In an effort to increase much-needed gender equality on boards, YWCA Edmonton and DirectHer Network have teamed up on a unique 12-month pilot project aimed at blazing more pathways for women and gender minorities wanting to serve at decision-making tables. “This partnership is a made-in-Alberta solution to the real challenge of not seeing enough women on boards, particularly women of colour and Indigenous women. We need to open more doors for everyone,” said YWCA Edmonton
ETHEL SYBIL (KNIGHT) WILSON
Born on a farm near Sunnyside in 1902, Ethel moved to Edmonton in 1925. Ethel was widowed young, left with 3 small children to provide for after her husband died. Forced to work, she got a job as a seamstress with Burns Meats Ltd., where she worked for 25 years.
While still doing her seamstress work, Ethel ran for Edmonton City Council. Unsuccessful in her first attempt, Ethel won a seat in the next election and was re-elected for six subsequent terms. She retired from council in 1966.
Ethel remained on council while she also held office in the provincial government. Ethel was an MLA for Edmonton North from 1959 to 1971. In 1962, Ethel retired from her seamstress job when she was named Minister without Portfolio, a government position she held for nine years.
As a cabinet minister, Ethel led the development of Hilltop House in 1965, a hostel facility for needy women. She also pioneered a family aid program for persons with handicapped children and the annual Alberta Girls Parliament. Ethel served on the boards of the Edmonton Public Library, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Health Board, Recreation Commission, Greater Edmonton Foundation, and the Business and Professional Women’s Club.
Ethel died on December 8, 1983 at the age of 81.
Source: Edmonton Journal December 9, 1986; Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1971