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I love strong women

Lisa Sygutek

Oct 25, 2023

When I look back on my life and the women who have shaped it, I see that I am drawn to those women who are mavericks.

I love strong women. Not the yappy kind who have mommy issues and mask meanness with strength, but the kind of women who just get stuff done, empower the women around them and know their strength.

Unfortunately, I have met a few of the first type of woman and they stay clear of me, but I must say I am fortunate to be surrounded by so many in the second category.

When I look back on my life and the women who have shaped it, I see that I am drawn to those women who are mavericks. They don’t fall in the mould of subservient, wishy-washy people, but have a voice, a mission and are kind but strong.

Within my family I was raised by a strong mother. People may not have always agreed with my mom, but I’ll tell you they respected her, and had a dash of fear.

My auntie Elenore Kubik was another woman I admired immensely. She was brilliant, driven, told you exactly what she thought, and she loved her sons fiercely. She flourished in the political world and always had time for advice and a talk.

Here in the office, I was mentored by Betty Walmsley. She’s really a maverick in the newspaper industry. She was in it for well over 50 years. She could sell an advertisement like nobody’s business, she could proofread, and call me out when she thought I was heading into the realm of libel.

These were women, born in the 1940s, who were strong and powerful in a generation when women weren’t even supposed to have a voice!

I have strong female friends, the kind of friends that would have your back (and help you bury a body). Some have been with me a lifetime and some just a short while. My friend Melisa owns her own liquor store and is always evolving. She attends council meetings on a regular basis, understands how politics work in the community, and uses that knowledge to her advantage to make her businesses (yes, she owns more than one) excel.

You will see Dawn Rigby from Country Encounters paring down her businesses from two to one. I have known Dawn since my days at the Crowsnest Centre when I was the International Marketing Director and her and Mark oversaw hospitability. Dawn is outspoken, brilliant, hardworking, and fierce. She always tells me what she thinks even when I don’t want to hear it. She picks up the phone, rather than bitching under her breath. No one know the hospitality business like her.

Another woman I admire is Inez at Crockets. She has such an interesting view on life and I love it. I swear I deliver papers to Bellevue just so I can visit with her. She always has a delicious smoothie ready and waiting for me and we have the best talks and she gives me the hardest hugs.

Kate Kollee is another woman I absolutely adore. I often call her ‘momma’ because she feels to me like an extension of that role. She loves me, checks on me, and give me sage advice. She is often the brightest part of my week.

Let me tell you Hon. Rebecca Shultz is my girl crush. My prediciton is she will be the next Premier of this great province when Danielle Smith decides to  retire. Rebecca has it all, common sense, brains and personality. She give me hope for politics in this province!

And now at the office I have Tina. How lucky am I to work with such a wonderful woman. She exudes joy, always smiling, and she humbles me with her brilliance. She is honestly one of the smartest people I know! Her laughter brightens the office.

I also often emulate what I do politically based of Shar Cartwright. She’s another woman I admire and ask advice when it comes to politics. Her opinion matters to me.

I think about the women who have shaped my life and the women to continually make it better. I am lucky to have such a small, but fierce group of people I want to aspire to be. 

It’s easy to be a two faced, bitchy person. It’s not easy to be strong, confident and to get things done, not on the back of someone else, but on the merit of who you are as a person. You may not like me, but if you respect me and, in some cases, fear me, I can live with that! May we be one, may we know one, may we inspire strong women.

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