It’s been an incredible year!
I married the love of my life, Brandon Prust in August, had the opportunity to work with the incredible French-Canadian filmmaker Denys Arcand’s as an actress in his new film, La chute de l’empire américain (The Fall of the American Empire), and to top it off, I was delighted when I was approached by Notable Life to host this year’s Notable Awards! The Notable Awards were created to recognize young professionals that are thriving in their respective spaces. Whether it be fashion, digital innovation, or athleticism that brings you to the Notable Awards, they are designed to be the ultimate networking event and party of the year.
The annual awards show also highlights some of the hardest working women in the game. One award, in particular, the Notable Woman Award presented by Greenwood Defence, highlights an all-around leader and trailblazer in her field. I spoke with last year’s winner, Jessyca Greenwood, a leading criminal defence lawyer and mental health advocate to learn more about how she’s risen to the top of a male-dominated industry, and to hear her advice for how to be notable every day!
Maripier: What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your career?
Jessyca: One of my greatest achievements and obstacles was having a family while trying to build a successful law firm. I love to get things done, so I looked at having children as another thing you do, I would somehow find a way to juggle it all. This proved to be more challenging than I had anticipated. I spent the last five years or so in a sleep-deprived haze: going to court, doing cases and trying to be present for school concerts and soccer games. Luckily, I stuck it out in private defence practice – when many women have left. I understand why they leave. This career is not a supportive environment for women. However, I am working to change that.
Maripier: What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment?
Jessyca: Being in defence practice for 10 years. Sticking it out and building a reputation as a formidable trial lawyer and mental health advocate.
Maripier: How did you feel in the moment when your name was called for Notable Woman of the Year last year?
Jessyca: I did not know I was going to win this award. I got my camera out to record the announcement of the winning and presentation on stage and then I heard my name. I was totally shocked, surprised and honoured. This was an incredible moment for me. I felt like all the work I had been doing for the last decade was validated and appreciated. I also got emotional when I gave my acceptance speech. I think that speech captured how I truly felt/feel.
Maripier: What advice do you have for women to be notable in their everyday lives?
Jessyca: Being Notable means – every day you find a way to move forward, you set a goal for the day, the month, and the year. Reward yourself for small successes to stay motivated. You may have to put your goals on hold but you don’t let go of them. You also find a way to treat all the people you encounter in your day with compassion and respect. If you can do this, you become a leader in your community.
Maripier: What’s a cool project you have coming up?
Jessyca: I am working on a project with a co-author and legal publisher to write a practical guide for lawyers to assist vulnerable clients before the Courts. Writing is a passion and I hope that this guide will be a resource for lawyers and people dealing with clients with mental health issues and special needs.
Maripier: Who have been the inspirational women who you’ve looked up to throughout your career?
Jessyca: I am very lucky to have a number of strong women around me, both personally and professionally. In my career, I’ve been lucky to be mentored by a senior lawyer who has taken me under her wing. She and I discuss cases, we talk business and strategy. Without her advice, I wouldn’t be where I am today. L, I hope you read this and know how much I appreciate your mentorship.
Maripier: What do you think makes a notable woman?
Jessyca: A Notable Woman is someone who’s overcome obstacles and has a passion and dedication to her profession or her cause. She is a leader in the community and her efforts deserve the recognition of this award.
There is still time to get your tickets for this year’s awards! Visit www.notableawards.com now to purchase! See you November 21st at Evergreen Brick Works.