Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morand perhaps have more in common than the average set of siblings. Beyond being twin sisters, the pair are both Olympic Gold Medalist hockey players — as well as fierce advocates for gender equality.
"We’re really passionate about trying to make a positive impact on women, on young boys and girls in the younger generation," Lamoureux-Davidson said in a recent chat with Fairygodboss.
That dedication to making an impact has taken center stage not just in the rink, but, famously, behind the scenes of USA Hockey as well. In March of last year, the twins and their teammates staged a boycott against the International Ice Hockey Federation world championship, seeking equal treatment with the U.S. men’s hockey team. After months of negotiating, the efforts of the team — who then ranked as No. 1 in the world, yet barely received a living wage — had come to a standstill.
"We had gone through a year and a half of conversations (with USA Hockey) and really hadn’t made substantial progress," Lamoureux-Morand recalled. "We knew we were going to have to make a bold statement in order to be heard."
After announcing the boycott, progress was expedited.
"Within a two-week span, we were able to accomplish substantially more than what we were able to accomplish in the previous year and a half. We were able to be heard," she said.
Two days before the 2017 World Championships, USA Hockey and the women's hockey team came to a historic four-year agreement, which included financial support for the players as well as the implementation of a women's advisory council in order to further grow the sport for girls and women. (As an added bonus, the Lamoureux twins — who are now six-time world champions — went on to doubly prove the investment was worthwhile; at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, they helped Team USA take home the gold for the first time in 20 years.)
Today, the sisters are continuing with their activist efforts as the new ambassadors and spokespeople for Comcast’s Corporate Values Initiative — a program focused on volunteerism and service, improved internet access and digital literacy training for low-income Americans, education and mentorship for young people, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, according to Comcast.
"Comcast's Corporate Values Initiative really aligns with what we want to accomplish outside of hockey, and that’s being a positive change in many different scenarios but especially in gender equity, equal opportunity, and inclusion,” Lamoureux-Davidson said.
Comcast’s Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer David Cohen said the company is “very proud” of the initiative.
“We’re thrilled that two impressive, accomplished young women like Jocelyn and Monique are willing to lend their voice and give us an opportunity to expand the knowledge and the reach of these programs,” Cohen said. "You’ve got these two young women who won a gold medal — their lifelong dream — and their first thought is not about the gold medal but goes back to the year before, when they were willing to put their Olympic careers and their amateur hockey careers on the line to try and pursue a gender equity agenda."
For Lamoureux-Morand, the battles for equality she and Lamoureux-Davidson are fighting translate, and have always translated, outside of women’s professional sports to “all walks of life.”
"I think it’s not just a women’s sports problem; it’s a problem in the country,” she said. “And it’s not just a female conversation. It’s a conversation for everybody, because everybody’s involved in the problem. So I think if we can start doing that — getting everybody at the table talking about it and really pushing to make a change — that’s when change will start happening."
And knowing that you deserve that change, Lamoureux-Davidson added, is paramount to achieving it.
"I think the biggest thing is to know that you’re worth it,” she said. “You deserve equity, but you have to be willing to be uncomfortable and have that conversation."