On World Environment Day, women leaders from Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver gathered to discuss how empowering the next generation of female climate leaders has in the past, and will continue to benefit several cities in Canada.

On this day, C40 Cities and the City of Toronto have launched the Women4ClimateTO (W4CTO) Mentorship Programme. Toronto is the sixteenth city overall to launch a Women4Climate Mentorship Programme, and the third city in Canada. Montreal is about to launch its 3rd edition of the programme, while the City of Vancouver has just kicked off its 2nd edition. 

The online launch event was moderated by the C40's Director of Climate Planning, Finance and Partnerships, Andrea Fernández

Jennifer McKelvie, Toronto's City Councillor and the Mayor's Environment and Resilience Champion, welcomed the launch of the Women4ClimateTO and is hopeful to find a wide variety of solutions to problems outlined in TransformTo and ResilienceTO strategies. The councillor highlighted the importance of the diversity of Toronto's populations and perspectives, and believes that, "if we really want to be successful in addressing climate change, we need to champion the ideas of women with diverse backgrounds and perspectives (...) because we need their voice at the table." 

From the top left corner: Jennifer McKelvie, Heather Taylor, Andrea Fernández, Laurence Lavigne Lalonde and Adriane Carr. 

Heather Taylor, Chief Financial Officer in the City of Toronto, spoke about major pools of potential and talent in the city - "We've got talent that we don't even know, we've got women who live, work and study in the city. We want to provide them with trainings, networks, mentorship and coaching. We want them to become the next global leaders in the field of climate action."

Adriane Carr, Vancouver City Councillor and Women4Climate Mentor, spoke about her experience as a professional mentor, and argued that participating in the programme has been - "one of the most rewarding experiences of my political career (...) women helping women, this is absolutely critical. "

Laurence Lavigne Lalonde, Montreal City Councillor, provided insights on the relationship between mentees and mentors in Montréal. According to the Councillor, the Programme led to the creation of impressive, sincere friendships. The collaborative nature of the Women4Climate Initiative has led to the creation of tangible results in the collaboration within the mentees participating in the programme. 

Find out more about the Women4ClimateTO (W4CTO) Mentorship Programme here. Apply by June 15th to be in a chance to accelerate your climate project or share it with women you believe might be interested in applying.