Six Questions with WLP Member Rita Mirwald

We sat down with Rita Mirwald (centre in photo), an inaugural member of Women Leading Philanthropy (WLP), to explore her journey, motivations, and experiences.

1. When and why did you join WLP?
I was introduced to WLP while serving on the RUH Foundation Board, where I had the chance to explore ways to engage more women in supporting critical health-care advancements. The draw for me was the concept of women supporting women, something I considered innovative at that time. The power of WLP far exceeded what I imagined and it has revealed the large number of highly skilled women excelling in health-care fields.

2. What has been the most inspiring moment from your WLP experience?
Each WLP event has been an inspiring moment, but my first one back in September 2018 stands out. Witnessing the passion and expertise of female leaders in health care was personally uplifting and exciting for me. And I realized that our collective support could turn ground-breaking ideas into reality.

3. What do you tell your friends, family, and colleagues about WLP?
I often encounter a surprised reaction when I talk about WLP—especially when I use the word “philanthropy”. Many people think philanthropy isn’t for them, that it’s something for companies or the very wealthy. But I tell them it’s not just about big donations, it’s about all of us coming together. Every bit counts. Women are democratizing giving, making sure that anyone who wants to make a difference has the chance to do so.

4. What’s your profession/area of expertise?
My background is in communications and management for 30 years at Cameco. So I have no medical background but no one needs that to understand what we are doing in this program. Women from all walks of life are at every event—it’s a wonderful way to meet and connect with women with many different backgrounds.

5. What do you gain from being a WLP donor?
I feel proud to be a woman and it makes me very happy to be able to support the vital work of so many other women. I am inspired each time I learn about the ground-breaking research and much needed programs that are enabled by the funds we provide. It is truly inspirational to be a WLP donor. At every gathering, it’s clear that we’re all part of something much bigger than we can understand now, something that will be vital to the health of all the women and girls to come in the future. The sheer competence and determination of women in health care I witness through WLP is a constant reassurance that health care in Saskatchewan is in some very good hands.

6. What do you like about being a WLP donor?
It’s empowering to be a part of this group that is rewriting the story of women, health, and leadership. We’re creating foundations for future women and their families to receive better health care, and there’s no better investment than that.

Joining WLP has been a journey of discovery, collaboration, and just pure pleasure. It’s reminded me that we are stronger together and that each one of us can be a part of substantial change. Let’s continue to pave the way for innovation in women’s health.

Thank you Rita for your continued support of the Royal University Hospital Foundation Women Leading Philanthropy program!