Best Practices

A message from the Roots/Routes to Women’s Empowerment & Leadership Steering Committee

Welcome to the Promising Practices Manual for Women’s Empowerment and Leadership from the Roots/ Routes Steering Committee 2013-2016.

We are the Steering Committee originally made up of Executive Directors, Coordinators, and past participants of three women’s leadership and empowerment programs in central and eastern Canada – from the West Central Women’s Resource Centre WE-WIL program in Winnipeg, Manitoba, from Working for Change, Women Speak Out Program in Toronto, Ontario, and the Women’s Empowerment Network POWER UP! Program in Saint John, New Brunswick. Our task was to deliver our programs for several years, study the outcomes of the programs on the lives of marginalized women, strengthen our organizational and community partnerships and develop a manual of the most promising practices from our various programs and make it available to any organization interested in offering women’s leadership training.

We are proud to provide our Promising Practice Manual for Women’s Leadership and Empowerment to you. We have worked together for over two years, experimented, talked and gathered feedback about which themes are important for women’s learning with regards to leadership and empowerment. We offer those most promising practices in this manual.

The Steering Committee would like to thank all the women who participated in the Roots/Routes Project over the past two years. They inspired our work and taught us how to create better programs for women’s leadership and empowerment. They enriched our own learning in the development of this manual.

We would also like to thank Status of Women Canada for undertaking this project. Status of Women Canada has a key role to play in supporting women’s leadership and empowerment across Canada, for all women and particularly for marginalized women.

We also want to thank you for exploring this manual, for using or adapting some or all of the ideas we provide here to enrich women’s learning. We encourage your feedback as you experiment with what is contained here.


Roots/Routes Steering Committee, July 2015


We are grateful to:

  • Status of Women Canada for providing funding for the Roots/Routes Project.
  • The Loan Fund Saint John New Brunswick for their contribution to the Goal-setting Module.
  • The Canadian Women’s Foundation for the use of the asset mapping material for the Asset Mapping Module.
  • Pat Caponni for inspirational leadership
  • Joe Roth for design

Women Speak Out

I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. … We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.

– Malala Yousafzai