International Women's Day

Video tribute to female public servants, recognizing women's contributions, both past and present for International Women's Day.

International Women's Day - Transcript

With piano background music

Text on white background appears: They have overcome obstacles.

Newspaper clipping showing a photo of Mrs. Anna Minerva Henderson. Superimposed text over the image says that Mrs. Henderson was the first Black woman to obtain a permanent position in the public service, in 1912.

Video excerpt of Mrs. Helen Small and the Treasury Board Secretary, Mrs. Yaprak Baltacıoğlu sitting in armchairs, having a discussion. Mrs. Small explains that the main obstacle in the pursuit of her career in the public service was marriage.

Fixed black and white image of Mrs. Small appears on the screen with superimposed text. The text says that thanks to Mrs. Small, the Public Service Commission regulations that required women to quit their jobs once married were abolished in 1955.

Floating text on white background saying: They paved the way for others.

Photo of Mrs. Jean Edmonds. To the left of the photo, superimposed text appears: In 1966, Jean Edmonds became the first woman executive in the federal government. She was a member of the Task Force on Barriers to Women in the Public Service.

Video excerpt of Mrs. Sylvia Ostry, Ph.D. introducing herself. Superimposed text describing her as the first woman to occupy the position of Deputy Minister in the Government of Canada, as Chief Statistician in 1972.

Photo of the Honorable Jocelyne Bourgon, P.C., O.C. To the left of the photo, superimposed text describes her as the first woman appointed to the position of Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet in 1994.

Floating text on white background saying: They were pioneers.

Video excerpt of Major Deanna Brasseur introducing herself. Superimposed text appears on the screen describing her as the first woman fighter pilot in Canada in 1989.

Floating text on white background saying: They conquered new territories.

Video excerpt of Dr. Roberta Bondar in an astronaut suit with arms lifted in a victory sign preparing to enter the space shuttle. Superimposed text appears on screen introducing her as the first Canadian woman astronaut and first neurologist to go into space, 1992.

Video excerpt of Mrs. Donna Kirkwood, Ph.D. naming herself, with superimposed text to the right explaining that in 2010, she became the first director general of the Geological Survey of Canada since the creation of the organization in 1842.

Video excerpt of Colonel M.H.L. Bourgon, 12 Wing Shearwater Commander in a pilot suit standing in front of a SeaKing helicopter. She introduces herself. Superimposed text appears indicating that in 2011 she was the first woman pilot promoted to the rank of colonel.

Sitting in an armchair, Mrs. Yaprak Baltacıoğlu, the Secretary of the Treasury Board, and the first woman Deputy Minister at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, thanks all the women mentioned in this video and stresses how they continue to inspire us.

Floating text on white background: Thank you

Rolling credits on screen.

Special thanks to:

  • Mrs. Helen Small
  • Dr. Sylvia Ostry
  • Major Deanna Brasseur
  • Dr. Roberta Bondar
  • Dr. Donna Kirkwood
  • Colonel Lise Bourgon

For their gracious collaboration in the production of this video, thank you to the following:

  • Museum of Nature
  • Aviation Museum
  • Royal Canadian Air Force
  • LCol George Taylor Denison III Armoury
  • 12 Wing Imagerie
  • Department of National Defence
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Statistics Canada

Photo credits

  • Library and Archives Canada
  • Privy Council Office
  • Fade to black
  • Canada Wordmark
  • End of music
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Privacy statement

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: