International Women’s Day: In Conversation With Tiffany Callender

In the second instalment of our month-long International Women’s Day Series, we spotlight Tiffany Callender, co-founder and CEO of The Federation of African Canadian Economics (FACE), a bilingual Black-led non-profit organization focused on providing sustainable economic resources to the Black community across Canada. Here Callender reveals the success behind FACE, her advice for BIPOC female entrepreneurs, and the significance of International Women’s Day.

You are co-founder and CEO of FACE. What has been your proudest achievement since its launch?

“Since we launched FACE, it’s been an incredible honour to have the opportunity to work towards uplifting the Black community and engaging in generational wealth creation. Seeking change for your community is never easy, but co-founding FACE to provide opportunities that empower the Black community with access to financial resources, tools, and mentorship that will help them realize their dreams of entrepreneurship has been a passion project of mine. My proudest moment was our one year anniversary where we celebrated with our loan recipients and got to hear first-hand how their companies and lives have changed since receiving loans they received through FACE.”

As CEO of FACE and a celebrated entrepreneur, what advice do you have for BIPOC women who are looking to start a business and stay motivated?

“My advice to BIPOC female entrepreneurs is to remember that they are not alone and grow their network as much as possible. Remain persistent and determined, but ensure that you surround yourself with other women who can support you with their guidance, experience, and counsel. There is power in the sisterhood, so seek out others who have tread the same path.”

When do you feel most empowered?

“I am empowered when I can create access to resources that have been historically and systemically denied to my community. FACE is uniquely positioned as it pioneers an institution that will continuously support the Black community with access to resources, while continuing to evolve to meet new needs. Generational wealth creation for Black Canadians is FACE’s mission, and I feel most empowered when we are able to successfully meet milestones to achieve our ultimate goal.”

Is there a female figure in your life who has inspired you?

“I am fortunate to have many women who have inspired and invested in me over the course of my life but true north is my mother. She always leads with empathy, kindness and caring for others; I emulate her character in my personal and professional life. Thanks mom for being awesome and inspiring me!”

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

“For me, International Women’s Day means an opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come, the boundaries we’ve crossed and the paths we have blazed. It’s a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women globally, while also recognizing the ongoing struggles and challenges that women face in achieving equality and justice.

As a Black woman, I am acutely aware of the unique challenges faced by women of colour—we are often underrepresented in leadership positions and have limited access to funding and resources to grow our businesses. And so, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to amplify our voices towards creating a more inclusive and equitable world for all women. It’s a day to celebrate our accomplishments and commit to doing the work necessary to achieve gender equality and justice for all women.”

Photos courtesy of Tiffany Callender.