Canadian women have been empowered with a new credit card. The Power of Women Foundation and Canada’s Royal Bank have teamed up to offer the Royal Bank Power of Women VISA Gold affinity credit card. The card was unveiled at last week’s Power of Women conference. The Power of Women meeting is a showcase for prominent, inspirational female speakers from all walks of life, who offer personal and professional insights that highlight success stories for women across Canada and the U.S. Conference attendees learned from the likes of Anita Roddick, philanthropist and founder of England’s largest international retailer, The Body Shop; Canadian performing artists Jann Arden; author and anthropologist Jane Goodall; and Dr. Mae Jemison, astronaut, scientist, educator and linguist. A new Status of Women Canada study shows there were 15.8 million women in the country in 1998, representing 50.5 per cent of the population, an increase of two per cent since 1921. Women constituted nearly 55 per cent of the nation’s 533,589 full-time university students between 1997 and 1998. More than 53 per cent of women over the age of 15 years were employed in 1998, compared to 66.2 per cent of men. About 14 per cent of women are self-employed, compared to nearly 21 per cent of men. Average income for women was $20,000 in 1997, compared to a man’s $32,000 average annual pay. For more information visit www.royalbank.com.