Louise Fish is a force to be reckoned with. As a former lieutenant commander in the Canadian Forces, the first woman to serve as a naval officer at sea, the first woman to qualify and serve as a ship’s diving officer, the first woman to represent Canada at the Nijmegen March, and a Governor General’s award winner, Trent’s current director of risk management has definitely made a lasting and ground-breaking impression on Canada.
In celebration of this impact, Ms. Fish is now among 100 Canadian women to be featured in the Government of Canada’s newly launched Women of Impact in Canada online gallery. The gallery aims to share the stories of courageous women who have shaped Canada through politics, the arts, STEM, activism, and countless other fields, and includes figures such as Viola Desmond, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Laura Secord, and former Trent University chancellors Roberta Bondar and Margaret Laurence.
As part of the launch, which kicked off Women’s History Month in Canada, Ms. Fish was invited by Federal Status of Women Minister and Trent alumna, the honourable Maryam Monsef ‘03 to speak on a panel at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston on October 2, 2018. The panel was an opportunity for four of the announced Women of Impact to share some of the challenges they overcame while working in traditionally male-dominated fields, and featured discussions on the experience of being a woman in Canada.
Ms. Fish’s message was one of inspiration and hope. She stated that she believes “this is a time like no other in my experience — and I’ve been living for a while — where women’s voices are being heard in huge numbers.”
As for what Canadian girls and women should do with their voice, Ms. Fish’s advice is to “get into politics, be activists. Make your voices heard. Lose your cool if you have to. Tell people that this is unacceptable, and this is what it can be. We can have a better vision of a humanity that is respectful and civil and works together, not divisive.”