As a group of women working towards common goals for STYLE Canada’s brand and business, we understand the value of peer support in the workplace. So, after our last Supper Club at Soho House, we decided to bring like-minded women in business together and feature them in an ongoing series: #LeadingLadies. This edition features Sonia Beeksma.
Sonia Beeksma – Reporter on CTV’s eTalk, mother and philanthropist
Side Hustle: Flowers
SC: Tell us about yourself.
SB: Well, I’m originally from Vancouver where I was one of the hosts at CTV Morning Live and I just moved to Toronto at the beginning of January to start my new job as an entertainment reporter at eTalk. This was a personal and a professional goal of mine when I left the medical industry 10 years ago to pursue a career in broadcasting. It’s been an amazing journey to say the least and what I feel most proud about is that my eight year old daughter has watched me set goals and accomplish them. Moving across the country is not an easy task, especially as a single mom, but I’m a warrior at heart.
SC: What do you love about your industry?
SB: I love that I get to talk to very unique and talented people. The world calls them celebrities but I call them artists. Every single person on this planet has something to teach us, whether the lesson is positive or negative. And my favourite part of my job is learning about people and learning from them, then passing all that knowledge onto the rest of the world. Talking to celebrities doesn’t phase me one bit – I find them interesting. I find them fascinating and I want to learn everything about their art. I’m very lucky I get to do that.
SC: What social issue are you most passionate about?
SB: I’m very passionate about educating young girls and women in developing countries. Education is a path to freedom and educated women can truly change the world. Education is a luxury in so many countries, especially for girls, and it needs to be accessible to everyone. I’ve been involved with Room to Read for years now. I’m so proud of the work they’re doing in over 15 countries. The organization has been around for just over 25 years and 14.3 million children have benefited from either their schools or literacy programs.
SC: Who has been a strong influence on you throughout your life?
SB: My dad is my strongest influence. His work ethic, his peaceful spirit and kind personality makes him one the most beautiful humans to ever roam this earth. I have some incredible friends, both men and women, who continue to inspire me and influence my approach to a lot of things. I believe you are who you surround yourself with and I’ve worked very hard to build a strong community around me.
SC: What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
SB: Some people will be intimidated by your ambitious personality but don’t dim your light to make others feel comfortable. Never settle when you know God has more for you.