Yesterday was International Women's Day so I thought I would touch on it for my weekly content.
International Women's Day is a worldwide celebration of achievements for women from a social, economic, cultural and political perspective. Gatherings supporting this special day have been held since 1911 and the theme this year is "Choose to Challenge".
I have always held a strong belief that women should be free to choose their way of life and to never be held back by any preconceived notions.
I've also had a great deal of respect for those who choose to become Mothers and the importance of that role in society. Women who are able to accomplish both motherhood and have a career are amazing to me.
Early on, I recognized that Motherhood wasn't for me except for having the large, furry kind of kids. I figured I could pretty much only concentrate on one or the other and chose the career way of life.
I harken back to when I became the fourth female Canadian Tire Dealer, a very male dominated career, with well over 400 men in that same role. When I was accepted, I was told to never see myself as a 'female Dealer' but rather, just a Dealer.
For those of you unfamiliar with Canadian Tire, it is such an iconic anomaly in Canada with over 500 retail stores from coast to coast. To my American friends, I try to describe it as a cross between Walmart, without the clothing; Lowes, without the lumber; Dick's Sporting Goods, and Pep Boys with a full service automotive department to service vehicles. All stores are franchised and it's really a very successful formula albeit, a strange one.
In 2003, I took another leap, after only being a 'Dealer' for 7 years and became the first (and only, thus far) female President of the Canadian Tire Dealers' Association. I think somehow I must have been out of the room when no one else wanted to take the position and ended up in the role.
It was a 2 year tenure and a challenging one at that with a renegotiation of the contract with our Corporate partners at the time. Fortunately for me, we had a very strong Director and supportive team to help me through a very tough couple of years. At the end of the term, I was presented with a trophy that was pretty fun to receive, as a woman.
I decided to end my career after a total of 33 years with "The Tire", as it's lovingly called, having worked at the Corporation for the first 13 years in their Marketing/Buying Division.
I certainly couldn't be happier than I am right now living here in Florida and helping people find sheer happiness and joy with their bucket list travel.
I have chosen to challenge myself every day and am so very happy I have always had the ability to choose every day of my life. I so hope that everyone, including all women and men are able to do the same.