Ending the year on a positive note!!

posted December 22nd, 2011 by Janet Graham - Leave a Comment

For some time now, I have been observing a trend in what I read in the newspapers and other reports which implies things are moving in a positive direction for the women of the world. And it seems to be happening to women in every part of the world and in a huge variety of undertakings. This positive direction doesn’t mean women everywhere are living in the way we might like them to be, in terms of their daily life experience, far from it. It simply means in the words of Buffalo Springfield “Something’s happening here!” Something which gives me hope!! I thought sharing some of these hopeful glimmers with you would be a perfect way to say we have something to celebrate as 2011 draws to a close!! I hope you agree!!


  1. Four of Canada’s sitting premiers are women.
  2. The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize was presented to three female activists and political leaders for “their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights” as peacemakers. The awards were presented to Ellen Johnson Sir-Leaf of Liberia, 73; her compatriot Leymah Gbowee, 39 a social worker and peace activist; and Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni journalist and a political activist who at 32, is the youngest Peace Prize laureate and the first Arab woman to receive the award. “The promising Arab Spring will become a new winter if women are again left out,” said Thorbjorn Jagland, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee. When she received the award, Mrs. Sirleaf said: “In its selection this year, the Nobel Committee has brought here three women linked by their commitment to change, and by their efforts to promote the rule of law and democracy in societies torn apart by conflict. The fact that we – two women from Liberia – are here today to share a stage with a sister from Yemen speaks to the universality of our struggle.” In a statement announcing the award winners, the Nobel committee said it hoped the prize would “help bring an end to the suppression of women that still occurs in many countries.”
  3. Michelle Rempel, a rookie Calgary Centre-North Tory MP and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment, made headlines this fall for her strong performance during Question Period. “In a Commons full of ministers robotically reading answers from their iPads because they’re afraid to go off script – that includes Mr. Kent – Ms. Rempel simply tossed away her talking points and confidently took on her opponents,” the Globe and Mail reported. Regardless of your political persuasion, this type of performance by a young woman in the Commons has to make you proud!!
  4. Angela Merkel is a powerful force in a European Union dealing with a tremendous crisis.
  5. Emma-Jayne Wilson, 30, is the top female jockey in North America. She is rated 18th overall among all jockeys with 142 wins and earnings of US$7,114,076 well ahead of the No. 2 female Rosie Napravnik, at least in money won. But Wilson is still not content. When the season in Toronto ended, she was third in the Woodbine jockey standings behind Luis Contreras and Patrick Husbands. She does not want to be No. 3. She wants to be No. 1. “I want to be the leading rider every year that I ride,” she said. “No holds barred.” Well said and well done, Emma!!
  6. Christine Lagarde was appointed to run the International Monetary Fund, the first woman to do so.
  7. Karen Maidment, former chief financial officer with Bank of Montreal was appointed to the TD Bank board this year.
  8. Jill Abramson was named the executive editor of The New York Times, the first woman to be named to this position. She is in charge of the paper’s daily news operation and its digital strategy, both responsibilities which are hugely significant.
  9. The TELUS CHLOE Awards celebrate exceptional women, as well as leaders who support the advancement of women, at TELUS. The awards program is led by Connections – the TELUS women’s network – a national initiative that provides business expertise, mentoring and networking opportunities for TELUS women across the country. I know about these awards because TELUS ran a full page ad in the Globe and Mail in November to announce the winners of the awards and to honour the 29 women making a difference in their organization and the community, as well as 5 leaders (3 men and 2 women) who played an active role in supporting diversity at TELUS by championing women.  It was wonderful to turn the page of the paper and see the faces of 31 women smiling out at me. Congratulations to them!! And to the 3 men who received awards for making a distinct difference in the advancement of women at TELUS!! And to TELUS for its leadership on this issue!!
  10. In November 2011, Virginia Rometty became the first female head of IBM, her appointment followed the appointment of Meg Whitman as CEO of rival Hewlett-Packard Co.
  11. Andrea Rosen was appointed to the boards of Manulife Financial Corporation and The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company this year.
  12. Christine Day, CEO of Lululemon was the Report on Business/Globe and Mail CEO of the Year. She is the first woman to win this honour. Another reason for us to love Lulu!!


I am grateful to those of you who read my posts and share your thoughts with me, even when you don’t agree with me!! I appreciate your support and encouragement!!


Enjoy your friends and family at this special time of year!! My focus will shift for the remainder of the year to my family and friends!! It is a privilege to have them in my life and I am deeply grateful!!


Merry Christmas!! Happy Holidays!! Fabulous New Year!!













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