International Women’s Day: Meet the folks making a difference



Happy International Women’s Day!

Payworks Co-Founder Barb Gamey (who was recently recognized as one of Ace Burpee’s Top 100 Most Fascinating Manitobans for 2023, incidentally – a fabulous honour here in our hometown!) first opened our doors almost 25 years ago. Since then, Payworks has exponentially grown, due in no small part to the efforts of the hundreds of talented women on our own team and all the women tasked with payroll, HR and workforce management for our clients all across the country. Today and every day – we recognize and celebrate you!

We also want to mark International Women’s Day by spotlighting a handful of our favourite not-for-profit organizations supporting women from coast to coast. Together, these folks are finding new ways to bridge systemic gaps, empower women and make positive change. Whether you’re looking for resources or just seeking a little inspiration on how to get involved in your own community, get to know them here.

A woman looking at herself in a mirror.


Starting on the West Coast, meet Victoria, BC-based Wear2Start: “a volunteer-driven non-profit society that provides a personalized wardrobe experience to empower all self-identified women to dress their best to reach their goals.”

Having the right clothes to make a professional first impression is something many of us have likely taken for granted, and living without them can be a huge barrier to success for those without the resources to build a “work wardrobe.” Since 2001, Wear2Start has “helped thousands of women gain more confidence and increased their chances of securing employment with a more polished appearance,” and we’re proud to help them continue to deliver on their vision.

Their Clothing Donation Management program connects women with gently-used clothing, which is good for both the community and the planet. That’s what we call a win-win!

To make a donation of your own, please visit:

Mamas for Mamas

In the midst of the devastating wildfires that ravaged much of British Columbia in 2023, we turned to our local team for recommendations on how to best provide on-the-ground support. One of their recommendations: Mamas for Mamas, a “specialized poverty relief agency and an all-inclusive community for mothers and caregivers.”

Their Kelowna, BC location branch “offers a space where our Mamas and their kids feel safe and comfortable when they come in for poverty relief support.” Their no-cost Karma Market provides clothing, shoes, seasonal wear, formula, diapers and much more, and their in-house social worker helps bridge connections to other community resources – all of which were especially needed when the wildfires upended so many families’ lives.

They also offer one-to-one and group counselling and emergency and comprehensive mental wellness support in a variety of specialties; from a holistic wellness perspective, they support “access to physical activities” and a sustainable nourishment program that “provides our local families with a wide variety of freshly grown produce and protein.”

To make a donation of your own, please visit:

An Indigenous person dancing in a prairie landscape.

Native Women’s Association of Canada

In the days leading up to last year’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we connected with the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and were inspired by both the depth and breadth of their community offerings. They were “founded on the collective goal to enhance, promote and foster the social, economic, cultural and political well-being of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people within their respective communities and Canada societies” and continue to deliver on this promise through their extensive programming, vast library of resources, and policy advocacy.

To help empower all generations in building a successful future, NWAC’s programming includes scholarships, apprenticeship connections, skills and employment training, and entrepreneurial outreach and navigation. They also offer trauma-informed support programming and resources, education and platforms for community members to connect with each other, training for other service providers, and more.

In addition to their many publications, NWAC has built a multimedia Knowledge Centre covering subjects ranging from poverty reduction, housing and legal affairs to health, violence prevention and MMIWG2S+.

To make a donation of your own, please visit:

St. Boniface Hospital Foundation

This past September, Payworks was proud to make a $125,000 donation to support women’s heart health research through the St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, located in our hometown of Winnipeg, MB.

The St. Boniface Hospital Foundation (SBHF) funds “medical research, patient care, equipment enhancements, and innovative clinical and research practices” at St. Boniface Hospital, Manitoba’s second-largest hospital. The hospital’s Research Centre “has more than 190 research and support personnel working in it” and its research programs “are directly linked to clinical departments at the hospital.”

In their own announcement of Payworks’ donation, the SBHF quoted Dr. Lorrie Kirshenbaum, the hospital’s Director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, as saying:

“Largely, the clinical trials done many years ago were done predominantly on men. We are learning that women present differently – they have different symptoms and different heart disease than men. We can’t take a cookie-cutter approach to treating women. I am proud to champion women’s heart health research, steward the contribution, and make sure something positive comes of it. It’s only possible because of Payworks and others who contribute to the initiative. So, we thank them.”

To make a donation of your own, please visit:

Four women jogging in a park.

Women’s Run Retreat

Speaking of women’s health, we’re thrilled to be the Give Back Sponsor of the first-ever Women’s Run Retreat, founded by City Park Runners co-owner Robyn Penner and set to take place at Hecla Island, MB on June 7-9, 2024!

The mission of the Women’s Run Retreat is “to empower women through running… to create a supportive and inclusive experience that fosters connections, celebrates all abilities of runners, and promotes joy in every stride. We are dedicated to inspiring women of all levels to run, while nurturing friendship and well-being through education and movement.”

This education will take the form of speaker sessions with women’s health experts and other special guests.

To sign up as a sponsor (or a runner!), please visit:

Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada Leadership Summit

For many years, Payworks has been pleased to support the Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC)’s annual Leadership Summit. We’ll be returning as sponsors at this year’s event, taking place in Toronto, ON from April 17-18, 2024.

The Leadership Summit “connects and celebrates Canada’s women’s entrepreneurial network.” This year’s keynote speaker is Laura Liswood, who will “unpack the powerful business case for adopting diversity, equity and inclusion” and is joined by many other experts covering a wide range of topics. The Summit also offers plenty of opportunities for attendees to connect with and learn from each other, in an environment of “collaboration and understanding.”

To learn more, please visit:

We thank each of these community leaders for their uniquely valuable contributions to the wellness of women all across Canada.

Seeing is believing!

Curious what better Canadian workforce management looks like in action (and how much time you could reclaim in your day-to-day)? Book a pressure-free, get-to-know you demo today.