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March 08, 2022 Every day, women who work at Baycrest play an integral role in the organization’s success. They lead teams, care for residents, research brain health and create and innovate new ways to provide care. Each day, many of them are acting as formal and informal mentors to the care providers coming after them.

This International Women’s Day, three women at Baycrest took time to thank the women who inspire them. They also shared why Baycrest has been the right place for them to grow their careers and inspire others.

calen-freeman.jpgCalen Freeman, Clinical Manager, Ambulatory Services
“Today on IWD, I reflect and give thanks to all of the incredible women who have generously mentored me over my time at Baycrest. 

Thank you for creating a safe space; for your honesty and transparent communication; for connecting with me as a nurse, educator and researcher, as well as a mother, artist and friend.

Thank you for supporting me when I took risks; for empowering me to take on new and exciting opportunities; for teaching me how to create opportunities for others

You encourage consistency, persistence and resilience, all of which have helped me navigate the complexities of the healthcare system, support teams and lead in a crisis.

I believe it takes courage to venture into the unknown. Healthcare transformation demands this of us all.
Today, I celebrate all the courageous women leaders at Baycrest with whom I have had the good fortune to work.”

Faduma-Jama.jpgFaduma Jama, Baycrest Innovation Office
“Working in the health care sector has always been a vision of mine and when the opportunity to work at Baycrest presented itself, I quickly took on the endeavour.

Being able to help foster a culture of innovation and support a population often overlooked has been rewarding.
I have also had the pleasure of working with some wonderful women at BIO who have been very supportive of me in my journey: Grace Chung, Warsan Houseman, and Alex Mogadam– I thank you.

I also want to acknowledge the strong and fearless woman whom I have looked up to for my entire life, my mother. If I could be half the woman she is, I’d be content for the rest of my life.

As the great Maya Angelou said ‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style’. ”

Ann-Janelle-Smith.jpgAnn-Janelle Smith, Supervisor Food Services
“As we embark upon celebrating another year of International Women’s Day, I am challenged to reflect on who has influenced me.

Through my reflections, I realized there wasn’t just a single person who has influenced me, but I would be remiss if I didn’t credit all of the strong, smart, skilled, faithful, hard working women in my life.
From my first introduction into the kitchen and my love of cooking, my great grandmother and my grandmother would give me the task of shelling the peas from their pods in preparation of making the most delicious Pepper Pot.

The young ladies turned women I grew up with who taught me about loyalty, respect and friendship. Although some of these friendships were only for a season, they still shaped me to become the person I am today.
The women who have mentored me throughout my career and professional life have pushed me to grow and advance beyond what I thought I was capable of doing.

My mother, who is the epitome of integrity, instilled in me a strong sense of moral principle and faith in God, and has left a lifelong imprint on me.

Lastly, after becoming a mother to two amazing children, I realized that even though our goal as parents is to have a positive influence and impact on our children (which is my desire as well), I have come to the understanding that they are the ones that have affected my character and how I conduct myself.
I am thankful for all the amazing women who have left their mark on me and who have helped shaped me into the woman I am today.”
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