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Overcoming Anonymous: In Search of More Fully Clothed Female Role Models

by Shari Graydon

… that’s the title of the talk I delivered three times this past week — and I didn’t even need to explain the context for the title to get a laugh. A wide variety of women working in high tech (Girl Geek Dinners Ottawa), education (symposium hosted by the Canadian Teachers Federation), and the non-profit sector (Skills Institute put on by the Canadian Women’s Foundation) understood the reference even before I clicked through my illustrative slides.

Lily Cole, left, outgoing President of the Newfoundland Teachers Association, bought multiple copies of I Feel Great About My Hands at an event in Ottawa

The stories and statistics, quotes and encouragement seemed to resonate with many (all I have to do is ask: “How many of you have ever declined a speaking opportunity or interview with the words, ‘I’m really not the best person’?”, and a sea of hands get raised).

Gratifyingly for Informed Opinions, many of the women present also expressed support for the project by purchasing one or — in some cases 5! — copies of I Feel Great About My Hands – and Other Unexpected Benefits of Aging.  

This is the collection of reflections featuring the provocative and poignant voices of 41 women over the age of 50 that we released two years ago as a fundraiser for our work. It includes funny and powerful pieces by comedian Mary Walsh, poet Lorna Crozier, journalists Susan Delacourt and Susan Harada, and politicians Sharon Carstairs and Elizabeth May. And the royalties from every book sold support the training and editing we offer for women whose perspectives can add value to the public discourse.

Now a best-seller, the book has been cited as an ideal mother’s day present for those on the mature side of 40, and it remains widely available in bookstores and online. But I’m also happy to ship or schlep a box of books to speaking engagements, offering a discounted purchase price and personalizing copies with a note to the intended recipients.

To book a presentation or inquire about group book sales, contact shari (at)

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