60 Seconds with…
Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister of Defence and Major-General Tammy Harris, Advisor to the Acting Vice Chief of Defence Staff
Major-General Tammy Harris: Would you like to pull my pony tail?
Deputy Minister Jody Thomas: You’ve got a bump. Okay. I’ve never seen her with her hair up.
Major-General Tammy Harris: It’s long.
Deputy Minister Jody Thomas: I like it.
Major-General Tammy Harris: It’s long, it’s long. It’s getting long. I know, it’s like a facelift.
Deputy Minister Jody Thomas: It is.
Major-General Tammy Harris: It pulls you back.
- Deputy Minister Jody Thomas: What historical event impacted you most as a woman?
Major-General Tammy Harris: Meeting me. Check. Go.
Deputy Minister Jody Thomas: Meeting Tammy Harris, absolutely. There is no doubt. I think in terms of my career, when women were finally allowed to go to sea as surface officers in the Canadian Navy, it was pretty impressive and, I was a bit old for it unfortunately, but it changed my life and it changed the lives of other women who chose the Navy as a career.
- Major-General Tammy Harris: Why is it important to recognize and explore Women’s History Month?
If we don’t know our history, we don’t know how to chart our future and change things to make things better.
- Deputy Minister Jody Thomas: Absolutely, she’s right. What advice would you give women considering a career in Defence and Security today?
Go for it, it is a field that is filled with opportunity. You can do anything you like. You can shape your own career, you can influence the lives of citizens, of serving members, of the equipment that’s purchased, the decisions that are made. There’s a need for women in this field and I encourage you to go for it.
- Major-General Tammy Harris: What would you say is the best way to break down barriers facing men and women in Defence and Security?
It is by training and fighting together. So, if you put women and men on separate teams, they will never break down those barriers; you need to integrate and come together and have an inclusive environment, and that is the best way to break down barriers.
- Deputy Minister Jody Thomas:
What has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
Balance. Work-life balance. Trying to ensure that I raise my family, and that my children are healthy and well and that they know I’m there for them, while I still have, had and have a fulfilling career.
- Major-General Tammy Harris: What challenges remain today for women?
It’s the same challenges for women as it is for men: to try to be the best person that you can be every day, I would say. To continue to fight for your place, to continue to fight for what is right, which is sometimes hard to do. And continue, I’d say, to all the men and women in uniform, and the men and women of the Department of National Defence, to see yourselves through our eyes. You’re outstanding people.
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