Lise Watier talks about the #MeToo movement and her career as an entrepreneur

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Lise Watier looks back on the #MeToo movement and her career as an entrepreneur

In an interview with Patrice Roy, the entrepreneur recounts an assault for the first time that she suffered at the start of her career.

Lise Watier is one of the first women Quebec business.

In the 1960s, a young actor whom Lise Watier met in the context of work and with whom she became friends invited her to the rehearsal of a play. She says that when she went there, the host and model understood that it was a subterfuge. She was alone with the actor, who undressed in front of her.

Although she testified today to the event in an interview with Patrice Roy, Lise Watier underlines that at the time, she would never have even considered telling anyone.

He didn't touch me, but I never would have had the idea of ​​[reporting] it or complaining to someone, she says.

She believes the #MeToo movement, which she calls a breath of fresh air, is beneficial for putting behaviors that should never have been tolerated into perspective.

” For me, this movement has awakened all those who have, near or far, experienced something. »

—Lise Watier

In her eyes, such a takeover by women would not have been possible at the time. I think today there is a feminine force, she argues. I think women are realizing the ability they have, whereas before they didn't realize it.

Everyone thinks they know Lise Watier. For more than sixty years, it has been part of the public landscape. She is one of the first businesswomen in Quebec. She has paved the way and she is very proud to see that her products are still on the shelves of pharmacies. How does she see the path traveled for women in business?

In 1972, Lise Watier launched her own line of cosmetics. Although she met with numerous refusals from the banks, which were particularly reluctant at first, the company that bears her name would eventually reach a turnover of 27 million dollars.

As soon as they didn't believe in my project, it stimulated me to prove them wrong, she says.

  • 1960: Lise Watier began his career on television. She is a host, columnist and model.
  • 1968: She founded the Institut Charme et Beauté Lise Watier in Montreal, where she offered makeup and self-esteem classes to women.
  • 1972: She set up her own cosmetics brand, called Lise Watier.
  • 2007: The investment firm Imperial Capital Corporation, located in Toronto, becomes the majority shareholder of Lise Watier.
  • 2010: The entrepreneur launches the Lise Watier Foundation, which supports women in search of financial autonomy.

She believes part of her success is down to the confidence she gained from women while hosting on television. Her sincerity and rigor have enabled her to become a true reference for her listeners.

A business pioneer, Lise Watier was one of the first women in Quebec to achieve success thanks to to her own business.

“It's a door that I opened to all women in Quebec. […] I am proud of that. If I could do it, others can do it too. »

—Lise Watier

In 1983, she received the Businessman of the Month award, since such a category was non-existent on the female side. Afterwards, I managed to change the title to personality of the month, she mentions with a smile.

When asked if the situation of women in business has improved since then, she maintains that doubt persists among many of them. According to her, women have less confidence in their own abilities and are therefore less tempted to apply for jobs or promotions.

She also finds it increasingly difficult to aging for a woman than for a man, even in 2023.

Helping other women has always been at the heart of Lise Watier's ambitions.

As early as 1968, while teaching at her Charm and Beauty Institute, she encouraged women to speak out and carve out a place for themselves. Her mission was not only to help them show off, but also to allow them to have self-confidence.

In 2010, she created a foundation to encourage the entrepreneurship among women and help them achieve financial independence. It is an achievement that makes her particularly proud.

It is very rewarding to see that there are 600 women who have become financially independent [with the foundation] , she underlines, her eyes shining. When you think you can change someone's life, it's very rewarding.

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