I’m Dr Dee.
I figured out very young that a) I loved words,
b) words had power, c) girls using words powerfully weren’t rewarded and d) I had a choice.
I could be Option A - silent (and liked) or Option B - be heard (and unpopular).
I chose Option B.
HERE'S A LITTLE STORY
My parents have long kept my very first report card in a place of pride. It’s the source of great hilarity.
You see, I’d ‘failed’ ‘Social Skills’. You could get an ‘S’ for ‘Satisfactory’ if you sat still, listened, played collaboratively and were good at doing what you were told (exactly as you’d been told to do it).
I’d gotten a ‘U’ - for ‘Unsatisfactory’: “Too bossy; doesn’t play well with others.”
When my parents asked why I was doing this, I answered honestly (and there is no honesty on this planet quite like a 5-year old girl’s): “The other kids are too stupid - I have to tell them what to do, AND they talk like babies.”
Ouch. That’s some brutal truth, there.
At first, I sound like a really obnoxious child, but what is lacking in this story (and my teachers’ assessment of my skills) is context.
You see, I’d been accompanying my father to job sites since I was 2: my parents had no childcare help, so my mom took care of the baby (and then the next baby), and my father took care of me (he was the contractor and entrepreneur). I’d spent 3 ½ years on some of the most ‘colourful’ construction projects in my area of Canada, coupled with lawyer's and accountant’s offices, at innumerable lounges and diners, listening to some of the greatest ‘characters’ of my life holding court.
I could storytell and talk the legs off anyone. And fearless? Dear god, yes. I was eloquent, vivacious, charming, intelligent - we’re talking Shirley-Temple level shit.
Kindergarten?? Give me a break.
While I received the message loud and clear that my behaviour was applauded by my father (and grandfather), the message from my mother was to “behave”. This meant not speaking up, talking back, innovating, initiating, leading - just get really good grades and be a good girl.
I didn’t listen (I got good grades, yes, but I was also threatened - with my 95% average in Grade 9 - with expulsion, because I was a “bad influence on my peers”. The crime? See the list in the previous paragraph. I didn’t quit, and I don’t want you to, either.
was created to help women - and organizations that ally with women - help women find their authentic voices and increase the reach (and sure, the volume) of their voices.
This is my legacy.
From the live stage to the boardroom, from reading the scripts, speeches and books, to writing them , from in front of the classroom to keynote of the conference, I’ve been around the block.
I’m an innovator, creator and instigator: I speak, consult, write, coach, facilitate, mentor and lead.
If you’re really curious, click the button to read more.Read more
Every opportunity to work with Dr Dee is an unassuming learning opportunity.
Dee was the speaker for our Lean In Canada Event on Imposter Syndrome and she not only delivered on the workshop with an enviable passion, she also left the entire audience reeling for more. She knows how to keep the attention of her audience by engaging with them and tailoring insights to each individual to keep the content relevant. Dee's personality shines through her passion of making women realize their full potential. She is truly a creative firecracker and anyone who works with her is sure to get out on a trailblazing journey with her to empowerment because she never gives up an opportunity to uplift other women. If you're ever looking for a speaker, a coach, a mentor, a confidante, or even a champion, look no further than Dr Dee!”
Amrita Aggarwhal, JEDI Facilitator, Bakau ConsultingI need some TEEwithD!
In addition to working as a pro bono consultant to The Shakespeare Company in Calgary, AB, to being a Board Director on a number of corporate, non-profit and governmental boards, I also give my time to the #IamRemarkable programme, initiated by Google.
This programme, launched in 2016, seeks to empower women+ and other underrepresented groups by helping them celebrate their achievement in the workplace and beyond. As a facilitator, I spend 90 minutes with groups (up to 20) creating knowledge, awareness and new skills around ideas of self-promotion, self-advocacy, and the real challenges facing women+ in the workplace.
These are free sessions, bookable through skilled Facilitators like me, and available to any group, no matter the membership. I invite you to visit https://iamremarkable.withgoogle.com/ to learn more.
I also give my time to LeanIn Canada as a LeanIn Circle Leader - my vision for my group is global, diverse and inclusive. We meet monthly to discuss how concepts related to personal narratives, ego-stories and standing in your strength can be understood in our professional and personal lives. Find out more (and learn how to lead YOUR OWN circle!): https://leanin.org/circles
So when you support me, you’re not just tending to the important work of strengthening your voice; you’re making a difference to the next generation of voices, too!
"Dr Dee has been an integral part of my professional development as an Artistic Producer.
Not by accident, Donna entered my life at a time when I was needing a safe space to become present with a deep need to say “Fuck Off” – a lot.
Her ability to balance both cognitive and creative thinking has provided me a wealth of insight when running a theatre company.
She also has an innate sense of defining targets, implementing goals, and executing strategies. I’m also so impressed with her ability to communicate the same idea to different people in different ways, an underrated quality that makes her one of the best communicators I know. She remains top of my list to contact when I’m challenged with a work dilemma. My job intersects many different disciplines, and seamlessly, Dr Dee is able to relate all her experience and insight, providing constructive solutions in the most easily digestible manner. The best way to describe her is as a modern Renaissance woman. I highly recommend Dee, and always look forward to working with her.