Power Within project sponsors

Body-confidence & self-esteem development

Leaders are built one step at a time, and it’s a task that requires harnessing the power within. Two key components of this power are confidence and self-esteem.

Together, we can support youth in countering negative self-images so that they can step into their full potential every day and well into the future.

The Power Within project is a public-private partnership between Plan International Canada, Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) and Unilever Canada. The goal of this three-year project is to reach 1.5 million young people in Canada, especially girls and gender diverse youth aged 10 – 17, to provide them with the skills, knowledge and resiliency they need to develop strong body confidence and self-esteem. 

Become a self-esteem leader today

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Download our free self-esteem & body confidence resources & workshops. For parents, teachers, educators and mentors.

  • Stop the cycle of negative self-talk
  • Teach others valuable skills that improve self-esteem
  • Learn how to navigate important self-esteem conversations
  • Learn how to navigate important self-esteem conversations

Download resources now

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Why is self-esteem and body confidence important?

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Seeing more girls, women and gender-diverse people in leadership positions is a critical component to achieving gender equality. Decades of research show that there’s a correlation between self-esteem and body confidence and the achievement of leadership positions later in life. One study found that on days girls don’t feel good about their bodies, 15% stay home, 13% won’t give an opinion, 5% will not go to a job interview and 3% will not go to work.

Body positivity and self-esteem are not only public health issues; they are social justice issues, too. When girls opt out, society misses out on an upcoming generation of women leaders. Their potential for making amazing contributions to their communities and their countries are never realized.

Let’s not simply accept these missed opportunities. With your support, we can advance the current opportunities for girls and gender-diverse youth to develop the qualities they need to become the leaders of the future.

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Self-esteem in action

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Since 2012, Unilever’s Dove Self-Esteem Project and Plan International Canada have partnered together in an on-going effort to improve the self-esteem and body confidence of youth in Canada.

The workshops delivered through this initiative addressed beauty ideals, media messages, and negative body talk. To date, the initiative has reached over 320,000 young people, parents/caregivers, teachers, and other community members through trainings, workshops, conferences, and other engagements.

The Power Within project will build upon and expand this work, with the goal of reaching 1.5 million young people.

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Unleashing the power within: looking ahead

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The Power Within project seeks to tackle the root causes of low self-esteem and body confidence, including beauty ideals and negative body talk, that too often cause youth to opt out of leadership opportunities. To address these systemic barriers, we will work alongside youth and leaders in the beauty industry, media and other influential sectors to challenge beauty standards and promote authentic and inclusive representation of all people in Canada.

By working with communities throughout Canada, The Power Within will promote:

  • An enduring cycle of positive self-esteem and body confidence
  • A culture shift that embraces and promotes self-esteem and body confidence
  • A reduction in stigma around conversations about self-esteem and body confidence
  • An increase in digital literacy and resiliency to social media pressures.

Join our Community!

The Power Within program provides youth in Canada aged 10 - 17 years access to a free safe and inclusive virtual community where youth can connect with one another! The Power Within Community is a place for youth to share resources, challenge appearance pressures together and become Body Confidence Champions. The community is moderated by Plan International Canada.

Please note this community is not a place to access mental health support or services. If you are looking for help or someone to talk to please reach out to Kids Help Phone at 1 800 668-6868.

Register today

Book a free workshop!

Interested in having one of our team members facilitate a workshop with your group of youth?

Workshops are designed for young people of all gender identities residing in Canada aged 10 – 17. In each interactive workshop, young people will discuss topics such as self-esteem, body confidence, appearance pressures and ideals and learn how to use social media in a positive way.

Book us for a free 60-minute virtual self-esteem workshop today

Recommended group size is from 15 - 40 youth. We ask that you book at least two business days in advance for us to accommodate your request. If would like to schedule a workshop for a larger group size, teacher or youth worker audience, or would like to explore other collaborative opportunities, please contact us directly at powerwithin@plancanada.ca

The Confident Me workshop was collaboratively developed by body confidence and self-esteem experts as well as young people themselves to ensure it is relevant and impactful for all youth in Canada!

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