The research that was part of my Master of Arts in Leadership for Royal Roads Leadership has come to a close. On September 8, 2019, my final report was submitted to my faculty, and on September 9, 2019, it was received and submitted to the School of Leadership Studies as approved.
This research could not have been completed without the voices of the women who chose to share their experiences by responding through an online survey, and by agreeing to be interviewed. They honoured me by trusting me with their stories and their vulnerabilities, and they will forever have my deepest gratitude. Special thanks go to my research partner, Denise Christopherson, CEO of the YWCA of Hamilton who believed in the value of the question, the action of gathering these women’s stories, and the quest of creating positive social change. I am grateful for the support of the leaders of my community partner organizations, David Carter of Innovation Factory (IF), Keanin Loomis of Hamilton Chamber of Commerce (HCC), and Kristin Huigenbois of the City of Hamilton’s Small Business Enterprise Center (now Hamilton Business Centre), who saw the value in the research, and to Andrea Davies of the YWCA, Brigitte Huard of IF, and Marie Nash of HCC for doing all the leg work and amplifying the call-to-action and sharing it amongst their networks. Notable thanks to my inquiry team member Nick Diduck, whose support as a friend and learning partner was untiring and unwavering. My sincere thanks go to my academic supervisor, Marie Graf, for her encouragement and expertise in helping me craft and present a research product that I am proud of. Lastly, my husband, Victor Schulman Dupuis is the one that is most directly responsible for this research. His encouragement and support, financially, materially, and emotionally ensured that I had the space and resources needed to set forth on this academic journey two years ago and bring light to this important question. We should all be so lucky to be surrounded by such privilege and love.