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International Women’s Day 2021

International Women's Day - The women of the kawartha chamber

Celebrating Women’s History Month & International Women’s Day!

The Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism recently elected their new Board of Directors. Of the fifteen directors and one non-voting position, ten of them are women. In recognition of International Women’s Day, we share some words of wisdom from these successful and empowering changemakers.

President: Jillian Harrington, Clearview Cottage Resort

If you could give 1 piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?

I would tell my younger self to take a breath. Continue being who you are and make sure to take time for you.

Have you observed gender inequality in your own life? If so, please provide a real-life example.

Yes, I feel that most women would have at least one example of an experience with gender inequality in their own life. When asked the question I became reflective, and it is amazing how many real-life examples came flooding back in my mind.
One example I will share took place during a job interview. I was once interviewing for a job, and during the interview process I was told that I was a perfect candidate for the position and exceeded expectations however, they were really looking for a male, so it was too bad I was female. I was younger then and at the time, was upset with myself, thinking if only I was a male. Luckily, I had a strong supportive network around me, that identified this situation as an issue, not with me but with the environment and workplace. The issue was addressed, but I always wondered how many times, was this an unspoken thought for women when applying for various positions or opportunities in all areas of their lives, myself included.

1st Vice President: Mary Brown, Sales Representative, Bowes & Cocks Ltd. Brokerage Apsley

If you could give 1 piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?

Be kind to yourself, life is hard and challenges aren’t to be met with a “win or lose” attitude – but rather a “learn and grow mentality”. Surround yourself with people who know more about the subject than you do and don’t be afraid to ask ALL the questions!

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Celebrating women is not just a day to be acknowledged but more a lifestyle decision that is individual. Lift each other up! Achieving your goals – while supporting each other means we all WIN! I am proud to celebrate the strong powerful women in my industry, my community, and my family. We are always stronger together!

2nd Vice President: Lauren Black, Cló Design Studio

If you could give 1 piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?

Take a leap of faith in yourself. You’ve got nothing to lose but everything to gain. You’ll never know the limit of how much you can achieve until you take a leap of faith in yourself and try. Manifest your future and make sure to invest in yourself. You will continuously grow as a person and you’ll most certainly always achieve anything you set your mind to.

What woman inspires you and why?

My mom has been the greatest inspiration in my life and is the main reason that I am where I am and who I am today. My mom was a young female entrepreneur where she started her own company, had a successful career, all while raising 3 kids. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and taught me by example what it means to be a strong, confident, independent woman. She has always pushed me to stay true to myself no matter what, and to take every opportunity I can and make the best of it.

 

Past President: Tracy Logan, Logan Tree Experts

If you could give 1 piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?

I would tell my younger self to enjoy every step of the journey, the easy times and the hard times. I look back on the times I though, ‘I absolutely won’t get through this’! And guess what? I got through them and they don’t seem so bad in the rear-view.

What advice would you give to other ‘supermoms’ juggling young kids and a career?

My advice would be, try not to feel guilty! Although, I admit I haven’t mastered this yet! I feel like my kids remember the times when I sat down with them for 20 minutes to play, and not the times that I returned emails while they played on the swings! I know they see us working hard and I’m sure that is setting them up for success in the future!

 

 

"Feminism isn't about making women strong. Women are already strong. It's about changing the way the world perceives that strength." - G.D. Anderson

 

Cathy Smith – The Kawartha Buttertart Factory

If you could give 1 piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?

I would tell my younger self not to plan your whole life because you don’t know where you will end up. I never would have thought when I was in my 20s that I was going to own a bakery.

How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?

I would use the word support rather than lift each other up. It is hard to be the mom, wife, business owner, care giver all at once. We need to support each other because we are all in this together. We need to take mental days off and we need to know that we cannot do everything. Having that support from other women is important to be able to rise to all the challenges that we all face.

 

Cindy Windover – Windover Plumbing

If you could give 1 piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?

Start planning now for the future, retirement etc. It will be here before you know it.

1 tip for women you would like to share?

Tip for women: do better at communicating, especially with your partner and children. Too often we expect them to read our minds and that’s not fair. When everyone knows what the expectations are, everyone can pull together to get things done.

Gail Moorhouse – Community Futures Peterborough

If you could give 1 piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?

Focus on learning financials, communications and networking. Those 3 skills will serve you well in every area of your personal life or career.

What is something that has helped you as a woman in business?

After a few fumbles in my life, I now try to make my decisions based on the 10-10-10 rule from Suzy Welsh’s book. What are the consequences of my decision in 10 minutes, 10 months or 10 years? It is a super fast way to keep my priorities aligned and do the things that matter.

 

"Every woman's success should be an inspiration to another. We're strongest when we cheer each other on." - Serena Williams

 

Leslie Nunes – Kinetic Therapeutics

If you could give 1 piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?

One piece of advice is to be true to myself. Follow your passion, colour outside the lines and know that it’s good to be different.

For International Women’s Day, what important message would you want to share with girls/young women?

An important message I would like to share is to be true to yourself! Growing up in a European household I was told I couldn’t do certain things because I was a girl. I however, continued to push boundaries, work toward achieving my own goals and set my own path. Although, it was a challenge and when I was younger sometimes got me in to trouble, I am so glad I made the choice to go after what I wanted. Now, as an adult my parents have grown to respect my choices and my mom has even shared that she wished she had the strength to be more like me. They are proud of who I am, and what it took to get here. I am thankful for my choices as they provided me opportunities even though it meant pushing against the standard traditional gender roles I grew up with.

Michelle Gay – Garden Style

If you could give 1 piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?

I would tell my younger self to never stop dreaming about doing a job you are passionate about. It may take time to get there but to never give up on achieving that dream! Always remember, the things you spend your free time working on are your true calling in life.

Share a women’s empowerment moment that inspired you.

I can think of two women in my life that have given me the courage to strive for my dreams. Number one is my Mother! She is a strong independent woman who worked very hard to have the jobs she wanted in life, and almost always landed whatever job she went after. She was never intimidated by any position, she always told me to try and to never be afraid to work towards my goals! I have passed these same qualities onto my two daughters, my oldest is hoping to have her own business and my youngest is finishing her Degree in Environmental Science.
I also met a female business owner named Bridget (My Left Breast) many years ago. I always found her to be so inspirational. I watched her grow her business from a distance and always admired her achievements. Watching her, gave me the courage to step outside of my comfort zone and strive to live that same dream. I believe in visualizing what you want and going after it, what’s the worse thing that could happen, it doesn’t work out and you try something else or start over!

Tania-Joy Bartlett – New Beginnings Contracting Services

If you could give 1 piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?

If I could give my younger self one piece of advice it would be to listen to my mom, when she told me, I can do anything I put my mind too.
Don’t let society dictate who you are and how you contribute to the community and world around you. Be strong girl, you can and will make a difference!!

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in your field?

Get an apprenticeship, work hard, put safety first and follow your dreams!!

 

"There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish." - Michelle Obama

March is Women’s History Month, with March 8 celebrated as International Women’s Day. This year’s official International Women’s Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge. It’s a call-to-action to challenge the status quo by raising awareness against bias, celebrating women’s achievement, and taking action for equality. We encourage everyone to celebrate the many success stories around the world and in our own community and recognize what still needs to be done to create a more inclusive world.