Leading By Example: Advocating for Women Today
Happy International Woman’s Day!
My name is Tory Jones and I am honored to be a Siren! In my nearly 22 years as a Professional Firefighter, Stuntwoman, athlete, and mother of four children, I have learned that when you want to be a role model to young women you must possess an infinite level of passion, believe in the power of positivity and the ability for women to inspire other women. I am an advocate for women’s rights and have dedicated much of my life to motivating and inspiring other women to reach beyond traditional boundaries and to break that glass ceiling! As a female Firefighter I am the Unicorn of my profession (my colleagues call me Unicorn Jones!) I try to embrace the positive aspects of this - after all, Unicorns are commonly described as magical, wild and confident creatures, a symbol of grace, whose horn was said to have the power to render poisoned water potable and to heal sickness.
While I have tried to lead by example, the journey has not always been an easy one. Surviving in a predominately all-male environment has been challenging, rewarding, heartbreaking and more often than not, more difficult than the task of Firefighting itself. I am thrilled to share my passion and my experiences with other women and to stand shoulder to shoulder in a new era with those who shape the future for our younger generation.
Tri Sirena embodies the passion we look for in life through the joy of sport. It is a company that espouses the tenants of cancer prevention and represents a modern day triathlon clothing company concerned with the welfare, health, and passion of female athletes! Their eye-popping, attention-getting designs stand out on the podium or in the field. Each garment carries the power of protection and a conscience that very few companies embody. 2018 is a year to advocate for women, our issues, and our health, and Tri Sirena is leading the charge!
Sun protection should be at the forefront of every athlete’s mind. I lost my own mother from cancer when I was just 17. Her life was cut short after only 40 years. Her loss left a gaping hole in my young life, and much of my advocacy for woman’s health and for the plight of women, in general, has emerged through that loss. Now that I have my own family to love, I cannot help but be aware of the dangers of training and competing in the sun. I strive to prevent my own children from feeling like I did when my mother died. To be a part of this movement is a fine example of responsible fashion! It is my hope to spread the message of sun safety in a vibrant and colorful way.
Competing as a Team Canada athlete and on a global scale at the World Championships this summer gives me the privilege of inspiring athletes and mentoring and influencing women of all ages and abilities. As a Stuntwoman, Professional Firefighter and change-maker I naturally love to spread the word about important issues affecting women! My goal is to share my joy and experiences with others by having them see firsthand what Tri Sirena means to me. Tri Sirena feels like it has a connection to my family - losing my mother to cancer was life-changing for me as a young woman and I am a passionate ambassador for sun protection awareness in my sport.
I will continue to shine a light on gender equality issues and to empower women to tell their stories and change the tone and tenor of male-dominated workforces. On this International Woman’s Day, we celebrate the unification of women across the globe in the #MeToo movement. It has become my passion to stand amongst these amazing women who have shared their experiences, because their stories unite us in a common bond, and is the narrative of my own life. With the #Timesup movement, women are bravely raising their voices against gender inequality, toxic culture and the harassment that has become the thread of so many women’s stories. I realize, to share one’s own story, with all the costs that accompany it, is in itself an act of bravery! While many have spoken up and spoken out and should be commended for it, many others have not - for the risks of doing so are too severe. As a result, implied among all the stories that have formed #MeToo’s emerging portrait—all those splashes of color and light—have been all the stories that have remained in the darkness: the long shadows cast by all the people whose voices are too quiet to be heard. The known unknowns. It is these voices we need to amplify and allow to be heard. This is what drives me to be a role model to women of all ages and ethnicities and to encourage women to empower one another. Culture does not make people - people make culture, and together we are moving forward!
Women are change makers and the greatest influencers of all time. We love to share our experiences, encourage and support one another. We love to network and are united in the common bond of our hopes and dreams, our loves, and losses. I will continue to advocate for women’s issues, cancer awareness and will certainly fight to have a few more Unicorns on the firetrucks in my city! I have survived the swagger of a masculine culture, bonded with women, and met some great men along the way - men who are kind and brave and who will encourage women of all ages, and in all professions to speak up and claim their rightful place in society.
It is my experience that women are each other’s best support systems and loudest advocates.
I hope you will join my passion and support one another this International Woman’s Day! Put on your favorite Tri Sirena T-shirt and raise a glass to the women in your life that you love!
Here’s to strong women......
May we know them.
May we love them.
May we admire them.
May we BE them.
May we raise them.
by Tory Jones
Follow Tory on Instagram! @seetojorun