International Women's Day 2019: A Letter From Our CEO
It’s International Women's Day and what better time to pause and examine the role of women in business in our North. A year and a half ago, I took the reigns at Outcrop - an organization that has always uplifted women’s ideas, voices, and creativity. I was honoured to take on a company that was founded by two women in the North over 45 years ago, at a time when women just didn’t do that. The stories Marion and Ronne have shared with me and the path they blazed is nothing short of inspirational. And as we grow into the next generation of Outcroppers we continue to be an organization led by women and strive to encourage more women in the North to take the lead in our business community. A small humble brag here - our Outcrop team is just slightly more than 50% women who come from all backgrounds and walks of life. Because we have such diverse voices, we are capable of offering different perspectives, ideas, and creativity. A diverse team has energy and drive, and that’s something you can feel in our agency.
I take inspiration and support from many Northern entrepreneurs, but today is an ideal day to shine a spotlight on some of the amazing female entrepreneurs and leaders we have had the privilege of working with. Today we can celebrate their contributions to Northern business and as Northern business leaders. The list below is by no means exhaustive, but it’s women I’ve personally looked up to on my own entrepreneurial journey, and truly believe make our North a better place.
Victoria Kakuktinniq: Victoria's Arctic Fashions
We've been a fan of Victoria for a long time. We were privileged at Outcrop Nunavut that we got to write a business plan for her many moons ago. At that time, she was running her business out of her house in Iqaluit, having moved to the big City from Rankin Inlet. She now has her own shop in downtown Iqaluit and just rocked the runway at the Paris Fashion Week with her designs.
Amanda and Margaret Peterson: My Backyard Tours
If you’re in Yellowknife and looking for a fun filled afternoon, evening or day out, this is the group to call. Amanda and Margaret not only will have you laughing, they bring a life and energy to every room they enter. It's truly a privilege to work with such uplifting people.
Wendy Grater: Black Feather
Wendy is an adventurer and a role model. She's found a way to turn her passion into a business that's been successfully running for many years. Further, she finds the nicest people to work with. Her entire team at Black Feather are amazing and will help you plan your trip of the lifetime. I can’t wait until my daughters are a bit older, so I can take them on a Nahanni trip with Wendy.
Madeline Redfern and Amy Elgersma: City of Iqaluit
The City of Iqaluit is currently run by Mayor Madeleine Redfern and the bureaucracy is run by Amy Elgersma who is Senior Administrative Officer. Both these women are passionate, caring individuals who genuinely care about the future of the community. Neither of them have easy positions, and put themselves out there day-after-day for the betterment of the City. If you ever wonder what can be achieved by the hard work of these two, take a swim next time you’re in Iqaluit.
Rebecca Atly and Nalini Naidoo: City of Yellowknife
While we haven’t had the privilege of working directly with Mayor Rebecca Atly yet, we can’t help but to admire her enthusiasm, positivity, and energy. We have had the privilege of working with Nalini Naidoo when we worked on the City of Yellowknife extraordinary brand. Nalini is another mentor and a role model who deserves recognition. She is true trailblazer in a an industry without a lot of female representation. I have yet to have a conversation with her where I don’t learn something new.
Charlotte Henry: Henry Design Build
Charlotte came into the Outcrop fold at a time when we were undertaking the relocation of our Yellowknife office. I needed someone I could trust to handle all the details of this move. After a short conversation, she understood our vision for our new space and took charge of the project, allowing our team to focus on what we do best. Working with her was awesome - both of us are moms and it was wonderful to work with someone who understood everyone's balance. The result: we have - what I think - is one of the nicest office spaces in Yellowknife.
Lastly, my team. I take inspiration and strength from each and every Outcropper and am proud to lead an organization where we respect and value each other. Since today is about celebrating women, I salute, commend, stand with and thank Catharine, Chyrisse, Alexia, Anjana, Robin, Lianne, Isis, Meghan, Kayla, Sarah and Angela. (Oh and you too, Marge!)
Happy International Womens Day, ladies.