N.B. company promises wages for employees who run in 2018 election – New Brunswick

A Saint John company is hoping to encourage more of its female employees to get involved in politics by promising to continue to pay their salaries if they run in the next provincial election.

Innovatia CEOs Dave Grebenc and Roxanne Fairweather said they’ll offer employees two months of full wages and benefits if they’re nominated by any party as a candidate during the 2018 campaign.

The idea is to get more women involved in politics, though Grebenc said the offer is open to all of Innovatia’s employees.

If they don’t win, they’ll get their job back, he said.

“I think it’s to a broader point of equality,” he said. “And we are just trying to do our part to drive it.”

Move toward gender parity

Grebenc said he learned the benefits of equality early on, growing up in a family with three boys and girls.

He said Fairweather co-chairs the “Women for 50%” group, a grassroots movement that wants to bring gender parity to the floor of the New Brunswick Legislature by demystifying the political process and mentoring potential female candidates ahead of the 2018 provincial election.

Roxanne Fairweather founded the group “Women for 50%” with the intent of achieving gender parity in the New Brunswick Legislature in 2018. (Brian Chisholm/CBC)

Grebenc added that it doesn’t matter what party an employee runs for.

“We fully expect that our employees are going to have different perspectives,” he said. “But that’s all part of the political process and we are here to support that.”

‘We fully expect that our employees are going to have different perspectives. But that’s all part of the political process and we are here to support that.’
– Dave Grebenc, Innovatia co-CEO

Innovatia launched the program this week and Grebenc said nobody has signed up so far. But they had an employee running in a previous election, he said.

The company now wants other businesses to follow their lead, and also see more political parties push for a…

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