you’ve tried but you still must give your best effort and proceed moving forward without quitting. Should you ‘fail’ try again or strive for another method to reach your goal. You could be the individual that the next young girl or woman needed to inspire her inner fire that could expedite the current domino affect with equality.

We give power to what we give attention to, we don’t have to walk in the dark because obstacle kickbacks stagnate the timeline between where you are now and where you’re going. a

Casar Jacobson
www.casarjacobson.com
@CasarJacobson

Casar is a speaker for The Gender Equality Forum 2017. Read her bio »

 

Interview with Casar Jacobson, former miss Canada