TDS was founded by, and is owned by women. Currently, it is an all-women office and has been so for many years. For International Women’s Day, we asked the team to think about women that they admire or are inspired by – past or present.
Inspired by countless women, I am lucky to be surrounded by them daily at TDS. I worked with strong, intelligent, badass women.
Lisa is our resident go-to for anything and everything. She is patient, passionate about music/art and a gifted photographer. Beth is an excellent leader who pushes us to be our best both in and out of the office daily and Lindsey is extremely generous, curious and perhaps because of this, always has the best restaurant recommendations. Through simple conversation, Sherry has the ability to build rapport with everyone she meets – often acting as both a consultant and a confidante. Quick-witted and hilarious, Hannah can make me laugh until my stomach hurts. Kathy is a nurturer and looks after us all – whether it be helping us with finances or our mental health, she’s always there to give advice and ensure we stay on track. Katarina is kind, caring and a terrific listener. She is empathetic and genuinely one of the sweetest people I know. As the newest member of our team, Jillian is energetic, compassionate and a resource for anything from holistic remedies to celebrity gossip. Leah is my calming force and kindred spirit in the office. She is an exceptional baker, very funny and a thoughtful gift giver.
Julie Payette has accomplished more in her 55 years than most could do in five lifetimes. Achieving goal upon goal: Engineer, Corporate Director, Chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency and currently acting Governor General. A Canadian power house! All of these accomplishments which are due in part to her intellect and a true grit reflecting her discipline and fortitude. What impresses me in addition to her many lofty accomplishments (speaks six languages, 28 honorary doctorates, commercial pilot and astronaut) is the grace with which she carries herself. A Canadian treasure who continues to set the bar high for herself and in turn shines a light of hope on our youth to follow in the path of greatness and to make a difference.
Photography has been a passion of mine for over ten years now. When thinking of who has inspired me, naturally I thought of my mother, best friend and colleagues. Admittedly though, I knew little about women photographers past and present. Photography is (mostly) a solo endeavour that is open to interpretation and evokes perspective. It’s easy for the accomplishments of women photographers to be overseen and underappreciated.
Jessie Tarbox Beals was the first female photojournalist in America and Martha Cooper has been photographing the people and graffiti of NYC for decades. Johanne Rahaman’s documenting of black communities in Florida is incredible and Donna Gottschalk’s photos documented life and activism as a lesbian growing up in the 60s and 70s.
I don’t know why it took International Women’s Day for me to dive into the history of women photographers but it’s an exercise I’m grateful to have undertaken. In documenting the present I often see layers of the past and with that, see what others have not, or if they did, didn’t appreciate. I have a renewed respect for women photographers and will carry myself with pride every time I head out with my camera in honour of them.
Watching my sister develop her career in a male dominated environment, proved to me that women are capable of anything we set our minds to. I am so thankful that I was brought up surrounded by, and work with strong women as it has fueled the passion and drive to continuously raise the bar for where I want to be. Value hard work, honesty, passion and love. I learned that it doesn’t matter what cards we are dealt, what matters is believing in ourselves, never giving up and to never stop learning. Happy International Women’s Day!
In our household, Charlie and Evan celebrate women every day. They are learning about the incredible accomplishments women have made over the course of history across the globe but also learn about the smaller victories that take place daily.