Toronto, ON – International Women’s Day was celebrated in a special way at IAM District 78 last night. On 9 March, in the offices of the IAM District Lodge 78, history was made. Vivianne Simon, a member of IAM Local 1295, was acclaimed to the position of Business Representative (BR), becoming the first woman of colour to hold this position in Canada and only the second woman at District 78 to becoming a servicing representative.
Business Representative Simon is in the first cohort of the IAM “Leadership Excellence Assembly of Dedicated Sisters” program, better known as LEADS. LEADS is a mentoring program designed to continue the advancement of IAM women by offering new pathways to leadership for the sisters of our union family.
Historical events have always been noted, talked about and even taught to future generations to come, but to have the privilege of witnessing an event like this in person is something most members rarely get to experience.
More than 20 delegates, visitors, staff, executive and retirees attended the event. Eight locals from different parts of Ontario were represented.
“I want to thank all staff at the District, God, family and friends for their help and support. I couldn’t have done this without them. I know I have much to learn, but I also know my colleagues will support me all the way,” said Simon after she was acclaimed to the position. “I personally want to thank Kim Valliere, the first-ever female Business Representative at DL78 for her mentorship/femtorship,” she added.
“We are so happy that Vivianne has joined our team,” said Eric Johnston, Directing Business Representative of District 78. “Vivianne has been actively involved in her local and the district for some time now as we are all glad she stepped forward at this crucial time. We look forward to working together and continuing to represent our members.”
Chartered in 1953, District 78 represents a variety of job classifications in many sectors throughout Ontario.