Week 9: Isabelle – Gorgeous ‘n Goofy

IsabelleI haven’t known Isabelle for very long because we started working together less than a year ago. But she’s definitely on my list of 52 women I want to know better for a lot of reasons.

Isabelle is mostly quiet but she has a big laugh that will surprise you when you first hear it.  She’s slim, elegant and serious-looking so, until you get to know her, you might think she’s a bit of an ice queen. But nothing could be further from the truth. One of the best things about Isabelle is she can be goofy and doesn’t take herself too seriously.

Isabelle goofy compressed

Not long after she started working with us, she went to a lunch meeting with our boss and a supplier. On her way back to the table after visiting the ladies’ room, she slipped on the ceramic-tile floor of the restaurant. I wasn’t there, but apparently, with arms and legs flailing, she executed a spectacular save and managed to stay on her feet. Everyone in the restaurant was staring, but that didn’t phase her.

Molly Shannon in Superstar

Instead of scurrying away in embarrassment, she smiled, curtsied and said, “Ladies & gentlemen, I’m pleased to have brought you your lunch-time entertainment. I hope you enjoyed it.”  Ever since she told me about it I call her “Superstar”, in honour of Molly Shannon’s klutzy character in the movie of the same name.

Another time at a corporate fundraiser that we planned (we work for a non-profit fundraising group), the event photographer took a traditional team photo. Then Isabelle said, “Wait, let’s take a fun one too. On the count of three, everybody make a face!”

Team serious

Traditional team photo


Team kooky

Team “fun” photo

Our event photos are posted on our Web site and sent out to all event guests. And there we are, seven professional women, looking like kids hamming it up for the camera and having the best time doing it.

Isabelle’s young enough to be my daughter, but we have a lot in common. We’re the introverts on our team of 7 women – the ones who need to process and evaluate ideas before endorsing or rejecting them. In Isabelle’s case, it means she listens intently when people are speaking. She also looks you in the eye. She’s not fiddling with her cell phone nor does she have that distant look people get when you know their mind is elsewhere. You feel that you have her full attention.

She’s a great co-worker – a team player who’s well-organized and works hard.  She knows how to set boundaries, when to say no and when to take one for the team. But mostly, she lives by a philosophy that she sums up this way:  Determination. Risk. Strength. Failure. Positivity. Self Awareness. Respect. If you can manage all of this, you will do great things. We are all a work in progress.


Cause that’s close to her heart:
Community Development and luckily enough, I am able to work at an organization that supports our community.

Biggest Fear:
Not having enough time to do and see everything I want to.

Guilty Pleasure:
A cup of tea, warm socks and an episode of corrie (secret’s out)

What makes her laugh:
A story that is so absurd and/or over the top that I can visualize it so much I feel like I’m there….even better when it’s a story that makes me laugh so hard I cry.

Pet Peeve:
People that make excuses and don’t try- Yes, we all do this sometimes, but I mean all the time. I don’t have patience for this…




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