March 8th marked International Woman’s Day and Mount Saint Vincent University took part in the celebrations.

The university held the 8th annual Girls 2019 Conference, a gathering for young women across our province to partake in workshops and activities helping build their confidence, leadership skills and lots more.

New data from Plan International Canada shows that for women aged 18 to 24, only 38 percent of them believe they have the same leadership opportunities as men.

Less than half of that number, 43 percent, believe their ideas aren’t taken as seriously as others. And nearly 72 percent have felt pressure to change their behavior because of their gender.

“I was excited about the paramedics, because I want to grow up and be one,” said 14-year-old Madison Crouse.

Girls learned skills from first responders, jobs that traditionally went to men. Now, officials say that’s changing.  

“The only limits they have are the ones they put on themselves. So dream really big,” said Halifax Regional Fire Service Captain, Andrea Speranza.

350 girls from around Nova Scotia were at the workshops on Friday. Through the sessions, the girls were encouraged to find the things they love about themselves.

One of the main takeaways from the workshop is finding confidence through the things that make you unique.

“I play guitar, but I prefer listening to music,” said 16-year-old Lily Brigham-Gale.

“We’re always taught as women to dumb down our skills. We’re taught that like, keep it on the down-low,” said Zahra Dhubow, YMCA Gender-Based Violence Prevention Project Facilitator.

Organizers say being together and learning from each other, is a huge part of the experience.

“It’s good to find people who are similar to you, who share your interests,” said Brigham-Gale. “But I think it’s even more important to find people who don’t share your interests, and then you can learn more from them.”

With files from CTV Atlantic's Emily Baron-Cadloff