International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first March 8 IWD gathering supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. We at Uniserve are proud to support women’s advancement and are pleased to #PressforProgress.
We are taking this opportunity to highlight a few of the many successful women at our company and their thoughts on progress and the advancement of women.
What is your role at Uniserve Communications and how did you get there?
Director, Human Resources. For this role, I was referred to the company by someone in my network.
I love challenges and have travelled down the path of several careers in different industries with management roles in: administration, film and television production, union leadership, disability management, and operations and human resources. These have all given me a diverse breadth of experience and skills. My most favorite job is the one I have today as it uses this breadth and keeps me challenged.
When was the first time you realized you wanted to pursue a career in human resources?
While working at UBC as chair of a union education committee, I realized how much I enjoyed helping people and empowering them with information, tools and skills for betterment. It gave me joy to see them happy and how much they appreciated someone helping them. I liked being able to pay forward my knowledge to others and effect change.
What is the biggest barrier you faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
The biggest barrier was often those who were my peers that did not recognize my skill set and strengths. They did not understand my long-term vision and potential that I saw.
I overcame this by not taking “no” for an answer and believing in my ideas and what I needed to move forward. If I faced resistance or unacceptance, I would work to understand the reason behind the resistance and find a solution that met my needs. Sometimes it meant changing pathways to a different job.
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress. What is one thing that companies can do to help women progress in their field?
Ask them what they need or how they need help. Some women know what they want while others need some guidance. People can further assist by being a mentor. It is one of the most beneficial roles to assist someone. Having been both a mentee and mentor, I am grateful for both experiences which has helped me progress.
Do you have any advice for young women considering a career in human resources?
Build your network of support and advising, use your voice and play to your strengths. Also, find a mentor(s) that you can learn from, help you navigate the storms and guide you on your path.