Jinny Sims is the MLA for Surrey-Panorama
What does being a woman mean to you?
Being a woman is being a person; it means being me. I am a daughter, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother, a friend. I’m a teacher, an advocate and a politician. I believe being a woman means living your life completely and multitasking to fulfill all your roles, professionally and personally.
What has been your biggest achievement, personally and professionally, as a woman?
My biggest achievement has been my journey through life. I left India as a young girl and travelled to England where, at nine years old, it seemed like everyone looked and spoke differently than me. My years in England allowed me to explore a world where I discovered first my love for learning which led me to my love of teaching. Becoming president of the BC Teacher’s Federation in 2004 has been one of my biggest achievements as that allowed me to be a passionate advocate for students, teachers, the teaching profession and public education.
Tell me about a milestone that defines your journey.
Growing up, I remember constantly being told what I could not do because I was a girl — both in sports and other extra-curricular activities. The milestone that helped define me was when I began discovering what I could do rather than what I could not do.
My world became a place of endless opportunity once I realized that no doors were closed and that I was the only person who could define me. Because I could go to university, I could become a teacher. Being a teacher and getting to work with children was pivotal in shaping every choice I made for my future and I have been fortunate to view every job, every opportunity and every challenge from the perspective of a teacher. I am so thankful for a father who was forward-looking, and amazing teachers who encouraged me to fly and live my dreams.
What’s your advice for women who wish to follow your path?
I would encourage every woman to find her own path. Every journey is unique. Every path is unique. Ensure the path you choose inspires you and that you are passionate about. If you are passionate, you will be successful and make a difference. Be sure to have mentors and role models; listen and learn but always listen to your heart. Don’t let anyone decide your life path.
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