Dr. Mary Law shakes hands with Gov. Gen. Julie Payette

Women Of Distinction Alumna Receives Order of Canada

“To be honoured in this way for the work I have loved is truly wonderful.”

In December, YWCA Cambridge Women of Distinction alumna (1996) Dr. Mary Law received the Order of Canada for her work in occupational therapy, particularly with children with disabilities and their families. To say we at YWCA Cambridge are proud of her is an understatement.

When asked how she felt about receiving the Order of Canada, Law said she was “thrilled.”

 “I have so enjoyed every part of all the work I’ve done, to make a difference for children with disabilities and their families. To be honoured in this way for work I have loved is truly wonderful.” 

Law’s work has been transformative in her field. A professor emerita and former associate dean, health science (rehabilitation) at McMaster University in Hamilton, she is also co-founder of CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, a research and educational centre that provides evidence-based information to improve the lives of children and youth with disabilities and their families.

And this is only a smattering of the many ways Law has contributed to the community and to the lives of kids with disabilities globally through her research and advocacy.

YWCA Cambridge is proud of Law’s work, and ecstatic that her contributions are being recognized in this significant way.

Celebrating women and girls is something we do every day. We believe it is crucial that we continually do it, and that we encourage everyone to do it.

Simply put, we wholeheartedly subscribe to the idea that women and girls need to build each other up. We should all celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of our sisters.


First of all, it feels darn good to be recognized.

For whatever reason (we’ll wager a guess at patriarchy), women and girls are socialized to play down their accomplishments and remain humble. Being proud of yourself is perceived as being justified for men, but often seen as almost offensive for women. When we celebrate each other, we help to disrupt that imbalance – and it’s important to do so. That imbalance often costs women promotions and raises in the workplace, for one thing, but it’s also plain unfair, and a part of the broader issue of gender inequality across all facets of society.

YWCA Cambridge has been hosting the annual Women of Distinction event since 1994, and it is one small way that we work to raise the voices of women community leaders. We celebrate women who, like Mary Law and our hundreds of alumni, are paving the way for women of tomorrow and helping shape our community. They are nominated by members of the community, colleagues and peers for their leadership, for their courage to take risks, their work enriching and improving the quality of life for others, for promoting and supporting the expansion of opportunities and choices for women and girls in their community, their contributions to art and culture, business and entrepreneurship, science and technology and for overcoming significant struggles, among many other great things.

The next Women of Distinction event is March 27. Why don’t you join us in celebrating the work of some amazing women in our community?

In the meantime, you can stay tuned to our weekly blog posts spotlighting some of our unreal WOD alumni.

Let’s keep building each other up, and celebrating our successes, big and small. Every time we do that, all of society becomes a little better for it. So, once again, enormous congratulations to Dr. Mary Law. We are sure you have and will continue to inspire many people to continue your work.

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