Paving the way

Passion to spare: Students Dorothy Attakora-Gyan, Cathrine Chamber

Thank you!

"There aren't many bachelor's or PhD programs in women's studies in Canadian universities. Encouraging studies in this field like Ida did is encouraging a kind of passion in students who make this needed and courageous choice."

– Cécile Coderre, School of Social Work professor

In the 1980s, it was rare to see a woman working as a manager. For a fighter like Ida Deurloo, there was no way she could let that stand. Whether at the University of Ottawa, where she was assistant registrar from 1983 to 1989, or in the world of finance, where she finished her career, Deurloo wasn't satisfied with just forging her own path — she also wanted to pave the way for those who followed.

The search for equity, as well as women's progress in the workplace, were key concerns in the careers of Deurloo and her partner, journalist Muriel Paquin, who passed away a few years before her. Both felt that postsecondary education was the way to a satisfying, rich career.

The Murida Scholarship, which Deurloo created through a generous bequest, will give form to this commitment by encouraging women's studies at the University of Ottawa.

"Ida was sensitive to discrimination, to the difficulties and obstacles that women face during their studies and career. She had a very strong social conscience when it came to that," says Cécile Coderre, a professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Ottawa, who knew Deurloo in the 1980s when they both served on the Committee for Educational and Employment Equity.

Deurloo never lost this concern for social justice, whether in the professional circles she travelled or with her clients as a financial planner. She even had a practice of meeting husbands and wives separately to ensure that they were equals, financially speaking.

Strong-minded and true to her beliefs, Deurloo was known for her straight talk, but also for her warmth and her keen interest in people, whether in her personal or professional life.

Doug Guy, a former colleague of Deurloo who helps manage her estate, concurs: "Ida felt that to do a true job helping people, she really had to get to know them. I did not come across one of her clients that was not a friend of hers. It was very unique. You don't see that very often in our business."

 

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