Students in classroom

Marjie Macoun

Marjie Macoun

Boston Pizza Franchisee

What inspired you to join the LEAD WITH US campaign as a volunteer?

I am a fairly recent Alumnae, who attended Brescia University College as a mature student. My experiences at Brescia have sparked my interest in championing its mission. More than that, I am completely fascinated by the long history of Canada’s only women’s university – and what that means for equality, inclusivity and empowerment more broadly. It’s amazing to see the positive influence Brescia’s dedication to cultivating female leadership has had on such a diverse array of women throughout its rich 100-year history.

I made the easy choice to join the LEAD WITH US campaign because I admire Brescia’s unique attributes, and I am passionate about supporting others to recognize the significant contributions this institution is making. Through its unwavering commitment to fostering the potential of young women, Brescia – and its supporters – are redefining the way we envision positions of leadership so that extraordinary women who have previously been underrepresented are included.

Why do we need to support women’s education?

It’s easy to forget it was only 100 years ago when women were denied their identity, alongside their social, political and economic influence. Our failure to realize how far we have come and how far we still have to go threatens to stifle the greatness of the next generation of women and the ways in which they will affect the lives of others.

We need to support women’s education to ensure these students grow into formidable leaders who have the knowledge and confidence to relentlessly pursue their personal and shared visions for a more equitable future. Education that specifically addresses the gaps and opportunities, which will shape women’s futures, is what is needed to ensure we have the necessary tools to address the cultural and systemic hurdles women continue to face. I am confident the type of education Brescia delivers will raise the standard of living for women and their communities in sustainable ways.

Why is a women’s only university still relevant today?

What unites women is not only our strengths, but also our shared struggles. Regardless of the socioeconomic and cultural differences between us, we share deep-seated bonds because our capabilities have yet to be fully realized by the majority structures that currently shape society.
Brescia creates a safe space where women may collaborate, congratulate and comfort one another in an atmosphere that is truly exceptional within the Canadian landscape. Amidst these spaces, women have the power to come together to enable change, while also raising each other up. Close connections, established at our rare women’s only university, as well as shared experiences and a strong educational foundation will nurture a more forward-thinking future where greatness – not gender – defines the opportunities we’re able to access.

Tell us briefly about your experience as a business leader.

I have been in the hospitality business for over 15 years. It is a dynamic and ever changing industry that allows me to engage with the public on a daily basis. I seize every opportunity to learn a new task, face a new challenge and make a new connection. Throughout the entirety of my career, I have always prioritized giving back to my community because I recognize it has shaped and fostered much of my success. More than that, I realize how important it is for young people to know we’re here to support them and encourage their ability to achieve things that, right now, may seem beyond their reach.