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International Women's Day

Celebrating Our Roster of Amazing Women on International Women’s Day

We’re lucky to have the opportunity to work with and learn from the inspiring women we represent on our roster. All leaders in their fields, their voices, expertise, and stories are paving the way for future generations to follow in their footsteps and continue making a difference in the world around them.

We rounded up some of our most popular blogs from this past year featuring some of our amazing female speakers — covering a range of topics from mental health to disruption, climate change to entrepreneurship — so you too can benefit from their stories, and learn from some of the best!

Jessica Holmes

Beloved comedian Jessica Holmes has been a perennial favourite on Royal Canadian Air Farce for 15 years, and has brought the house down opening for giants such as Ellen DeGeneres, Russell Peters, Jerry Seinfeld, and Oprah Winfrey.

Behind the laughter though, Jessica — like millions of Canadians — struggled with depression. Hoping to help end the stigma around mental health issues, she openly shares her personal stories with the humour she’s known for, bringing light — and laughter — to what can often be a dark topic.

For Bell Let’s Talk Day 2019, Jessica shared insight into why validation is key in mental health and the reason behind why she speaks so openly about her own mental health struggles.

If you’ve seen me air-guitaring in a Celine Dion wig or fiercely channeling Liza Minelli or Nikki Minaj, you might think: “I can’t imagine her being depressed.” But I’m actually a repeat member of that club. Read more.

Tanya Talaga

An award-winning journalist and author, Tanya Talaga is also the first Ojibway woman to deliver the CBC Massey Lectures, a renowned, annual five-part lecture series that travels to cities across Canada.

In her lecture series titled “All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward”, she explores the legacy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples, and the need for Indigenous self-determination in the social, cultural, and political arena. Listen to each of Tanya’s powerful lectures.

Barb Stegemann and Farah Perelmuter

CEO and Founder of The 7 Virtues Barb Stegemann profiles strong, inspiring women in her online magazine 7V. She spoke with our CEO and co-founder Farah Perelmuter on her entrepreneurial journey where she shared her secrets to success and lessons learned.

I grew up in Winnipeg and loved being a child of the ‘80s. I embraced roller skating, aerobics and “Farrah hair” (I was always living in her shadow!). I also spent a lot of timing reading, dreaming and, without realizing it at the time, planning for my future. I now live in Toronto, I am married (my husband is also my business partner), and we have two kids. I haven’t gone roller skating in decades, my aerobics has turned into yoga, and my hair isn’t quite as “full”, but my life has become an interesting journey and one I couldn’t have imagined. All the planning and dreaming could never have prepared me for what was to come. Read more.

Barb Stegemann, Nilofer Merchant, Erin Bury, Mandy Gilbert, Zahra Al-Harazi, Nicole Verkindt

We asked some of our top female entrepreneurs to share advice on what it takes to reach their level of success for a four-part blog series. With experiences ranging from the tech sector to recruitment firms to social enterprises, they each share lessons learned from their unique entrepreneurial journeys.

Having published three parts so far, here’s what we asked:

  1. What do you wish you’d known before starting your entrepreneurial journey?
  2. What’s the best and worst advice you received when starting your entrepreneurial journey?
  3. What quality they think is the most important for a successful leader?

Marci Ien

Currently the co-host of The Social, Marci Ien dropped by our office to share her inspiring story working with the survivors of the devastating La Loche school shooting in 2016.

For more than 15 years, Marci was the co-host and news anchor of the national morning program, Canada AM. When she heard about the school shooting in the small Saskatchewan town, which left four people dead and seven injured, she felt compelled to try and help the town rebuild. After Canada AM ended in 2016, she finally had the opportunity to do so. Read more and watch the video.

Digital Transformation Expert Lital Marom helps organizations unlock the potential of their business by leveraging emerging technologies and new economic models. In a recent article for Forbes she tackles the banking industry, discussing how banks can use the platform economy to stay relevant in today’s marketplace. Read more.

Sheila Watt-Cloutier

Environmental, cultural and human rights advocate Sheila Watt-Cloutier is a Nobel Peace Prize-nominee for her advocacy work in showing the impact of global climate change on human rights — especially in the Arctic where it is felt more immediately, and more dramatically, than anywhere else in the world.

Writing for Canada’s National Observer, she makes an appeal to humanize climate change so we can all have a better understanding of the bigger picture of where we are today and where we’re headed if we should continue on the same path. Read more.

Jennifer Keesmaat

Jennifer Keesmaat is passionate about creating places where people flourish. The renowned urbanist, who joined Toronto’s mayoral race in 2018, joined us in our office to share her experience running for political office and why she wants to empower people to get more involved in their communities. Read more and watch the video.

Dr. Lisa Belanger

Award-winning CEO Dr. Lisa Bélanger works with organizations to show how applying insights from behavioural science research in their workplace can optimize the performance, productivity, and innovation of leaders and teams, both professionally and at home.

Lisa shared simple exercises with us that we can all do in times of stress, and on a day to day basis, that require little investment of time and money but are guaranteed to improve how we respond in stressful situations. Read more.

For the last decade, Fotini Iconomopolous has been helping people gain a competitive advantage. Nicknamed “the negotiator” as a child, she has a passion for helping clients and audiences to become better communicators, leaders and managers.

In a recent visit to our office, Fotini shared insight into the art of negotiation — how it’s so much more than winning an argument — and tips to help us to harness people’s attention and share our message more effectively. Read more and watch the video.

Olympic hero and mental health advocate, Silken Laumann is one of Canada’s most inspirational leaders and a highly recognizable and beloved athlete. She is dedicated to helping others reach their potential through sharing her own story of perseverance and courage, and working to normalize the conversation around mental health.

Silken spoke with the Times Colonist on how her mental health crisis, where she felt inexplicable rage towards her young children, was the beginning of a long road to an amazing life. It forced her to reach out for help, which set her on the path to recovery. Read more.

Fewer people have a better understanding of what’s really happening around the world than Professor Janice Gross Stein. She is currently the Belzberg Professor of Conflict Management and Negotiation and the founding director of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

We stepped into her world to ask three quick questions on what global events we should be watching in the coming year, and to learn a bit more about Professor Stein herself. Read more.