International Women’s Day may only mark a singular day on the calendar, but if you’re a loyal reader of this site, you know that belongs to us. We began this blog with the belief that women are not reflected in mainstream stories enough, our accomplishments not celebrated as loudly, our values and priorities not as relevant as men’s. In our fourth year, we’re proud to keep the fire burning and bring you our best for this year’s list of International Women’s Day- Women We Admire.

Maryam Tsegaye: Story-boarding the key elements of quantum tunnelling during her grade 12 year was only the beginning for this Alberta student. Winning the $500,000 Canadian International Breakthrough Junior Challenge propelled Maryam to fame and scholarly fortune in a flash, proving that no matter your age you can rise to the challenge, especially if you have the determination and authenticity of someone like Maryam. Her goal was to enhance the learning of others, making a complicated topic downright approachable. She’s met that goal with an impressive 300K+ views on her YouTube video explaining the science.  

Hayley Wickenheiser: From arguably being the best female hockey player in the history of the sport, netting four Olympic gold medals in addition to a silver, with a slew more for her international hockey efforts, Hayley Wickenheiser is a champion on and off the ice, speaking with conviction and grit and carrying herself the same way in the sport, both playing in men’s and women’s teams. Her infamous interrogation after winning gold in 2002 only got the snowball rolling, now you can find her as Assistant Director of Player Development for the Toronto Maple Leafs, as well as you know, studying medicine full-time. Fair game.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Anne Molloy: Over 6,000 people watched her deliver the verdict we all hoped for, and she didn’t disappoint, or hold back. The gruesome Van Attack that robbed Toronto of ten people and inflicted grave injuries on 16 more may have created a deep crevasse through the heart of the city, and the autistic community when the defendant tried using his diagnosis as a defence. Justice Molloy’s guilty verdict struck a blow to the throngs of incels watching, the guilty party will only be remembered as John Doe, striking his name from her court documents and the infamy he was longing for all along.

Joanna Griffiths (Knix Wear): there are very few undergarment brands that aren’t afraid to show women as we are in all shapes, sizes and age groups. But not just another under things brand, they’ve taken their products to do better for good. Period underwear and leakproof underwear is a game changer in offering more choices for women. Shapewear for all shapes that are made with comfort with support and not to contort (see our review post). Joanna’s company constantly moving forward in design and function in all their pieces.

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Amanda Gorman: Like many, I was captivated when she read her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ Inauguration this past January. The National Youth Poet Laureate (2017) gave me hope for the future. That the future was in strong hands of the next generation of doers. That powerful poem will be published in her book due to come out at the end of March. I’ve already pre-ordered.

Sarain Fox: Indigenous activist, artist, and ambassador. She’s Anishinaabe from Batchawana First Nation. I had been following her for the past couple of years listening and learning from her words and actions. Her passion for empowering Indigenous Youth and the community as a whole is inspiring. It was a year ago that I had met her at an IWD women’s travel industry luncheon that left a lasting impression with her unstoppable energy.

Lulu Wang: The Chinese-American filmmaker is best known for her recent film “The Farewell” starring Awkwafina who struggles with her dual cultural identity when she learns of her grandmother’s illness and the family attempts to keep this news away from the elderly woman in this comedy/drama. Wang kept her grounds in maintaining an asian cast against the recommendation from financiers to include a prominent white character. The film became one of the most successful box office hits of the summer in 2019. In an interview with indiewire, Wang mentioned that she learned the power of saying “no” especially to those who didn’t share the same vision.