Topshee Memorial Webinar Series
Women in the Workplace
In keeping with the spirit of International Women’s Day, hear from four incredible women leaders as they share their workplace insights – what’s been achieved for women workers and what remains. Recorded March 23, 2023.
The Topshee Memorial Fund webinar series is brought to you by the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour and Coady Institute.
Collette is from Halifax and sits on the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, is the President of the Saint Mary’s University Alumni Council, a member of the Canadian Mental Health Association NS Board and sits on the Minimum Wage Review Committee for the Province. As an academic, Collette led a Masters research project in Cognitive Neuroscience (MSc). Recently, Collette has been involved in Consulting in the areas of Equity and Wellbeing, and is in the process of building her own business.
Debbie has been a member of IATSE Local 680 since 1991. She is currently serving as its President. She is the District 11 Co-ordinator for the IATSE International Women’s Committee and is a member of the IATSE Canada Health Plan committee.
Debbie is currently the President of the Halifax Dartmouth and District Labour Council, General Vice President representing Unions with Membership under 1000 with the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour and sits on the Canadian Council of the Canadian Labour Council representing Labour Councils in Atlantic Canada.
Debbie is the Board Chair of the Mayworks Halifax Festival and serves on the board of the Halifax Workers Action Centre.
Mary Otto has been active in the labour movement for 20+ years and has worn many hats during that time. Currently Mary is the President of NSGEU Local 43, sits on the Board of Directors of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU), and sits on the Executive Council of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour as a General Vice President – NSGEU. In addition to her work in the labour movement, Mary is passionate about healthcare advocacy, working to protect public health care and sits on the Board of Directors of the Nova Scotia Health Coalition.
Jessica McCormick is the President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour (NLFL), representing 70,000 workers across the province in every sector of the economy.
Jessica has more than a decade of experience working in labour and social justice movements. In addition to her work with unions, she has served on the Board of Directors of Oxfam Canada as well as the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Prior to her role with the NLFL, Jessica was a Public Relations, Communications and Research Officer with the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE). She has also worked as Director of Public Affairs with the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union (FFAW-Unifor) and has served as National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students, representing more than 600,000 college and university students.
In May 2021, Jessica was a speaker at TEDx Harbourside Park. Her talk highlighted the precarious nature of gig economy jobs, and the role unions can play in building a more just and equitable society.
The StFX Extension Department founded the Annual Topshee Memorial Conference in 1984. Named in honour of Rev. George Topshee who served as Director of both Extension (1969-1982) and Coady Institute (1973-1979). These conferences provide a forum in which people from all walks of life can meet to discuss critical social and economic issues affecting life in Atlantic Canada.