Fearless Women Podcast By Janice McDonald

40 Episodes

By: Janice McDonald

Subscribe now to hear this popular and influential show with host Janice McDonald. You’ll hear Inspiring Conversations with Fearless Women trailblazers in business,sports, arts and culture, politics and more. Listen as they share their stories, the challenges and insights into how they’ve been driven to change the world and make it a better place, in whatever arena they are competing in. Practical tips. True Stories. Authentic Leadership. Real People. Big Ideas. Serious Inspiration.

Spencer Litzinger and Melony Manikavasagar Co-hosts of The Zone TV Show

For many of us, watching TV is an ideal escape from the everyday…especially kids;

The Zone is a beloved after-school TV program on the Canadian television channel YTV. It currently airs between 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. I’m joined by Spencer Litzinger and Melony Manikavasagar two of the hosts of this fun tv show.  

Spencer is always trying to put a smile on your face with her larger-than-life funny personality! She’s from Toronto and completed her post-secondary education at Humber College. She’s been hosting The Zone for nearly five years! She’s also a proud dog...

Bestselling Children’s Author - Ashley Spires

I'm excited to introduce you to someone making the world a better place…this time through her creativity with pen and paper. Today, I’m joined by award-winning Canadian author Ashley Spires, who has just recently released a children's book called The Most Magnificent Idea. It's the sequel to The Most Magnificent Thing. It's also being adapted into a television series called Millie Magnificent. 

Listen until 01:58 to hear Ashley talk about the inspiration for her first book!

“ I tried to change the beginning, the middle of the end, the plot, all the bits and nothing was worki...

Dr. Jasmine Mah Medical Doctor, Researcher and Co-Founder of Let Science Connect

Dr. Jasmine Mah is a physician and researcher who is passionate about healthcare for older adults. She holds an MD from the University of Ottawa, an MSc from the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Dalhousie University.

Jasmine’s research on social vulnerability, frailty and aging has been nationally recognized as a recipient of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Scholarship, Killam Scholarship, and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Award. Among her honours, she is the elected co-chair of the Canadian Resident Geriatrics In...

Prativa Baral Epidemiologist & Co-Founder of Let Science Connect

Prativa is the co-founder of Let Science Connect, an initiative aimed to restore trust in the scientific process by bridging science communication gaps between academia and the rest of the world. She is also an epidemiologist, operating at the intersection of global health and policy, and a Ph.D. candidate at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, investigating methods in health systems strengthening, particularly in the context of crises.  


She has served as a global health consultant and expert advisory committee member for various international agencies including the UN, the WHO, the GPMB, the Bill & Me...

Maryam Monsef - Founder & CEO of ONWARD

A big shout out to our listeners from all around the globe including the USA, UK, Canada, Zimbabwe, Mongolia, Japan, Australia and so many more countries…hello!

Love love love having you join us. I’m thinking about you and hope you’re doing alright out there.

My fearless friends, with so much uncertainty in the world, it’s helpful to hear true, inspiring stories from people who have overcome so much.  

Am excited to welcome my guest today. Maryam Monsef has a fascinating story and so much wisdom to share.  

Let me tel...

Dr. Vardit Ravitsky - Professor of Bioethics at the University of Montreal and at Harvard Medical School

Dr. Vardit Ravitsky is a Professor of Bioethics at the University of Montreal and at Harvard Medical School. She is Immediate Past-President and currently Vice-President of the International Association of Bioethics. She is the Director of Ethics and Health at the Center for Research on Ethics and holds a Research-Creation Chair on the Re-appropriation of Maternity. She is a 2020 Fellow of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and chaired the Foundation’s COVID-19 Impact Committee. She is also a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and of the Hastings Center. 

Listen until 27:27 to hear Vardit talk abo...

Ursula Eysin - CEO and Founder of Red Swan Vienna

Well, My fearless listeners, these remain challenging times and our resilience continues to be tested … and tested. Sometimes, It can feel like we’re swimming in an ocean of uncertainty. The future is uncertain but what if I told you you can turn that uncertainty into a competitive advantage? 

My next guest, Ursula Eysin has answers on how to do this. She’s a creative strategist who helps, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and governments do precisely that. To turn uncertainty into an advantage using the scenario thinking method. She’s the CEO and founder of Red Swan Vienna and will help...

Renée McGowan - President, AMEA Region Mercer

We need inspiration now more than ever… and I’m excited to introduce you to my next guest. Global citizen and inspiring leader, she has a fascinating story to tell of her life so far.


Welcome to the show, Renée McGowan!  


Let me tell you a little more from Renée’s very impressive bio.


Based in Dubai, Renée is Mercer’s President, Asia Middle East & Africa (AMEA), leading Mercer’s business across 18 markets in this fast-growing, dynamic region. She is also Chairperson of Mercer in Japan, Executi...

Cynthia Williams – President, Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming

Cynthia Williams is President of Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming at Hasbro. In this role, Cynthia leads the strategy for two of the biggest names in gaming, MAGIC: THE GATHERING and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, while driving continued global growth for the division and leading new fan and story-led tabletop and digital experiences. She is focused on building and expanding on the outstanding foundation laid by Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks, under whose leadership Wizards of the Coast doubled its revenue from 2018 to 2021.

Cynthia has a deep understanding of technology and e-commerce, along with cloud and console-based gaming...

Adrienne Rivera - Spiritual Business Coach

Adrienne Rivera is a Spiritual Business Coach who specializes in teaching healers and coaches how to grow their businesses online. She started her coaching journey as an online fitness + mindset coach, grew it to a 6 figure business, and discovered her passion and talent for business coaching. Adrienne focuses on helping her clients find alignment with their business on a soul level with breathwork. She is the founder of Breath of Gold--a breathwork company that hosts weekly breathwork and also trains breathwork facilitators.

Listen until 7:46 to hear Adrienne talk about finding peace within. 

“With my story of...

Jennifer Jackson - Accenture Canada Technology and Cloud Lead

 Hey everybody!

A big shout out to our listeners from all around the globe including: USA, UK, Canada, Norway, Australia, France - and so many more countries…hello!

Love having you join us. I’m thinking about you and hope you’re doing alright out there. We need inspiration now more than ever!

So, On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the achievements of women across all aspects of society  and, at the same time, recognize hurdles still remain  to achieve gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.  

The theme of breaking the...

Isabella Alveberg - CEO of Snøhetta

As we’ve stayed closer to home these past two years, whether looking out the window or going for walks, we’re keenly aware of our surroundings and the important role design and architecture play in our enjoyment of spaces.

I am delighted to welcome someone who is actively seeking new opportunities to improve and create world-class architecture and design. She’s an impressive leader who has wide-ranging experience within global leadership, sales, marketing and operations. We met when she was a tech exec at a cyber security company and I was training one of her teams.  


Stacey Gregg - Playwright, Screenwriter, and Director

One thing the last two years have reminded us of is how important the arts are to our enjoyment of life and our sanity as the pandemic has lingered. We love escaping into movies.

I am so excited to welcome a creative whirlwind and triple threat to the show today. Stacey Gregg is an accomplished screenwriter, playwright, and director, and she is going to talk to us about her feature-length directorial debut called Here Before. It’s a psychological thriller starring Andrea Riseborough, coming out in February 2022. It's a Rooks Nest and BBC Film.  

Listen til...

Maria Teresa Hernandez - VP Sales and Brand Partnerships at Mirriad

It’s a new year!  My guest today is Maria Teresa Hernandez, She’s Vice President of Sales & Brand Partnerships at Mirriad.com -  the leading in-content advertising solution company that brands like Lego, Dyson, Heineken, Deliveroo, Universal and so many more trust. Maria Teresa is responsible for the company’s overall US growth – driving business across brand and content partners, and something I love - she partners and empowers minority content owners and creators. She’s going to tell us about that and so much more.

Check out the book! - Fearless: Girls with Dreams, Women with Vision

Underfashion's Untold Story, With Designer and Author Christina Erteszek

I have a fascinating fearless expert to share with you. Christina Erteszek is the author of a new book The First Lady of Underfashions. As the daughter of founders of an innovative lingerie business: The Olga Company, Christina shares this memoir with excerpts from her parents’ Jan and Olga's private papers — a true family saga! 

Her parent’s story is inspiring. Jan and Olga escaped from World War II Europe and arrived in the US with just a few dollars. They turned their paltry savings into a multi-million-dollar fashion business. That's an interesting enough story, but there is so m...

Unlocking Personal Growth, With Mindvalley Co-Founder Kristina Mand-Lakhiani

Kristina-Mand Lakhiani is my fearless expert today!

She's an entrepreneur, international speaker, and artist. She started her career in a government office in her native Estonia, and by her mid-20s, achieved a level of success mostly known to male politicians - at the end of their careers. Shortly after that, Kristina and her husband Vishen founded Mindvalley - I love this company!

It started as  a small meditation business operating out of the couple’s apartment in New York, then quickly grew into a global educational organization offering top training, for peak human performance, to h...

Eleanor Beaton - Founder of SafiMedia

Very excited to have another fearless expert to share with you today. From Canada, the impressive Eleanor Beaton who is the Founder of SafiMedia, an education & coaching company for women entrepreneurs. She’s on a mission is to double the number of women entrepreneurs who scale past $1M in revenue by 2030! If anybody can do it she can make this happen. She’s also the host of the Power + Presence + Position podcast so you know we will have a ton to talk about today!

At 4:02 min, hear Eleanor share her views on "lifestyle" business stigma


Overcoming Toxic Emotions, With Author and Mindfulness Expert, Leah Guy

My fearless expert today is Leah Guy. She has appeared on hundreds of top media outlets for her deep knowledge on meditation, the mind-body connection, energy medicine and emotional and spiritual healing. We need this now!

Leah has a new book out,  Overcoming Toxic Emotions, A Practical Guide to Building Better Relationships with Yourself and Others.  This book is for anyone wanting to have healthier and happier relationships… so everyone! She has more than two decades of experience in private practice, where she helps people transform their lives .. very excited for our conversation today.

At 20:47min h...

Build Your Cultural Agility with Dr. Paula Caligiuri

In our new Zoom era, businesses are funneling millions into global collaboration technology, now projected to reach a stratospheric $45 billion. Big tech that connects us globally  is exciting but the real issue is that doing business across borders has less to do with technology, and everything to do with being culturally agile.

How do you break the ice in the UAE? When do you present a contract in China? How close should you stand to a South Korean? What about sharing personal details on Zoom - like what you did on weekend with your family. When working wit...

Being Strong Like Water with Laila Tarraf - Chief People Officer at Allbirds

Looking for inspiring reading this summer? My next guest has written a deeply moving and insightful book that I know you’re going to love!

Laila Tarraf, is author of Strong Like Water: How I Found the Courage to Lead with Love in Business and in Life.  Laila offers us insights and inspiration for finding a natural balance and leading as a whole person—with compassion, courage, intellect and empathy. In this conversation Laila shares her deeply personal stories of what motived this book, and what can help you too!

(Guest Bio)

After graduating...

A virtual walk with Laura Peck - Vice President of TransformLeaders.ca

Difficult conversations, encountering the media,  making effective presentations, and leadership in crisis. -my next guest is an expert in all of these. Laura Peck, from Transform Leaders, started her career in Canada working as a Political Assistant on Parliament Hill, and as a Broadcaster for TV and radio with the CBC.

She’s well know as a leader who trains and coaches CEOs, Deputy Ministers, Ministers, and C-Suite Executives in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, and has been doing so for over 30 years! 

Laura Peck is going to share insights from her impressive career and...

Leadership and Listening with Coach Boyd - Gee-Gees Women's Rugby at uOttawa

My guest today knows how to win!  Jen Boyd is an inspiring coach that I wish I had the chance to be coached by in my earlier days - but I’ve never played rugby, only watched it.

Coach Jen Boyd’s rugby career stretches over three decades during which time she played club, provincial, and Canadian national level rugby. For the 2017 season, Boyd was made a full time coach with the University of Ottawa, making her the first full time female rugby head coach in Canada!

At 11:13 min in Coach Boyd shares what she wishe...

Catherine Cano - Founder and CEO of CanoVision

My guest today is Catherine Cano - Founder and CEO of Canovision. So much has happened in her career since she joined me on show back in 2019, when she was the CEO of CPAC.

In this episode Catherine talks  about leadership in times of crisis, through her experiences as a fearless COO of a large global organization. We also discuss what the future of work needs to look like, as more people are vaccinated around the world, and slowly some countries are beginning to open up. It's great to think about the lessons learned so far from t...

Ellie Fields - Chief Product & Engineering Officer at SalesLoft

This weeks guest joins us from  Seattle! It's Ellie Fields,  who is the new Chief Product and Engineering Officer at SalesLoft . It's a company that is frequently recognized for its award winning culture, and a company that combines the art of selling, with the science of technology to help sellers build trust and make meaningful connections  with buyers  - even when the worlds gone digital.  

Ellie has an Undergraduate Degree in Engineering and  also holds an MBA from Stanford. As a women in tech she has lots to share from her very impressive career. We'll hear about that a...

Kirstine Stewart - Head of Shaping the Future of Media, at the World Economic Forum

This weeks guest has a bio that's so impressive, and she continues to dazzle - it's Kirstine Stewart! If her name sounds familiar it might be because she is a high profile media executive and author of the bestselling book: Our Turn.  

She is currently the Head of Shaping the Future of Media at the World Economic Forum. She was formerly the Head of English language services at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Vice-President of Media at Twitter, and President and Chief Revenue Officer of TribalScale...to name a few.

Kirstine is married to the Honourable Z...

Fatima Zaidi - Founder & CEO of Quill Inc.

My impressive guest today is Fatima Zaidi. She  is the CEO and Co-Founder of Quill Inc. - the world’s first one-stop marketplace, where podcasters can find pre-vetted expert freelancers! She is also the owner of the Listen In Conference, held in LA, that supports brands moving into podcasting.

Fatima is a member of the National Speakers Bureau,  a  commentator for BNN Bloomberg,. and a  contributor to The Globe and Mail.  She has won two Top 30 under 30 awards, the Young Professional of the Year by Notable Life, and one of Flare Magazine’s Top 100 Women. See? Impressive!

At 1...

Claire Haidar - CEO and Founder at WNDYR

I’m excited to welcome this weeks guest, Claire Haidar. Claire is Co-founder and CEO of WNDYR and Pattyrn: two companies focused on shaping the world of work, through AI-driven data analysis of how and where teams work. Pattyrn is transforming organizations to work in ways that were inconceivable a mere few years ago.  

Claire is also a Board member of UNICEF, talkSTEM and AccelerateHer - organizations that are making a monumental impact in working environments around the world, for humanity at large. We have so much to talk about!

At 8:36 hear Clair Haidar describe the...

Amy Kiernan - Sector Lead At Twitter and Professional Coach

My guest today is Amy Kiernan. She’s sector leader at Twitter, leading a sales team. Amy's a professional coach, and a self described game addict, who says that walks among trees makes her happy. She’s going to tell us about that and so much more!

At 6:12 min in, Amy's shares her thoughts on handling the "keyboard courage" of others.

"It doesn't sit well, it's unfortunate that that happens, across all platforms. What I would say is, don't be silenced, continue sharing your message, that's the most important thing. Focus on what it is that...

Jackie Danchek, OFX Head of Corporate Clients - North America

My guest this week is Jackie Danchek. Jackie is Head of Corporate and eCommerce Dealing for North America at International Fintech Company, OFX.  

According to Jackie, the finance and tech industries have always had many obstacles for women looking to make their way into a leadership position. She says, Although it’s a step toward breaking down barriers into the Wall Street - boy’s club, the recent news of Jane Fraser’s appointment to CEO at Citigroup is only a small victory. Jackie has many insights to share from her career as an expert and leader in the...

Diversity and Women in Tech, With Laura McGee - Founder and CEO of Diversio

I have a very exciting Fearless guest for you today! If you look up impressive in the dictionary, you’re going to find her name. I'm talking about Laura McGee. She's the founder and CEO of Diversio, a tech startup that uses AI to help organizations become more inclusive. Diversio works with clients in 30 countries around the world, and has been featured at global events like the G20 and Davos.  

Prior to Diversio, Laura was a consultant at McKinsey & Company  - with a focus on economic growth. She was named a Top 25 Women of Influence in 2017, and curr...

Laxmi Parthasarathy - Chief Operating Officer of Global Press

My guest today joins us from Washington DC! She has many accolades in her very impressive career. She wears tons of hats, including: COO, author, mentor, founder, speaker, and passionate advocate. It's Laxmi Parthasarathy,  Chief Operating Officer of Global Press.  

She leads global operations across each Global Press brand, spearheads the global expansion strategy to build new bureaus, and develops new partnership strategies to bolster the organization's reach and long-term sustainability. Over her career, she has led initiatives at the intersection of media and development in Canada, India, Rwanda, Mexico, Spain, Argentina and the UK. And that’s ju...

Ending Energy Poverty With President of Growing Greener Innovations, Connie Stacey

I have an incredible guest to share with you today! She is on a mission to end energy poverty globally. She's designed a modular battery powered generator. It is her response to the loud, noxious, combustion engine generators that currently dominate the market.

I'm talking about Growing Greener Innovations President, Connie Stacey. And her job just got a little easier. She is the 2021 winner of the Pitch For The Purse program from The Forum - which included a $50,000 dollar prize. We'll talk about that and much more.


At 10:30min in, Connie recounts her P...

Jaime Leverton - CEO at Hut 8 Mining Corp.

I have an exciting Fearless guest for you today! I’ve been a fan girl since I first met her - years ago -  when I was Board Chair of Women in Communications and Technology in Canada, and she had already stacked up a ton of well deserved accolades. I’m talking about Jaime Leverton.  

Jamie is the CEO of the publicly listed bitcoin mining company HUT 8.  She's been a driving force behind the operational re-imagining of some of Canada’s most important tech companies, with senior executive roles at; eStruxture, Cogeco Peer 1, National Bank, BlackBerry, Bell Canada, a...

Lauren Kelly - Chief Marketing Officer at ThoughtExchange


I have an exciting Fearless guest for you today. Let me tell you all about this inspiring leader. Lauren Kelly is Chief Marketing Officer at ThoughtExchange. Prior to her current role, she held senior executive positions at PepsiCo, Dell, and Irvine Company. She's been recognized as a rising leader by numerous organizations including: the California Diversity Council, Internet Marketing Association - and that's just some of her accolades.

She has a passion for disruptive tech, global branding and go-to-market innovation. And, Lauren's attended the prestigious Harvard University - where I was on the Women’s Lea...

Lisa LaFlamme - Chief Anchor and Senior Editor of CTV News

Welcome to the  Fearless Women Podcast. Season Three!  

My guest today is Lisa LaFlamme, an important and trusted voice in Canada. She’s the Chief Anchor and Senior Editor of CTV National News.  

She has an impressive career, and has covered many international events and conflicts, such as: the September 11th attacks , the War in Iraq, the Arab Spring in Cairo, and Hurricane Katrina.  

She has also covered every Canadian Federal election since 1997, and every Olympic Games since 2006. She covered the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2012, and the royal weddings of Prince...

Radically Change Your Relationship to Fear - With Fear Expert Kristen Ulmer

My guest today is a thought leader, high performance facilitator, and a fear & anxiety expert - who when you look up the word fearless in the dictionary - her picture is right there!

This remarkable women is in the the Hall of Fame as the most ‘fearless’ woman extreme skier in the world - a record she held for 12 years. Kristen was also voted the most fearless woman athlete in North America, by the outdoor industry, beating out all other women athletes (specially women extreme athletes).

She is the author of: The Art of Fear: Why...

Speaking Up and Including Others - With How She Hustles Founder, Emily Mills

I am so excited to welcome my guest today! A few words from a long list to describe her: trailblazer, changemaker, and inspirer.  

I’m talking about Emily Mills, who has been recognized by WXN Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women, and Ryerson University’s Alumni Achievement Awards - to name a few.  

Emily has brought women from the "How She Hustles" community to meet former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, and hosted a roundtable with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - to highlight a few. Emily founded "How She Hustles" in 2010...

At The Table - With Principal Nathalie Des Rosiers

My guest today is Nathalie Des Rosiers - the Principal of Massey College, at the University of Toronto. She is a former member of the Provincial Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier, and prior to entering politics, was the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Common law sector at the University of Ottawa (2013-2016). More recently, Nathalie was selected as a 2020 mentor with the prestigious Trudeau Foundation.

In addition to these impressive roles - and many more that we discuss in the interview, she has received the Order of Canada, and the Order of Ontario!

At 17:13 hear Nathalie...

Having the Courage to Dream and Trust - With CEO Anna Crowe

I'm so excited to welcome entrepreneur extraordinaire Anna Crowe. She is Founder and CEO of Crowe PR , an Amazon bestselling author and adjunct Marketing Professor at University of San Diego. She has numerous awards and achievements in her fascinating career, and I’m excited to get her insights on what’s she learned from working with iconic brands in New York, LA and San Diego, and so much more.

Hear what Anne wished she knew earlier at 23:22 min, "Well, this is gonna sound a little woo-woo, but I honestly wish I trusted the Universe more... earlier in life...

Getting Naked - With Author and Entrepreneur Joel Primus

My guest today is an inspiring person who has had tremendous success. Joel Primus is an author, speaker, award-winning documentary filmmaker, serial entrepreneur, and a man behind a premium underwear company Naked. Joel co-founded Kosan Travel , which launched one of the most successful Kickstarter apparel products of all time — reaching over $1M in sales in 30 days. He appeared on CBC’s hit show Dragon’s Den, was one of the inaugural BCBusiness 30 Under 30 entrepreneurs, and is also the author of a brand new book, Getting Naked.- The Bare Necessities of Entrepreneurship and Start Ups.

Here Joel tell t...