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. In the first phase of the project (January 2020 to December 2023), we reached over 1 million young people, especially girls and gender diverse youth, providing them with the skills, knowledge and resiliency they need to develop strong body confidence and self-esteem. The second phase of the project aims to reach an additional 750,000 young people over 2 years.

Become a self-esteem leader today

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

tickStop the cycle of negative self-talk

tickTeach others valuable skills that improve self-esteem

tickLearn how to navigate important self-esteem conversations

Download resources

Why is self-esteem and body confidence important?

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.

Addressing the root causes of low self-esteem

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.
free workshop

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!

How You Can Make a Difference: Join Us in Empowering Youth Across Canada

Partner with us to deliver our impactful multi-week program on gender norms/beauty ideals to support racialized and newcomer youth in rural and remote communities. Or become a broadscale implementation partner to deliver self-esteem workshops to young people and educators throughout the nation. Workshop facilitators will be trained by Plan International Canada and partner organizations will be provided with financial support to meet designated reach targets.

Email powerwithin@plancanada.ca to learn more and sign up today!

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Join our community of partners

Learn more about The Power Within project

Register for our online 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
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Read our report

The Power Within: Promoting Body Confidence, Self-Esteem, and Youth Leadership in Canada

To support The Power Within initiative, Plan International Canada and Canadian Equality Consulting (CEC) collaborated by engaging with young people in Canada and experts to learn about youth experiences relating to body image and self-esteem, and to form actionable recommendations for organizations, experts, caregivers, and youth to improve overall body image and self-esteem for all youth in Canada.

Based on our findings, we formed 25 distinct and actionable recommendations to support the improvement of body image and self-esteem for all youth in Canada.

Read the report
Power within report

The Power Within Summit

A Celebration of Three Years of Impact

This past November, The Power Within team brought together over 100 community partners, educators, youth, and body confidence champions for The Power Within Summit – a celebration of three years of impact and lives reached through The Power Within initiative. The day featured many notable speakers, engaging panel discussions, workshops led by thought leaders, spotlight sessions highlighting our partners contributions, and a message from Canada’s Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Youth, the Honorable Marci Ien.

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