Mar 26, 2021

Choose to Challenge

 


Claudia Witzosky, HSE Manager, EDFS

What does the 2021 theme #ChoosetoChallenge mean to you in your work life?

It means that Gender Equality has to be a priority.

Tell us about a women’s empowerment moment that inspired you.

To me it is the fact that today more than ever we have a voice. All genders can and will have a voice.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in a male-dominated environment?

Never give up on your dreams.



Laura Trapp, GM Golderado/Energy Services

What does the 2021 theme #ChoosetoChallenge mean to you in your work life?

I take it as I choose to challenge myself and I also choose to challenge the stereotypes of women.

Tell us about a women’s empowerment moment that inspired you.

It wasn't necessarily a moment, but a lifetime... My mom always empowered me to believe that I could do or be anything I wanted to be. She was an excellent example of a Career Woman, a Mother, a friend and even a student. She was well respected in all of those roles and I think we should celebrate doing that well. I have a different path than my mothers' but she definitely led the way for me to have the confidence to walk my own path. Thanks Mom!

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in a male-dominated environment?

Do it. You will have tough days, but you are just as capable if not more capable in certain capacities than the men you will work with or compete with for the job.



Chidalu Ubha, Facilities Services Coordinator

What does the 2021 theme #ChoosetoChallenge mean to you in your work life?

This is a call for me as a woman to dare to fulfill my goals and aspirations in the workplace by giving my best and not being limited by gender perceptions, and also lending my voice to my fellow women to stand up for what is right and be heard.

Tell us about a women’s empowerment moment that inspired you.

Today, women have begun to actualize their worth, while making major impacts in key, leading Global sectors. The past and present Managing Directors of the IMF have been women and I have been greatly inspired by them. Most recently, the appointment of a Nigerian woman, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTF) has been deeply inspiring to me, prompting me that there is no limit to what I can achieve as a woman.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in a male-dominated environment?

You have what it takes to succeed, hold your head high and give it your best.



Vanessa Heikkila

What does the 2021 theme #ChoosetoChallenge mean to you in your work life?

To me, this slogan represents the right for all people to feel valued in the workplace. It means the freedom to contribute and have a spot at the table. Knowing that your knowledge and perspective bring a unique approach to company initiatives and goals.

Tell us about a women’s empowerment moment that inspired you.

On a personal level, I love seeing badass women, doing badass things. From Ellen Ripley in “Aliens”, Sarah Connor in “The Terminator”, and Trinity in “The Matrix” – they all proved that women could be both strong and emotional, with neither one of these traits negating the other. I am also a huge fan of the famous Canadian, Nellie McClung. Her work for women’s suffrage is inspiring! She was also a member of the “Famous Five”, the group that fought for the word “person” to legally apply to women as well as men, deeming us eligible to sit in the Senate of Canada and expanding our overall rights within the law.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in a male-dominated environment?

Be confident! It’s common to feel that somehow you don’t belong or that you perhaps don’t know as much as the others present, but trust that you are more than capable. Cut out that self-doubt! You are here for a reason.



Denise Flemming, Project Manager

What does the 2021 theme #ChoosetoChallenge mean to you in your work life?

It means obliterating the 'old school attitude' that women should not be in construction. There are more and more women on sites nowadays, who are very smart and capable of getting the job done. We need more of them, especially in the trades.

Tell us about a women’s empowerment moment that inspired you.

It's more than a single moment, it is the daily interactions with coworkers when my gender is not an issue, I am seen as a person getting the job done, not filtered through a gendered lens.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in a male-dominated environment?

In order for the environment to change, more women need to participate, so do not let the old mentalities stop you. Yes, there are times when it is tough but persevere and keep showing up to do your job - attitudes will transform over time. Rome was not built in a day ... and women helped build that too.



Alaleh Pouyan, Manager QC Prefab

What does the 2021 theme #ChoosetoChallenge mean to you in your work life?

Challenge others to overcome gender bias and maintain a gender equal mindset

Tell us about a women’s empowerment moment that inspired you.

I have been inspired by all the women who overcame poverty, discrimination and violence. Oprah Winfrey is one of them. She was told she would not be successful in the career she chose and she did not let those narrow-minded people keep her away from her dream and now she has become the queen in her field and is helping many other to achieve their goals and dreams.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in a male-dominated environment?

Believe in yourself and your abilities; Be ambitious and do not sell yourself short!



Jennifer Chizen, Director, Asset Management Services

What does the 2021 theme #ChoosetoChallenge mean to you in your work life?

Everyone deserves to be treated with respect!

Tell us about a women’s empowerment moment that inspired you.

Attending the opening of Women's College Hospital, Toronto. I was fortunate to be a part of an amazing team, comprised of both women and men, over the course of the redevelopment project.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career in a male-dominated environment?

Be confident in your knowledge.