Look at the signature! The name is Jean E. Pigott, and her title is Chairman. The text is from 1987–1988, when Jean Pigott held the top job at the NCC. Eventually, the title was adjusted, not just at the NCC, but across the majority of organizations, as women made their mark.

A mother, a successful businesswoman, an important pillar in her community and a member of Parliament for Ottawa-Carleton, Jean Pigott was an example for women, and men, in leadership positions. During her tenure (1985–1992), the NCC took over control of the official residences, and created Confederation Boulevard (the ceremonial route which forms a loop linking landmarks — such as Parliament Hill, the Supreme Court, the national museums — in both provinces).

Jean Pigott’s legacy cemented a home for female leadership in Canada’s Capital and at the NCC. By 2007, Micheline Dubé was interim CEO for most of the year, before the appointment of Marie Lemay, who held the position through to October 2012. 

Today, women in leadership positions span across the NCC. They are behind important decisions that shape Canada’s Capital Region. These women are executive directors or directors leading the NCC’s stewardship of parks, lands and real estate, human resources, public and corporate affairs, planning, Gatineau Park, finance, audit, legal services, environmental assessment, and wildlife conservation. None of these women holds a title that implies she is a man. Women leaders, like Jean Pigott, changed that.

This article originally appeared in Capital Magazine.

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