Showing 143 results

Authority record

Overend, Valerie

  • CA
  • Person
  • 1953-

Valerie Overend was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1953. During the 1990s, Valerie worked as a Red Seal Carpenter on commercial construction projects in the Regina area with the local Carpenters Union. Valerie had never met another woman on a construction site and knew that she wanted to do something to change that situation. She knew that women wanted to work in physical, creative, well-paying jobs but that they were limited by opportunity. She took advantage of her role as a summer instructor and moved into creating other programs for girls and women, maintaining the focus on career exploration in trades and technology. For the next 25 years, Valerie made her living expanding on that role until to her retirement.

In the 1970s, Saskatchewan Women in Trades & Technology (SaskWITT), a provincial organization that promotes and assists in the recruitment and training of girls and young women in predominantly male fields, was established. In the early 1990s, Valerie represented SaskWITT on the Board of the WITT National Network. That organization also developed programs to guide women into careers in trades and technology occupations. Valerie was on the team of WITT instructors from across Canada who met to develop National Standards and Guidelines for WITT programs in Canada. These were updated and revised again near the end of the decade to reflect changes in the landscape of trades and technology occupations. This work was fundamental in the development of curriculum resources that were introduced in all provinces and territories in Canada, many of them still in use.

In 1991, Valerie was approached by the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) to teach summer camps to introduce grades 7 and 8 girls to careers in trades and technology. With Valerie at the helm, SIAST campuses delivered summer Girls Exploring Trades and Technology Camps, GETT Alumnae workshops for high school girls, weekend Kids in the Shop Programs, a Kindergarten project where role models visited 60 classes each year, Women in Trades and Women in Technology Exploratory Programs, Career Fairs and variations of all of these for Aboriginal girls and women.

In 1995, she co-founded the Women’s Work Training Program in Regina, Saskatchewan. Throughout her career, Valerie sat on numerous Boards and Committees representing tradeswomen. These include the Saskatchewan Education Council, Saskatchewan Carpenters Trade Board, Saskatchewan Provincial Apprenticeship Board, the Saskatchewan Labour Market Initiatives Committee to the Canadian Construction Association, and the Women’s Reference Group to the Provincial Labour Force Development Board. Nationally, Valerie represented Saskatchewan as a Director of the Canadian Vocational Association, WITT NN, and CCWESTT. Through her involvement with these organizations, Valerie held Director positions with the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum and the National Women’s Reference Group on Labour Market Initiatives.

Aside from working directly with girls and women, Valerie began to work with employers and unions to resolve some of the barriers that conspired to keep women out of jobs in various industries. She worked both as a private consultant and as a consultant with WITT NN on various Employment Equity and Retention projects throughout the decade. Valerie’s work often involved travel, primarily in Canada. Over time, Valerie worked not only with the Construction Industry but also with Oil and Gas, and Mining Industries. She had contracts in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, and all of the Western Provinces and Ontario. As well, Valerie’s work once took her to Malawi in Africa.

When WITT NN dissolved in the early 2000s, Valerie was invited to work as a consultant to a project by the Canadian Coalition of Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology (CCWESTT). This resulted in the formation of the WinSETT Centre, a mechanism established to expand and support women’s participation in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology. Valerie became the Trades Consultant for the organization and worked to establish a pan-Canadian presence among unions, employers, and employer associations through delivery of programs and services.

Valerie has received both local and national recognition for her work. In 1992, she was awarded the Governor General’s 125 Medal for community volunteerism and she also recognized by the YWCA Regina as a Woman of Distinction. In 2005, Valerie received the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal. These awards recognize her dedicated work as a role model inspiring young women in non-traditional fields.

Shepherd, Elizabeth

  • CA
  • Person
  • 1936-

Elizabeth Shepherd was born in London, England on 12 August, 1936. Her parents were Methodist missionaries in Burma where she spent her early childhood. She began her career as an actor in England before moving to Canada in 1972 to appear at the Stratford Festival Theatre. She has worked extensively there, as well as in the United States and in England, performing in theatre, movies and television. She teaches Shakespeare and the English classics and has held seminars/workshops at the Stratford and Shaw Festivals.

Elizabeth had been interested in women’s issues through Voice of Women for Peace but became more actively involved when she was inspired by Michele Landsberg’s description of the Women’s Action Coalition in the US. When it was decided to start a similar action in Canada, she became an enthusiastic member and was active throughout the 1990s. She was also involved in women’s organisations like METRAC, which raised awareness of violence against women, and has a special interest in women and the legal justice system. Elizabeth resides in New York. She has a son, Edmund Boys.

Canadian Women's Movement Archives (CWMA)

  • Canada
  • Corporate body
  • 1977-1992

The origins of what later became the CWMA/ACMF were the records of the Toronto feminist newspaper The Other Woman. When the newspaper ceased publication in 1977, Pat Leslie, editor of The Other Woman, moved the newspaper’s records into her apartment and was the custodian of the first Canadian Women’s Archives (CWMA) documents. From 1977 until 1982, she preserved The Other Woman records and some additional material relating to the Canadian Women’s Movement in her apartment. In 1983, working with a group of women including Nancy Adamson, Sandy Fox, Weisia Kolansinka and Lorna Weir under the banner of the NGO the Women’s Information Center (WIC) , a registered Canadian charity, an application was made for a Canada Community Development Grant. This allowed the group to rent a room in a building on the corner of Spadina Avenue and College Street in Toronto where they moved the documents from Pat Leslie’s apartment and it was here they began to collect records and documents related to the Canadian Women’s Movement. The CWMA Collective took responsibility for the collection from 1983 forward. That collective, which changed in membership over the years, operated the Canadian Women’s Movement Archives/ACMF, until it was relocated to the University of Ottawa in 1992. Members of the collective who were active for a significant period of time included: Nancy Adamson, Jane Abray, Karen Dubinsky, Sandy Fox, Debbie A. Green, Luanne Karn, Andrea Knight, Weisia Kolasinska, Pat Leslie, Anne Molgat, Beth McAuley, Joanne Pelletier, Margaret Shepherd, Miriam Ticoll, Tori Smith, and Lorna Weir.

After the opening of the public CWMA in 1983/84, the collection was catalogued and became available to researchers. Various grants, annual yard sales, and other fundraising allowed the CWMA/ACMF collective to hire staff from time to time, to actively collect the records of women’s groups across Canada and to promote the CWMA/ACMF. In 1991 the Collective decided that it was no longer possible to maintain the CWMA/ACMF as an independent organization and sought interest from other archives and universities in the collection. The Collective felt that the collection’s credibility rested on the fact that it came out of the women’s movement and was nurtured by feminists and operated in a manner consistent with those principles. As much as possible the Collective wanted to place the collection with an institution that would respect that. Ultimately, the Collective decided to donate the CWMA/ACMF records to the University of Ottawa. Both parties agreed that the CWMA/ACMF collection would be maintained in its entirety as a separate collection with the hope that additional records from the Canadian women’s movement would be collected by the Archives and Special Collections.

In 1992 the CWMA/ACMF records were donated to the University of Ottawa, who “took over the CWMA/ACMF’s mandate” and started accepting new donations that would become a part of an ongoing collection documenting the groups and individuals who made up the Canadian Women’s Movement.

Ontario Institute of Studies in Education

  • Canada
  • Corporate body
  • 1965-current

The Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE) was founded in 1965, by an act of the Ontario legislature; it was established to lead research initiatives and to provide graduate programs in education. Research and graduate studies within the University of Toronto were transferred to OISE from the Ontario Colleges of Education.

In December 1994, OISE was integrated with the Faculty of Education, University of Toronto. It was named the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, and was fully operational by July 1996.

Beginning in 2012, OISE was structured with four academic departments: Applied Psychology and Human Development (APHD); Curriculum, Teaching and Learning (CTL); Leadership, Higher and Adult Education (LHAE); Social Justice Education (SJE). The current dean of OISE is G.A. Jones, whose term began in 2015. The Council of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education is the institute’s highest governing body; it oversees faculty governance.

OISE is mandated to equip scholars, teachers and other professional with skills and global awareness necessary to influence policy and practice in their fields. The institute is mandated to discover and mobilize knowledge through leading-edge research and innovation. It is also mandated to advance lifelong learning and to contribute to public policy dialogue.

Montreal Health Press

  • Canada
  • Corporate body
  • 1968-[2001]

The Montreal Health Press–les Presses de la Santé de Montréal–was a feminist, non-profit collective that published affordable print booklets, in French and English, on sexuality and sexual health, for over 30 years. The organization provided affordable and accessible handbooks on issues surrounding birth control, contraception, child birth, sexual orientation, sexually transmitted diseases and menopause.

The organization officially became a women’s collective in 1972, although the collective originated in 1968 when members of the McGill University student body produced and distributed the “Birth Control Handbook.” Two of these student publishers, Donna Cherniak and Allan Feingold, became founding members of the Montreal Health Press.

The organization's administrative style was informal, with annual May meetings held at members’ kitchen tables. One individual was appointed chief coordinator for each publication and members volunteered to contribute their expertise as medical doctors, social scientists, photographers etc. Each handbook was continually re-published with updated medical information.

During the 1970s, a million copies of the “Birth Control Handbook” were distributed. The first handbooks were followed by the “VD Handbook,” in 1973, “A Book about Sexual Assault,” in 1979, and “A Book about Menopause” in 1988, as well as their French-language equivalents. The publications favoured clear and non-judgmental language along with detailed medical diagrams and black and white photographs.

By the 1990s, sales were greatly diminished, due in part to the proliferation of self-help books and to the availability of online content. The collective closed permanently by 2001. During its more than 30-year history, the Montreal Health Press had distributed over 15 million copies of its books and handbooks.

Canadian Women's Health Network

  • Canada
  • Corporate body
  • 1993-2017

The Canadian Women’s Health Network (CWHN) was established by a group of women representing 70 organizations that worked within the women’s health movement. The CWHNN consisted of a network of individuals, groups and organizations working to address gender inequality in health systems–both within Canada and around the world. The organization aimed to provide women-centred health information through networking, resource-sharing, education, and advocacy.

The Canadian Women’s Health Network also addressed contemporary issues relating to women’s health, including inequitable health policies and practices. The organization disseminated health information online and established its ‘Clearinghouse,’ a centralized collection of women-centred health resources and networks. The CWHN’s branches of activities also included the production of “Network/Le Réseau,” a bilingual health magazine.

The CWHN conducted extended community outreach to speak to women’s health and health issues in diverse contexts. The organization also worked within the Women’s Health Contribution Program, Health Canada, and communicated the researching findings of its affiliated partners, such as the Centres of Excellence for Women’s Health and le Réseau québécois d’action pour la santé des femmes.

The CWHN consisted of a Coordinating Committee, as well as a Board of Directors. The CWHN suspended operations in 2014 due to lack of federal funding; the Board of Directors continued to operate for several years, before closing permanently in 2017.

Greenberg, Shirley E.

  • Canada
  • Person
  • 1931-

Shirley Elizabeth (E.) Greenberg (née Schnell) was born to George Schnell and Elizabeth Bertha Schnell in 1931, in Ottawa, Ontario. In 1959 she was married to Irving Greenberg (1928-1991); she had three children.

Throughout her law studies and professional practice, Dr. Greenberg worked for women’s legal equality through advocacy, philanthropy and education.

In the early 1970s, Shirley E. Greenberg was inspired by second-wave feminism to pursue a law degree with the University of Ottawa. She attended law school as a mature, married student and mother of 3. From March 14-16, 1974, Shirley E. Greenberg attended the founding conference of the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL).

Working with the University of Ottawa’s NAWL chapter, Shirley E. Greenberg helped administer the organization’s 1975 summer project, delivering programs that raised awareness of the impact of legal inequities on women’s lives.

Shelley E. Greenberg also conducted research and wrote extensively about legal topics affecting women, such as child custody, family law, pensions, and unemployment insurance. She wrote for such feminist publications as “Upstream.”

Dr. Greenberg helped found the Ottawa Women’s Centre Association—a vital resource for community women. She also volunteered with Ottawa’s Rape Crisis Centre and Interval House.

After graduating from law school in 1976, Shirley E. Greenberg co-founded Ottawa’s first all-female law practice, in 1978. The law practice hosted women articling students, helping women establish law careers in male-dominated spaces. She was awarded an honourary doctorate from the University of Ottawa in 2003.

Shirley E. Greenberg also became a noted philanthropist. In 2005, she endowed the Shirley E. Greenberg Chair for Women and the Legal Profession in the Common Law Section of the Faculty of Law, designated for feminist law faculty members. She established the Shirley E. Greenberg Women's Health Centre at the Ottawa Hospital’s Riverside campus, in 2005. In 2013 she funded the Shirley E. Greenberg Breast Cancer Imaging Suite at the Queensway Carleton Hospital. She established the Shirley E. Greenberg Resource Centre for Women at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.

In 2014, Shirley Greenberg was awarded the Outstanding Individual Philanthropist honour by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), in 2014. She was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2009 and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, in 2012.

Bengtsson, Lisa

  • Canada
  • Person
  • 1951-

Lisa Bengtsson was born in 1951. She grew up in Naikina, Ontario–a single industry rail town. From 1974-2007, Lisa Bengtsson worked for the Secretary of State, Women’s Program, for the Northwestern Ontario district—the region in Ontario bordered by Manitoba, White River, and James Bay.

Lisa Bengtsson delivered human rights-based programs, including the Aboriginal Women’s Program, the Friendship Centre Program, the Voluntary Action Program, and the Disabled Persons Program. In the mid-1990s, she transferred from the Secretary of State to Employment and Immigration. Finally she moved to the Status of Women Canada. Her work focussed on project funding, skill development, organizational development, strategic planning, action research, and advocacy.

Lisa Bengtsson was also a program officer for organizations such as the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses and the Ontario Native Women’s Association. She participated in issue-based partnerships with local Thunder Bay organizations, such as women’s training opportunities, (1992-94), family violence, (1978-85), and women in conflict with the law, (2003-2006).

Lisa Bengtsson undertook a major post audit of family violence funding (1989) and managed the Northwestern Ontario Secretary of State district office, (mid-1980s). She also managed the Women’s Program, Ontario Region, (mid-1990s.) She served on internal committees at the national level concerning the prevention of family violence, (1991-92,1997).

Lisa Bengtsson’s volunteer and professional work were grounded in the Secretary of State mandate, “to increase citizen’s participation in decisions affecting the quality of their lives.” In 2005, Lisa Bengtsson was awarded the Ontario Federal Council Leadership Through Collaboration Award, as a result of her partnership with the Equay Wuk Women’s Group of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

Bédard, Lois

  • Canada
  • Person
  • [December 31, 1923] - December 14, 2007

Lois (née Dowson) Bédard was born in 1923 in Weston, Ontario – to a working-class family of 7 children. Mother, Mary Brittania Dowson worked as a stenographer and father, Walter L. Dowson, was a printer. Lois Bédard was notable for her activism in the Canadian Trotskyist movement and for promoting feminist causes, both independently, and through union activism, increasingly from the 1960s to the early 2000s.

Lois Bédard earned her Bachelor’s degree from York Memorial Collegiate and her Master’s of Education from the University of Toronto. In the late 1940s, she married Jean-Marie Bédard: a prominent Québec union activist and committed socialist, who served as president of the Quebec Socialist Party (PSQ) from 1966-1968.

Lois Bédard was one of the few women involved in the Canadian Trotskyist movement. In 1946, her fellow sibling activist, Ross Dowson, had led the Canadian branch of the Trotskyist movement, called, “The Revolutionary Workers Party (RWP.)” In 1974, Lois Bédard was among the members that split from the Canadian Trotskyist group to become a member of the Socialist League, (or the “Forward Group,”) along with founding member, Ross Dowson.

Throughout her activist career, Lois Bédard promoted feminist causes, both independently, and within the labour movement. She was a founding member of Organized Working Women, in 1977, which promoted women’s rights in the workplace and advocated for their involvement in traditional labour organizations. They adopted, “A Woman’s Place is in Her Union,” as one of their slogans. She served on the first executive council of Organized Working Women, before becoming its president, early in 1986.

Lois Bédard lobbied for pay equity between men and women and for women’s rights to free universal childcare. In 1980 she presented a brief to the Ontario Legislative Committee Hearings into Bill 3 – an Act to Amend the Ontario Employment Standards Act. The brief was entitled “Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value.”

MacKay-Lassonde, Claudette

  • Canada
  • Person
  • July 2, 1948-June 15, 2000

Claudette MacKay-Lassonde was a prominent engineer and leader in energy and telecommunications fields. She was also an outspoken advocate for science and engineering as viable career options for women. Dr. MacKay-Lassonde was born in Montreal, Québec, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering at École Polytechnique. She married fellow engineering student, Pierre Lassonde (b. 1947–) in 1970, and the couple had two children.

After graduating from École Polytechnique in 1971, Claudette MacKay-Lassonde earned her Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Utah. She went on to earn her Master of Business Administration (MBA) in 1983 from the University of Toronto. Dr. MacKay-Lassonde’s honourary degrees encompass numerous doctorates of engineering, including the University of Windsor’s honourary engineering doctorate (1986), an Honourary Doctor of Science from Queen’s University (1993) and an Honourary Doctor of Laws from Concordia University (1996).

Claudette MacKay-Lassonde challenged hostilities and stereotypes towards women within science and engineering fields. She spoke in such diverse settings as elementary school career fairs, university engineering convocations and conventions of women engineers. She helped found Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), in 1977, and also organized the First Canadian Convention of Women Engineers in Toronto, Ontario (1981) to help engineering women communicate and mobilize to advance their careers.

From 1986-1987 Claudette MacKay-Lassonde served as the first woman president of the Association of Professional Engineers Ontario (APEO). From 1987-1988 she was a member of the National Advisory Board on Science and Technology, and from 1988-1990 was chair of the Canadian Engineering Manpower Board. In 1991, she became Ontario Provincial Assistant Deputy Minister of Trade and International Relations.

Claudette MacKay-Lassonde was the first woman vice president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), in 1987. She was also nominated to the Mississauga riding of the Ontario Liberal Party, although the Conservative representative was elected to power, in 1987. After the École Polytechnique massacre, in 1989, Dr. MacKay-Lassonde founded the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation (CEMF) to provide scholarship opportunities for promising young female engineering students—an initiative that continues today.

Claudette MacKay-Lassonde’s career also spanned senior positions within organizations such as Ontario Hydro, (manager of the Load Forecasting Department), Northern Telecom, Xerox and Enghouse systems (Chair and CEO), Firelight Investments (president), AGF Group of Funds, Abitibi-Price, Clearnet Communications and Les Laboratories Aeterna.

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