Home Featured Women of Influence Strong, Successful and Powerful Women:

Strong, Successful and Powerful Women:

Leading Across all Industries


Women are powerful, capable, thoughtful leaders with plenty to contribute to every industry. Here are four women in Edmonton that are making a difference in engineering, farming, and medicine.


Nasim Morawej: Co-Founder and Principal Project Engineer, Sentient Tools

Sentient Tools is an engineering-focused product development firm functioning as an outsourced multi-disciplinary R&D team that uses technology to solve problems, find efficiencies and improve operations.

I was working with my business partners at a Fortune 500 company for 10 years, but in the 2017 downturn, the company decided to move the R&D team to the US, and we decided not to move to Houston. We took this as an opportunity and started Sentient Tools. We strive to provide high quality Canadian products and without the excessive bureaucracy of a large organization; we are able to deliver projects very quickly and efficiently.

I thought I wanted to be an architect in high school. The creativity aspect of the field was very appealing, but I was not certain and decided to enter university through the general science program. During the first year, I made friends in the engineering program and they convinced me to sneak into some engineering classes with them. Everything they were learning and the way the science was being applied to create useful devices captured my interest.

I applied to the department of electronics engineering and took both first- and second-year engineering courses concurrently so as not to lose a year and be able to continue with the engineering courses and graduate on schedule. I was up for the challenge.

Being a woman in business did not introduce any new barriers that I wasn’t already familiar with. I have experienced the challenges of being a woman in the male dominated fields of engineering, oil and gas, leadership groups, and as a mother of a young family in a competitive field of younger peers. Having your opinions heard, being taken seriously, and given trust is essentially status quo for men, but is something that women have to work hard for. I have faced many challenges but have also been lucky with having many strong women and supportive men along the way who have inspired and believed in me. The only real barrier is your own doubt and fear. Overcome those, and anything is possible.


Lynn Dargis, CEO and Founder, Farmbucks

Farmbucks is a website/app that centralizes grain prices so farmers can instantly spot their best pricing opportunities and connect with buyers to make sales.

Selling grain is quite complex with lots of moving parts and volatility, especially because many commodities are traded like the CDN dollar and oil. Being a farmer myself, Farmbucks was derived out of my own necessity and increasing frustration with the current methods to market crops. The sheer volume and volatility of the grain marketplace made it difficult for farmers to follow, spot opportunities and make timely and confident decisions. On the other side, grain buyers are struggling to communicate effectively, maintain a marketplace presence, and stand out amongst all the noise and competition. Farmbucks connects the two sides; we facilitate the communication and negotiation that lead to purchases and sales.

I was born and raised on a family farm. Gender was not a limiting factor as to what jobs we would be tasked with. I was very involved in every aspect of the farm at an early age, from running large equipment, caring for cattle, improving soils and managing capital.

I knew in high school that agriculture had captured my heart. It was always so challenging and ever-changing and that’s what made it so appealing. I knew I would pursue a future in agriculture although I wasn’t yet certain how it would all unfold. I went to Olds College and completed my diploma in Ag Production and Management, and afterward received my CCA (Certified Crop Advisor) designation before returning home to farm alongside my parents.

Not long after, the unimaginable happened.  Both my parents passed away suddenly in 2007 when I was just 20 years old. The next while was a blur as we were just entering our busiest season of the year (harvest). I poured everything I had into farm work and keeping it together. Even during these uncertain times, I was certain of one thing, I would take over the farm and I am proud to say, that as that 20-year-old girl, I did.

I’ll be blunt here. I face barriers all the time just for being a woman. It’s frustrating as hell. I would say it’s an even bigger problem in agriculture – our oldest male-dominated industry. I have not always been heard or trusted as easily as the male counterparts, but I also don’t want to discount all the many great professionals I’ve encountered who have supported me regardless of my age and gender.

My experience has been that you are only as smart as the team you build and only as strong as you think you are. Women that aspire to be leaders should participate in entrepreneur groups like FWE (Forum of Women Entrepreneurs). They have a great community of support, connections and resources.


Jillian Palmer, Physiotherapist; and Mallory Becker, Registered Psychologist: Co-Founders of Pine Integrated Health Centre & Pine Cone Health

Pine Integrated Health Centre is a multidisciplinary clinic that specializes in pregnancy, postpartum and parenthood. Pine Cone Health specializes in care for infants, children and teens.


Jillian Palmer

I started out as a general physiotherapist but after having kids of my own, I realized that there is a huge gap in the area of prenatal and postpartum rehab. I’m so glad to have found my professional home treating the pelvis, core and pelvic floor issues.

I found that there were no barriers to entry when it came to building up our business. We had some difficulty with financing, but I’m not sure that had anything to do with being women. I found so much support, a sense of community and a willingness to help from the whole Edmonton business community. I’m so grateful to everyone who was willing to help us get off the ground, and who has supported us through our first year and a half of business.

My advice for women is to spend some time soul searching and considering what you’re truly good at. Growing a business is hard work but when you’re working on something you truly enjoy, and that you’re naturally good at, it feels more like an adventure. That is more than half the battle!


Mallory Becker

I always saw myself in healthcare, but I couldn’t decide which branch.  I landed on psychology after realizing the great combination of science and the individualized art of connecting with people. I started in private practice 10 years ago, which grew into a small psychology practice (LifeWise Counselling). I always had dreams of having a large clinic with many different disciplines to collaborate and learn from to optimize client health. Jill and I met for coffee one day as we were both at a similar place of expansion, and never looked back since then.

We were not successful in obtaining financing from a bank after being led to believe that we were. We were both able to use our savings to start up Pine; however, it made us dig deep to examine our values and confidence in our business.  Fortunately, even through a pandemic, Pine has been more successful than we had ever imagined.

My advice for women is to spend time becoming an expert in what you want to do.  Many people come to us and say they want to open a similar concept somewhere else and want advice however, they don’t realize that we have been on the path for many years to do so. This path included a lot of additional education, mentoring, planning, scaling up and developing our business skills. If it feels right and cognitively appears right, we say go for it at any stage in your life if it fits for you.  We both have young families and being business partners allows us to be able to support each other to take over things for the other person when family life gets hectic.