Skip to main content

Ep. 30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from University of Regina

By September 4, 2019July 24th, 2023No Comments

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

Episode #111 with Corey Liebrecht from Zippity Zip Courier

Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

Episode #109 with Tess Boehm from Totally Tess Tradeshows

Episode #108 with Shane Chapman from the Ultimate Deck Shop

Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

Episode #100 with Victor Roman from the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation

Episode #99 with Faith Alyssa Peter from Stressed Out Mamas

Episode #98 with Leah Mazur from Carousel Creative

Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

Episode #95 with Karen Kobussen from CanBall Games

Episode #94 with Wilson Acton

Episode #93 with Carla Browne from Real Property Management Canada

Episode #92 with Donna Ziegler from South Sask Community Foundation

Episode #91 with Scott Love from Store to Door Canada

Episode #90 with Mark Heise from Rebellion Brewing

Episode #89 with Brendan McGuire from Affinity Credit Union

Episode #88 with Tyler Clark form Prairie Benefits Solutions

Episode #87 with Craig Reed from Virtus Group

Episode #86 with Daria Malin from Boost Strategic Coaching

Episode #85 with Bill Thorn form Regina Humane Society

Episode #84 with John Vuong from Local SEO Search

Episode #83 with Linda Boryski from Saskatoon PhysioYoga

Episode #82 with Tracey Poffenroth Prato from RAD Talk with Tracey

Episode #81 with Janet Kotylak, YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode #80 Your Ultimate Guide to Get Found with Local SEO

Episode #79 with Jennifer Fox from Auto Electric Service

Episode #78 with Janet Akre and Susan Robertson from River & Rail ArtVenture

Episode #77 with Karen Smith from Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan

Episode #76 with Julie Naismith from SubThreshold Training

Episode #75 with Josh Haugerud from Regina Folk Festival

Episode #74 with Barb Stefanyshyn-Cote from Black Fox Farm and Distillery

Episode #73 with Cory Furman from Furman IP

Episode #72 with Tracy Archer from Knight Archer Insurance

Episode #71 with Tim Nickel from Fifth Business Consulting

Episode #70 with Taylor Weisgerber from Spartan Mechanical

Episode #69 with Lisa McIntyre from The Optical Shoppe

Episode #68 with Santa Claus

Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

Episode #66 with Natasha Vandenhurk from Three Farmers Foods

Episode #65 with Dianne Beauchamp from PuroClean Regina

Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #56 with Sarah Tkachuk from KPMG & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

Episode #46 with Erika Gayle from Erika Gayle Photography

Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

Episode #44 with Erin Caleval from Erin & Associates Insurance

Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

Episode #43 Part #1 with Jess Tiefenbach from Stay n Play Parenting

Episode #42 with Nadene Joy from Nadene Joy

Episode #41 with Richard Arockiasamy and Sanjana Kumta from GreenMache

Episode #40 with Jodi Barrett, CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada

Episode #39 with Erin Kinder from Kinder Surprises Antiques

Episode #38 with Tanner Goetz from Munz Media

Episode #37 with Jessica McNaughton from memoryKPR

Episode #36 with Wendy Turner-Larsen from Turner Larsen Consulting

Episode #35 with Jill Poulton from Transformational Leadership

Episode #34 with Janci Templeman from Walker Wakefield

Episode #33 with Denise Anderson, Author, Divorce in a Small Town

Episode #32 with Anne Gibbons from Gibbons Travel Consulting

Episode #31 with Charlene SanJenko from PowHERhouse Media

Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 26 with Dr. Emily Bamforth from Royal Saskatchewan Museum & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 25 with Nigora Yulyakshieva from City of Regina & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 24 with Pam Klein from Phoenix Group & Miriam Johnson from Saskatchewan Roughriders

Episode 23 with Gr. 5 & 6 Students from Argyle School

Episode 22 with Tiffany Wolf from Helium Communications

Episode 21 with Jeff Kinash from Peregrine Farm

Episode 20 with Charlene Oancia from Springer & Oake

Episode 19 with Dan Benesh from BarterPay Regina

Episode 18 with Prabha Mitchell from WESK

Episode 17 with Terrie Dunand from REMAX Crown Real Estate

Episode 16 with Kim Zacaruk from Stone’s Throw Coffee Collective

Episode 15 with Luke Rossmo from Luke Rossmo Music and Gareth Bawden from

Episode 14 with Kristen Hill from Kristen’s Cultures

Episode 13 with Cyndie Knorr from Cynergy Coaching

Episode 12 with Paul Burch from EchoLotto Inc.

Episode 11 with Rea Faber from Amaranth Designs

Episode 10 with Brandi Good from BLG Business Solutions

Episode 9 with Dr. Gina Grandy from Hill | Levene Schools of Business

Episode 8 with Candyce Fiessel from The Style Academy and Shear Escape Salon and Spa

Episode 7 with Michelle Strawford from Bella Chic Fashion & Decor and What Women Want

Episode 6 with Jordan McFarlen from  Conexus Business Incubator

Episode 5 with Cheryl Giambattista from Health Coach Cheryl

Episode 4 with Joanne Frederick from Prairie Centre for Mindfulness

Episode 3 with John Hopkins and Amanda Baker, Regina Chamber of Commerce

Episode 2 with Christina Carlson from Queen City Collective

Episode 1 with Sherry Knight from Dimension 11

Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Apple Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Google Podcasts Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Breaker  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Pocket Casts  Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Radio Public Spotify   Secret Life of Entrepreneurs on Anchor

This Italian Catholic woman is a trailblazer from Northern Labrador, steadfast on her family relationships and a strong advocate for the #MeToo movement.

Tune in today for the final episode of Women in Leadership on the Secret Life of Entrepreneurs as the YWCA of Regina’s Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Dr. Vianne Timmons joins us to talk about the impact of this award.

Dr. Timmons is U of R’s first female president and vice-chancellor, serving in those roles for the past 10 years. Born into a coal-mining family in Northern Labrador, she completed her PhD in educational psychology from the University of Calgary in 1993. She has hosted the Inspiring Leadership Forum, an event that explores the power of women’s leadership, since 2010.

A lifelong learner, leader, mentor and advocate for women, Dr. Timmons will join us to talk about this award and the context of such an achievement in an already prestigious career.


Barb McGrath 0:00
Welcome to The Secret Life of entrepreneurs a 91.3 FM CJ tr Regina community radio. You’re listening to your host, Barb McGrath, local business owner, marketing guru and founder of the get found on Google program. This week, I’m talking to a leader in our business community who’s making a positive impact in her workplace for her stakeholders, and in our ongoing series, women in leadership. Stay tuned to learn her secrets about what makes her tick. What helps you become successful, and her role as a leader in our business community? Let’s get started. Our guest today is Dr. Vianne Timmons, and she’s the president at the University of Regina. She’s going to tell us a little bit about her past experience, what keeps her going. But most importantly, today, or one of the most important things today is we’re going to talk about an award She recently won the YWCA of Regina, women of distinction. She is the award winner for lifetime achievement. So welcome, Dr. Timmons. Thank you so much for joining me today. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dr. Vianne Timmons 1:11
Hi, Barb. Um, first of all, thank you for inviting me. I’m thrilled to be here. So I I’ve been in Regina now 11 years, 11 years as president of the University of Regina, which has been an amazing experience.

Barb McGrath 1:24
Wow. 11 years that has gone quickly because it doesn’t seem that long. I know.

Dr. Vianne Timmons 1:27
It’s gone really fast ups and downs through that. But I’m still standing. I always say

Barb McGrath 1:33
Hey, and you always will be I’m sure violin.

Dr. Vianne Timmons 1:37
Like grew up in Labrador. I come from a big family. There are six of us children in eight years. My father was a minor.

Barb McGrath 1:44
My six children in eight years. Wait a second. Sorry, that math just clicked for me. Your poor mom. Yeah, goodness, what a strong woman she was.

Dr. Vianne Timmons 1:52
She was she was and Italian Catholics. Okay, very committed to the church. And there was no birth control was supported at that time. Yes. My dad was a minor and my two grandfathers were minor. So I would have come from what you would say was pretty blue collar, poor family background. My grandfather was an Italian immigrant. And we, we had a fabulous childhood in Labrador, we didn’t realize that we didn’t have much we didn’t have a car, we didn’t have a television. We just we just thought life was great.

Barb McGrath 2:24
That’s how it was. Exactly. That’s all you knew.

Dr. Vianne Timmons 2:27
And my brothers and sisters and I are extremely close to my best friends in the whole world. And so, you know, I had I was surrounded with all of the support and love by them. So it was a, it was a great childhood. And my mother was very interesting, because she realized when she was pregnant with my baby sister, Linda, her sixth child that she couldn’t afford to send us to university. So she enrolled in a correspondence business program at Queen’s University. Okay. My mom had never stepped and into university classroom and has never taken a university course. But she took a whole program by correspondence. And that wasn’t like the internet that would the books were saying, you have to sit at your kitchen table, and you have to do the work

Barb McGrath 3:13
Exactly. It’s, you know, I took a couple of correspondence classes when I was in university, because I wanted to fast track my way through the co op program. And it’s harder, it’s much harder. And as you say, there was no such thing as the internet at that point in time though.

Dr. Vianne Timmons 3:27
So I have memories always. Every evening, my mother was sat with us while we did our homework, I can remember getting up one morning, and my mother was holding Linda, the baby. And she was swinging Shannon on her foot. She was stirring porridge on the stove. And she had her books in the back of the textbook, as she was studying. So you know, she was kind of what I remember in terms of hard work, work ethic. You know if you work hard to get it so she got what was called an industrial registered accounting degree, okay. from Queens and then she was able to work really hard. She got a bookkeeping job and then ended up moving up to to an accountants job. And that was the reason we were able to go to university.

Barb McGrath 4:14
Wow. So she she had a real vision for what she saw for her children’s future and what she wanted for each of you. Yeah, so did everyone go to university?

Dr. Vianne Timmons 4:23
Yes. And also my father, my father, one thing he never he never was cheap on the books. We were the home was filled with books. Yeah, so both my mother and father you know, all of us went to university at one time there were four of us in university and leaving Labrador to go to university wasn’t cheap for me. Oh, but my parents say that on the 25th wedding anniversary, they had enough money to split a club house sandwich in a local diner. Oh, that’s how tough it was.

Barb McGrath 4:52
It was really tough. Exactly. But they had their their priorities were very clear to them. Right, the anniversary celebration compared to their chicken. Education, right?

Dr. Vianne Timmons 5:01
So all six of us are University educated and it has changed our world in our path and different than many of my cousins. So I didn’t have that opportunity. Yeah. So I am always grateful to my mother, not just for what she did not for what she showed us for the role model showing lessons that you learned from her.

Barb McGrath 5:18
You know, there’s something called imprinting with children and I talked a little bit on the show about my own kids. My daughter has been adopted, and so we learned early on what imprinting means, but that’s what your mom was doing was she was imprinting even though she didn’t say, Vianne, you need to work hard, right? It wasn’t what she said it was what she did. It was her actions. Right. And and that’s what stays with us with people. Yes. Wow. That is incredible. Now your siblings, where are they now?

Dr. Vianne Timmons 5:51
All over Canada. I lost one of my sisters to h1 and one that flew German when she was 46. She caught that and she didn’t make it. So that was very hard on us because we’re very close. But um, I have a brother in Vancouver Island, whether in Calgary, his sister, or brother in Ottawa, so they’re all and my mother’s still in. She’s in Nova Scotia now.

Barb McGrath 6:13
Okay. Yes. And so she’s still with you, too. So, when you travel for work, do you find that you’re able to connect with them? Quite often?

Dr. Vianne Timmons 6:20
Not quite often sometimes. So I’m, you know, I, when I go when I go for work, I go for work. I’m a pretty focused, I go there and I come home, you know, so? Yeah, that’s, that’s a bit bit of my personality. I’m very focused if but we used to for 20 years. We got together every summer. And so you know, we all the kids grandkids grew up together. And that was really important. My and very important to my mother.

Barb McGrath 6:45
Yes. Oh, absolutely. So let’s talk about that. You just made an interesting statement. You’re very focused. And in order to achieve the success that you’ve had, being the president of the university for the past 11 years, you had to be focused. So tell us a little bit about vi n coming up in the system. And I presume that you taught at the university level for a number of years before you moved into your current role.

Dr. Vianne Timmons 7:06
I went, I did an undergrad in English and psychology. And then I did a special education degree at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. Okay. And then I started teaching children with unique learning needs. And what I found out very quickly is I couldn’t learn enough every child was so interesting and different.

So I did my masters at Gonzaga University, which is a Jesuit university in the United States in Washington, okay. And then I did my PhD in Educational Psychology at Calgary and I was teaching in the school systems at that time, and then I then I got my first job as a professor at St. Avec University, Nova Scotia. So okay, moved my family back east and began there.

Barb McGrath 7:48
How many times have you had to move your family?

Dr. Vianne Timmons 7:51
Wow, I am. I’ve moved my family quite a bit. And my kids talk about it because two of my daughters were moved when they were going into high school or in grade 12. And, and that was tough for them. So I moved. Many I’ve lived you know what I’ve lived in every province in the Atlantic, Canada, I’ve lived in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

Barb McGrath 8:16
Wow, I was a co op student in university. And over the four years, I move 17 times. Oh, my goodness, when I finally you know, found a job and stayed. It was hard. Like you kind of got the itch a few months into it to maybe pack up some stuff cleanse a bit. And even now, we have a beautiful home, but I’m still somewhat of a minimalist. I don’t want a whole bunch of stuff. I swear it has something to do with having moved seven teen times.

Dr. Vianne Timmons 8:50
So I could learn from you Barb because I’m the opposite. I because I think things were so hard to acquire when I was young and we will support that when I you know, I still have clothes from when I was 21. You know, because I I just don’t want to let anything go.

Barb McGrath 9:05
I am determined they will fit again one day. I know they will. Yes. I you know, Vianne, I’ve told a few people this story. My mom used to sew my clothes. So very similar background. My parents both worked hard for everything that they had. My mom used to make me patch pants. She loved to sew and she would have scraps and leftovers. So she would turn them into something for me. Right. So here’s a new pair of pants and as a kid, you’re mortified like mom, really? in her mind, though? I mean, she was doing everything she could to be able to give us something new or give me something new. Right? I can absolutely right. All right. Let’s talk a little bit about the YWCA celebration that happened here in May time is sliding by quickly. Lifetime Achievement violin. That is that is something that that must have filled your heart and tell us a little bit about that experience.

Dr. Vianne Timmons 9:58
So when I got the phone call, I was stunned and so honored and so humbled because I know the amazing women who have gotten that award. You know, Jackie Schumi? At your we’re Berta mccade, there’s some women in this community who have had such a phenomenal impact on particularly the arts and the culture. So, um, I wasn’t sure they would give it to the right person. But, you know, when I think back of the, you know, the my work, and my passion has been people with disabilities, children with disabilities, women issues, you know, I mean, I want inspiring women for him every year done for 10 years here in China. So, you know, I, I hope that I had made an impact on some people. And I just think the YWCA is an amazing organization and that they honor women’s achievement. I don’t know if you get BB if you saw the picture of all the Premier’s at the recent

Barb McGrath 10:54
Premier made it, you saw the lack of female participation,

Dr. Vianne Timmons 10:58
That that grabs my heart that breaks my heart. I, you know, I thought in the 1990s, we were going to make a difference. I was a first woman dean of education at the University principal, darling. And I became the first woman, Vice President academic, and I really thought we turn the corner. And it’s like, I woke up in 2010. and realized we had not, you know, in the 1990s, there were 18% of the women present. The presidents in Canada were women. Okay, well, we’re 22%. Now, like hardly budged, isn’t hasn’t lunging, and going backwards, in many ways.

Barb McGrath 11:35
So and that’s something that concerns me, when I look at students who are in university right now, my own kids who are still in elementary school, we have some really strong public influences right now that seemed to be pulling us backwards. And for everything we fought to move forward. Our own children are thinking, Oh, well, this is normal. And that really concerns me and I, I hear my kids talk. And I’m, they don’t like what they say, See, either. So in some ways, I’m okay with it. But it’s going to have an impact. It’s going to influence thinking and behavior for generations to come. How do you approach that in the university world? That’s the world that you can influence? How do you make your mark and start to make that change?

Dr. Vianne Timmons 12:21
Well, when I was younger, and I would see injustice, in particular, around gender, I tended to be quiet because I didn’t feel safe in saying anything. It was really something. And this is really important for younger women, starting the crew, you know, when you see an injustice, I’ll say to people now name it, and shame it. Or the challenge you have is you have to feel safe to be able to do that. So I can remember, when I was at a university, and I had I was head of the department, I had my PhD, I had transformed the curriculum and the department, I’d worked so hard tirelessly hire two men, one without a PhD, one who just got his PhD and they that salary was negotiated by a man who was above me, I didn’t get to, I get to recommend to hire but not the salary. And he hired both on a higher salary than me. And I remember going to see him and saying, I don’t think this is fair. And that took a huge amount for me, because I was always raised to be a good girl and not to make waves and, you know, not to be too dramatic and not to you know, all of those things that society,

Barb McGrath 13:28
Overt, it’s okay for boys to be overt and be loud, but no settles Be quiet. So he

Dr. Vianne Timmons 13:33
said to me, while your husband, you know, has a military pension, you don’t need the money. I’m giving it to them. When my husband retired from the military after 20 years, he had a very tiny pension. I was horrified. But I walked out of his office that night, I got a call from a president of a university who wanted was trying to recruit me and I put my application in and I left. Absolutely, but I didn’t I didn’t, you know, expose that. Now, I hope I would, you know, because I you know, now I’m in a position of privilege and power. And I recognize that and I want to use my voice right to support those who don’t have that.

Barb McGrath 14:12
Yes. You know, and it’s it’s unfortunate how often we still see it. We see men with less credentials walk into an opportunity where women who were much more credentialed are passed over, and in many cases, their internal. And although we can’t see her at that next level, you can’t see someone at that next level unless you give them the opportunity. Yes, yeah. And that is getting lost in a system.

Dr. Vianne Timmons 14:36
Absolutely. And that, you know, it’s it’s sad to me because I still see so much gender bias, right. You know, I hear conversations, you know, around different faculty members. Well, she’s so emotional. Well, he’s so passionate. While she’s so difficult, or he’s a tough negotiator. Like the language we use in our society really takes a trait that is a quality to an Iron Man and makes it a quality to not want in a woman. And it’s happening all the time it is

Barb McGrath 15:07
Yes, I’ve actually heard another colleague of mine talk about the exact same thing. Two words, one has a negative connotation. One has a positive connotation, and yet the man gets described with a positive connotation. And somehow we’ve, at the same time, though, I don’t want to lose what is feminine, what is unique about us, it’s that we look at someone being emotional as a negative thing, because it makes us feel uncomfortable, just like conflict. Lots of folks don’t like to deal with conflict. And so let’s ignore the conflict and right, so those sorts of things. You were fairly vocal during the me to what I call, I don’t wanna call it a trend. That’s a movement to hashtag me to movement. Yes.

So tell us a little bit about that. Because again, there was a safety and security element there, and you clearly felt confident in your position and having some influence over young women. So you decided to speak out and young men who have been impacted.

Dr. Vianne Timmons 16:06
So I, you know, when the hashtag me to movement came out, I talked to my three daughters, and I said to them, have you experienced sexual assault when my oldest daughter she cried? And she just said, I can’t talk about it. Mom, I was shocked. Oh, wow. My second daughter said, No, I don’t I don’t call and do not think I’ve had that experience. And then my youngest daughter was raped on the university campus. Oh, so I, I thought a lot about it. And you know what, even myself I, in the last few years, I was at a meeting in a big conference, and a man was talking to me, and he touched me inappropriately, and he thought it was funny. And he’d been drinking. And I walked away and moved. And he came, and he did it again. And I ended up leaving the conference. Because I didn’t want to make a ceiling, you see. And I remember walking up the hill back to my hotel, and I stopped and I was so nauseated and filled with shame and filled with guilt, like, what did I do? That made him think he could do that? Yeah. Oh, what can like I didn’t do anything about it? What’s wrong with me that I let him and that’s a quote, do that. I should have shamed him. I’m the one that always talks about that. I remember going back to my hotel room and calling my husband and telling him and he said, you know, Vianne, if you as it, you know, in your 50s as a successful university president don’t know what to do in that situation. What would a 19 year old exactly and so I, I actually parked it in my mind kind of compartmentalised it, but when the hashtag me to movement came out, I thought I started to talk about it, and say, it’s very hard, because it really brought home to me how much shame you feel, yeah, and how much guilt you feel. And, and how we’re taught not to make a scene, you know, and all of those emotions that, that, you know, that that hit you. Absolutely. And sometimes, you think you would never let that happen to you. I would never let someone touch me inappropriately. And then in the moment in the situation, you just, you’re in shock, and you just react and you survived. And I want to talk about that guilt and that shame because my youngest daughter, she was drinking when she was raped, and she was filled with guilt and shame. thought she didn’t report it, because she felt that she’d contributed somehow to it. And she did not. And it’s such so prevalent for women, you know, uh, you know, when were you wearing? What did you say? How would you look? Were you flirting? And so we are, you know, we have all of this to deal with it. And, and we are not safe. How many men worry at night when they’re walking to the car in a parking lot?

Barb McGrath 18:44
Yes, there was a there was a list of questions on social media A while back. Have you ever this and have you felt, and I had my husband read it? And he just looked at me and shrugged his shoulders. And like what I said, I can answer yes to every one of those questions. And he looked at me and just dumbfounded. Yeah, the in a million years, the majority of men can’t understand what it’s like to walk across a dark, empty parking lot with a set of hedges on either side.

Dr. Vianne Timmons 19:14
Yeah. And be afraid. Yes, exactly. Yeah. So you know, I came out because I thought as you know, a woman in her 50s I want to talk about this. And I want to do it for my daughters. Because my generation we tried to be super women and we didn’t talk about things like sexual assault or inappropriate sex. We everything we could do everything. We accomplish everything. And I think you know, I remember sitting on a toilet in a university bathroom, pumping breast milk sobbing, thinking I can’t do this. So I had a three month old I was back to work and, you know, I was just struggling and we didn’t talk about how hard it was. So my daughter who has two children, sometimes she’ll say to me Mum, this is so hard. What is wrong with me. Yeah, you guys, you didn’t have it that hard? Well, we did.

Barb McGrath 20:03
Yes. But we we were trained, so to speak to ignore it. Yeah. Right. Just swallow it and keep on going.

Dr. Vianne Timmons 20:12
So now I’m trying to be much more open and talk about issues in particular around women and women leaders that that are there that exist.

Barb McGrath 20:20
Yes, exactly. Well, good for you. I know, in my host, we always talk about permission, if you don’t have permission to touch someone you don’t. And I have a son and a daughter. So typical siblings, they love to fight. And he often, you know, loves to, I won’t say touch her, but like, you know, he’s slapping her on the shoulder and slapping her on the bum. And she freaks out. And it’s always him who gets in trouble. So he’ll say, well, that’s not fair, buddy. That’s life. You do not have permission to touch and you don’t. And the same rule applies to her. But she doesn’t. She’s not overt. Right? She’s very much being trained again, to be a good girl. And we won’t go down that rabbit hole because that drives me nuts. Even when I see in the school system, the way boys and girls are. What’s okay for a boy and what’s okay for a girl? It is so so different. Right? This? It is? Yeah, absolutely. All right. So let’s talk a little bit more about why and so your daughters are how old now?

Dr. Vianne Timmons 21:18
My oldest is 43. And I have a 40 year old and then I have a son who’s 30. And a daughter who is 26.

Barb McGrath 21:29
And it sounds like you have some grandchildren in there. I have two grant children from my oldest daughter

Dr. Vianne Timmons 21:33
and my son and his male partner. They just adopted a little girl.

Barb McGrath 21:37
Really? Where did they adopt from Toronto?

Dr. Vianne Timmons 21:41
So her name is Sasha. Kate, which is Gaelic for freedom. Oh, my son’s partners from Northern Ireland.

Barb McGrath 21:49
Oh, very cool. Now that’s interesting that they were able to adopt within Canada. Yes, that can typically be very challenging. So

while there’s dads, they’re great dads, was it a long process for about a year? Oh, that’s not too bad, though. Yeah, that’s not too bad at all. Excellent. All right. So three children, four children, four children, three grandchildren, one husband, and one very busy job. How do you balance it all? What does a day in the life of Iran look like?

Dr. Vianne Timmons 22:18
So I don’t. And you know, what, again, I’ve been to every workshop, I think there is on work life balance. And what I realized that, you know, for many people to be successful, to be able to accomplish things, you have to work really hard. And so I’ve done a few things to help with the work life balance, but I do not have work life balance, Okay, a couple of things is that, you know, in my fortunately, being at the university, the kids could get dropped off at school at the University. So they would be with me to do their homework, and then they would drive home with me. So I got those times that time with them. Universities are great with, you know, music, and basketball, and soccer and all these games. So my kids came with me to a lot of the university activities and sports games. So they, they became part of that world. And that’s right, that helped a lot. I always tried to stay at work until I got my work done. And if it was six o’clock, and then I got to go home or seven o’clock, but when I got home, I wanted to be there 100% for the children, right. And so that’s what we you know, what I sometimes would go in Saturday morning, but then at noon on Saturday, they were they had all my attention. So over the years, you know, I tried different strategies, but those are the things that worked for me and for my children. And

Barb McGrath 23:30
I like that. I like that, knowing that you’re you’re done. You don’t need to check email, you don’t need to finish a project. You don’t need to reread something. I like that. That’s what

Dr. Vianne Timmons 23:37
I tried. I still need it to check my email, do the projects. I mean, it wasn’t perfect. But it was the best I could do under the circumstances I had. So you know, my kids. I also took them to a lot of lectures and talks. And so I think they had a they had a wide breadth of experience.

Barb McGrath 23:58
Oh, absolutely. They would have been exposed to many things that most children wouldn’t have had the opportunity. Yeah, absolutely. I’m just looking at the clock. So we only have a couple of minutes. And of course, the show is intended to be about entrepreneurial ism. And I know you’re not an entrepreneur, but the university is building new entrepreneurs. So can you talk about that? What are some of the things that the university is doing to help build some future entrepreneurs?

Dr. Vianne Timmons 24:23
Well, I think every student that comes to the university is a potential entrepreneur, right? And we have specific programs in the business schools and I would not call myself an entrepreneur in terms of business. But in my job, you have to be innovative, you have to be very fernery you have to manage in tough financial times. You have to make deep cuts you have to hire you have to do many things. And the one interesting thing by note that your programs are secret life of entrepreneurship. In my world, there is no secret there are no See I remember waking up at 5am one morning and coming down to Who’s my household and they turn the lights on. And all of a sudden five faces were in my window in my house, they were engineering students who are on a scavenger hunt. And one of the things they had to do was get a picture with me. And they waited outside my house all night, to get

Barb McGrath 25:16
A job, the lights came lbs, they waited,

Dr. Vianne Timmons 25:19
I give them credit, and they got the picture. But I’ll tell you, we change our scavenger hunt never happened again. But you know that many of the things are parallel to entrepreneurs in the world I work in, you know, you have to, it’s tough, it’s tough times, you know, you, you, multimillion dollar organization, are 3000 employees, you know, almost 16,000 customers or students. So it’s a, it, you know, many of the things that that entrepreneurs have to deal with,

Barb McGrath 25:47
I have to do you deal with as well. And I like that, that perspective, 16,000 customers, when you think about students, not necessarily as cattle, but they are your customers, they are your livelihood. And if they rise up because of a change in policy, or a change in tuition, that’s going to impact your world fairly significantly.

Dr. Vianne Timmons 26:07
And some faculty would say that, you know, the students, not customers, and I understand that they are students, but our job is to serve the ABS and to serve them well, and to make sure they get a great education. And we have to listen to them, to listen to what goes well, and what doesn’t go well. And if we don’t listen, well, then they have the ability to go to other institutions so much like a business.

Barb McGrath 26:29
Yes, exactly, very much. So I used to do some teaching in the business faculty, and I loved it, absolutely loved it, not necessarily the content of the course, not necessarily that it was an 830 class on a Monday. But spending that hour and a half with students twice a week, the discussions that you would open up, and just that rich brainpower that happens that brainstorming, they, they were sponges, they just wanted to understand what amaze his world was going to be like, and they want to influence this world in a positive way. So often, we hear stories and think, you know, millennial generation or next generation and, you know, where are we going? No, they they genuinely want to make a positive impact. And absolutely, they have a different perspective. They should they’re a different generation,

Dr. Vianne Timmons 27:18
Barb, you know, I have such faith in our future, because we have the most socially conscious, the most globally aware. The most literate, literate, which is interesting, yeah. generation coming up. And these young people are phenomenal. I agree with you. All right. I know they’re gonna leave the world in a much better place than we left it for them.

Barb McGrath 27:39
Yes, exactly. I agree wholeheartedly. All right, we’re going to head into show wrap up. violin, thank you so much for joining me today. It’s been an absolute pleasure to see you again, and to have a chance to have this conversation. I really appreciate you taking time out of your schedule. I know how incredibly busy you are, especially at this time of year. And I’d like to thank everyone for listening. So let’s think about when we’ll be back. I’m not even sure when I’ll be back right now. Let’s see. I will be back on the 18th of September to think through those dates. And we will. So we’ll be back on the 18th of September and at that time, we’ll have a new guest in the studio, heading back into some of our more traditional conversations around entrepreneurialism. If you’d like to be a guest on my show, you can email me at or reach out on Facebook and Instagram. Just a reminder, you can also submit questions live in advance of the show. So I’m your host, Barb McGrath, local business owner and Google girl. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.


Barb McGrath’s been cracking the online code for nearly 20 years. She helps local businesses get to the top of Google with digital marketing training, web design, SEO, online reputation and advertising. Most importantly, she’s earned the trust of Google.Barb runs the only Google-approved agency designed to show you how to turn the online “stuff” into in-store buyers.If you depend on in-person customers, you need Barb’s step-by-step, online marketing plan to generate a steady stream of onsite buyers and make it rain money. She is the host of the Secret Life of Entrepreneurs, a local radio show and iTunes and Google Podcast.