Director of Social Innovation
Centre for Employment Innovation, Coady Institute, StFX University
Jaime Smith is a passionate activist for gender and race equality. As the Director of Social Innovation and Executive Lead for Employment Innovation at Coady, Jaime works with communities, businesses, institutions, and governments exploring, co-developing and evaluating innovations for social, environmental and economic wellbeing, ensuring “a full and abundant life, for all.”
Jaime is committed to giving the same support and mentorship she was given to younger women – sometimes that is through influencing policy and practice that addresses systemic barriers for more equitable participation and impact.
Jamie co-founded Pictou 2020 – a citizen-led initiative to build community engagement, collaboration, and action towards a healthy, united, thriving, and bold region.
What are you most proud of?
“My proudest accomplishment is what also brings me great humility, and is ongoing: daily striving to be there for my family during COVID when they need me the most, while balancing work, volunteering, and my own grief that swells during the pandemic. Overall, this space of pride and humility is about self-practice, so I can be present and peaceful in challenging times at home, being a mom and a wife, and at work, being a leader and an adult educator. It is not perfect, but I am trying to do the best I can, and I am grateful for the people around me who offer love and support.”
Do you have any advice for younger women?
“Embrace your true self, know what matters most to you and advocate for what you need. Understand your own story and the value that you bring. Connect with people who can support you as you navigate opportunities and explore challenges that will inevitably arise. Remain curious and open minded to learning because you never know how professional and meaningful volunteer engagement might open paths for you. Be mindful of creating or sharing opportunities for and with others.”
“Embrace a sense of your true self, know what matters most to you and advocate for what you need.”