I’ve been focused on public relations my entire career. After working in-house in PR roles at technology startups and growth companies, I lost my last corporate job in 2001 amid the dot-com crash. As I was pregnant with my second kid, I made the decision to launch my own PR agency. 19 years later, Boulevard PR continues to be recognized as one of Canada’s leading technology-focused PR agencies, working with startups, growth companies, global multi-national organizations, and VC firms.
I’m fiercely supportive of my kids, both of which identify within the LGBTQ+ community, and one of which is Autistic. Since 2005, I’ve been a strong advocate in the autism community.
What would you like to see more of in the workplace?
I would like to see more women in STEM roles. I would also like to see more diversity in leadership roles. And more equity when it comes to salaries.
What characteristics and/or qualities do you admire in the women you work with?
Many of the women I work with are strong, independent women who are willing to go after their dreams and are unapologetic for their success. They aren’t afraid to speak their minds and are determined to achieve their goals. They are also supportive of one another, and always have each other’s backs.
What advice did you wish you were given earlier in your career?
The one piece of advice is to not take anything personally. This was one piece of feedback I received in the last full-time/in-house role I held, and it has served me well throughout my career. The other piece of advice is to not believe anyone when they tell you that you can’t do something — if you believe you can do something, try it. If you don’t try it, you will never know what you are capable of. And if you don’t try, it means you are letting others’ opinions of you hold you back.
How do you think COVID will change the future of work for women?
With the shift for many companies to a work from home model, it has unfortunately made work more challenging for women who have young kids and have had to play the role of full-time caregiver while working. My hope is that this has helped to shine a light on issues that women have always faced in the workplace and the imbalance of roles played by working parents. Too many women get passed over for promotions because they were seen as uncommitted to work when having to stay home with sick kids; or seen as slacking off when leaving the office early to pick up kids.
How do you think we can increase diversity in the workplace?
A starting point is to remove bias from the recruiting process. Too often I hear about people being passed over for opportunities (with resumes completely ignored) because their names were not common or easy to pronounce. Initial screening of resumes should be done based on skill not elements that highlight someone’s gender, religion, first language, etc.
What is one example of a positive, memorable experience you’ve had in your career?
A positive and memorable experience I had is how I would sum up my first role after college, as I believe it helped set the stage for my career and the success I’ve had to date. I worked for a technology entrepreneur who gave me the opportunity to learn about so many aspects of running a business through hands-on experience. We always joked that I owe him MBA fees.
Where can people find you online?