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Women at SE Health share their insights on International Women’s Day 2021

Seven women at SE Health discuss how to forge positive visibility of women on International Women's Day 2021.

In recognition of International Women’s Day, seven inspirational women at SE Health are coming together to answer the question “how can we forge positive visibility of women”? Their answers, like their experiences, are unique and wide-ranging. Keep reading to hear their sage advice and personal testimonies.  

“SE Health started because four pioneering nurses wanted to make a difference. Their story shows us that the best way to forge positive visibility for women is to move forward boldly, and to do it with the women around you. Flash forward 112 years later and the actions of these four women have lifted up thousands of powerful and influential women at SE Health – from the frontlines, to administration and beyond. We must continue to work together because incredible things happen when we do.” Shirlee Sharkey, President and CEO

“Value their input. Appreciate their strengths. Respect their flaws. Everyone carries a special gift. Being able to recognize and bring out the best in others is the best decision any employer can make. We are all sisters, working toward the same goal - balance. The more support we have, the more confidence we will gain in optimizing this balance of life, work, love, motherhood, womanhood – whichever role we choose to take.” – Erin Funk, Registered Nurse and Instructor, First Nations, Inuit and Metis Program

“I feel the most creative and motivated when I am working together, not in competition, with my female colleagues. The ‘survival of the fittest’ environment of success for women scientists is a barrier to women showing up together and for each other as their true, imperfect, vulnerable, human selves. Let’s be brave enough to normalize female collaboration in scientific leadership.” – Dr. Justine Giosa, Research Scientist & Manager, SE Research Centre

“Women of color face tremendous barriers, are often overlooked, disregarded and forgotten as members of two underrepresented and devalued groups. Despite this, we recognize that we are resilient and it’s up to us to change the vision. We must support each other’s work, appreciate our contributions and use our differences in visibility to speak up and make certain our brilliant ideas don’t go unheard. Change starts with small positive gestures that grow into something much bigger.” – Dorie Nigatu, Service Coordinator, Ottawa

“I love being a woman. I feel not only strong, but vulnerable and filled with love, emotion and empathy for the world. I’m not afraid to show that deep side to myself as I live my life as a nurse. As I walk through life in my secure confidence, the power is mine and always on display. Nursing is a way of life, a calling, not a career. I’m fortunate to have such a blessed purpose in life and to live as a woman of courage.” – Kerrie Hughes, Registered Nurse, Toronto

“Tell another woman she is valued, beautiful, smart.  Support their small businesses by not only purchasing from them but spreading word of their talents.  Be a positive light in another woman’s life, so they will know how to spread that positive light to others. Be the woman you wish someone would have been for you.  It starts here with us women!” – Shannon Moodrey, Personal Support Worker, Windsor

“During COVID-19, my leadership team consisted of many women with families facing stay home orders. They were worried about their job and caring for families (given all schools were mandated to close). As a nurse leader I was faced with many questions on how we as a team move forward. I found that positive leadership strategies helped us to navigate quickly and identify creative strategies to support our frontline clinicians to provide safe client care, while allowing time for us to navigate our families as well.” – Ade Oyemade, Executive Director, Toronto

Learn more about International Women’s Day here.