On February 24th, York House School and Crofton House School partnered together to host a virtual parent event with Dr. Indira Samarasekera and Dr. Martha Piper where they shared stories and insights about their own journeys as leaders. Hosted by Heads of School, Julie Rousseau and Ena Harrop, and moderated by our respective Head and Vice Head Girls, Sophie and Finny from YHS and Mia and Isabel from Crofton, these two leaders came together to discuss their recently published book, Nerve: Lessons on Leadership from Two Women Who Went First.
Our Head Students asked some great probing questions about what it was like for Dr. Piper and Dr. Samarasekera to be the first women to lead two such highly regarded universities; the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta.
They each spoke to the advantages of an all-girls environment where students are encouraged to explore the leadership opportunities available and address issues that matter to them and the world. While sharing stories of their leadership journey they both acknowledged that leadership is about showing up and can be represented in a variety of ways whether it be in your family, in your school, in your community, or out in the world.
It was also apparent that resilience in the face of adversity was a key factor to their own success. They both adamantly agreed that in spite of your best efforts, you simply don’t know how life will unfold and emphasized the importance for young people to be open to opportunities.
We were grateful for this to partner with Crofton House School to host this event and we look forward to sharing more opportunities to explore Women in Leadership in the future.
More about Dr. Samarasekera and Dr. Piper:
Dr. Piper has a granddaughter who graduated from Crofton last year and Dr. Samarasekera, has a granddaughter in Grade 4 at York House and also serves as a Board Director with the YHS Board of Governors.
Indira Samarasekera, OC, PhD, LLD, served as the first woman president of the University of Alberta and is a director of Magna International, TC Energy, and Stelco and has served as a director of the Bank of Nova Scotia. An Officer of the Order of Canada, she was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Martha Piper, OC, OBC, PhD, served as the first woman president of the University of British Columbia and has been a director of the Bank of Montreal, Shoppers Drug Mart, and TransAlta Corporation. An Officer of the Order of Canada, she was born in Lorain, Ohio, and lives with her husband, William Piper, in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Dr. Samarasekera and Dr. Piper also spoke at our Women and Leadership Speaker Series at YHS on November 30, 2021.