Skip to main content

Halifax artist paints women pioneers, innovators for STEM companies


Halifax-based artist and technology journalist, Jo Napier, is amplifying the stories of women who've made their mark in history through The Great Women Portrait Project.

"When my daughter entered my life, I felt a real responsibility to show her the female half of history,” said Napier.

It was the catalyst behind Napier’s first commission titled the Nova Scotia Nine featuring the likes of Viola Desmond, Rita Joe and Muriel Duckworth.

The paintings are now displayed in the 14th floor boardroom of RBC Dominion Securities in downtown Halifax.

"It took a little while to dawn on me that the female half of history is hidden,” said Napier. “It's just because men were the record keepers of history and it's that’s just the way it was."

Research shows that raising the visibility of female role models in male-dominated careers can help women and girls succeed. 

Napier, who is also a technology journalist, wants to bring the stories of female pioneers - both past and present - into more businesses and corporations, especially in fields long dominated by men.

“The project was created so that a female leader or a diversity leader can pick a woman she wants to honor, or if it's a boardroom collection, a group of women in the categories of science, technology, innovation and so forth."

Every portrait becomes part of a digital database, an educational tool to help raise the visibility of female role models for future generations.

“By looking at these portraits, a leader can turn their walls into windows by showing this generation and the next generation female innovators and pioneers,” said Napier.

Shedding light on stories that deserved to be in the spotlight all along. Top Stories

Stay Connected