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Personal Empowerment Breeds Success

Posted By Pina Starnino, Tuesday, July 28, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personal empowerment begins with knowing yourself – understanding your motivations and values, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and identifying your goals. It is also not a solo journey – it involves being honest with yourself and others, surrounding yourself with good people, and empowering each other to succeed.

Pina Starnino with a FedEx team member at the 48-HOUR RIDE in support of Make-A-Wish Québec (September, 2019)Critical examination is a natural and necessary process that all aspiring professionals undertake every day. However, second-guessing, doubt, and fear of failure — even fear of success -- are common obstacles we place in our own paths. As women, we must realize a few truths about ourselves before we give in to any thinking that will hold us back from taking the next step in our careers.

It’s important to recognize that in any situation, we are rarely starting from scratch. Our leadership skills are transferable, our experiences matter, and our accomplishments count. We are where we are today because of our ability to grow, adapt, and succeed. Even with new opportunities that may be outside our comfort zones, our ability to learn and relate will kick in.

Believe me — I understand how hard this can be. I began my career at FedEx in the customer service department, before being appointed vice president of our newly created Customer Experience Division. When I was asked to take over as the vice president of Canadian operations, I was both nervous and excited. My background was in customer experience and education, so this was going to be a completely new challenge.

Once I had an honest level-set with myself, I knew I had the ability to lead our operations team the way I truly envisioned. Once I trusted myself, I flourished. More importantly, so too did our operations. We have led an era of significant growth and acclaim for our brand in this country.

Recently, I had the privilege of being named one of WXN’s Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100. To be listed among these distinguished influencers, which includes my good friend and mentor Lisa Lisson, president of FedEx Express Canada, was very humbling, and will always be a personal highlight of my career. 

It is a testament to the fact that personal empowerment breeds success. My personal empowerment grows every time I trust myself, but even more importantly through empowering others to believe in their full potential and their personal power. My confidence soars when I rely on my skills and experiences in empowering others and watching them shine and succeed. Success happens when we all take that next step. 

I was ready and so are you.

Pina Starnino is the Vice President of Operations for FedEx Express Canada. She is a 2019 HSBC Corporate Executives Top 100 Award Winner. She has been recognized for her outstanding achievement as woman in a senior position in a Canadian organization.

2020 Top 100 Nominations are closing on August 3, 2020. Click here to learn more about Top 100 and nominate a powerful female or even yourself!


About Pina:

Pina Starnino – Vice President of Operations, FedEx Express Canada

  

2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
HSBC Corporate Executives

Pina Starnino is vice president of operations for FedEx Express Canada and leads a team of over 5,000 employees at more than 60 locations across Canada. Responsible for all operational matters affecting FedEx Express Canada, including Chairing the cross-functional Safety Governance Board, Starnino was appointed to her current role in July, 2006. Starnino is the first woman to hold the post of vice president of operations in the company’s history.  Under Starnino’s leadership, FedEx Express Canada has implemented a transformational operations excellence strategy to drive superior service and customer satisfaction within field operations, dispatch, customer service and air, ground, ramp and freight organizations of her division.   In her spare time, Starnino serves as a director of the board for two charities—Make-A-Wish Québec and Operation Warm. She is also a member of Canadian Board Diversity Council’s Working Committee for Diversity 50 and the Concordia Leadership Network. A devoted mother, Pina is passionate about education, children, and health.

 

 

Pictured above:

Pina Starnino with a FedEx team member at the 48-HOUR RIDE in support of Make-A-Wish Québec (September, 2019).

Pina is a member of the Board of Directors of Make-A-Wish Québec, and a member of the Governance Committee of the National Board of Directors of Make-A-Wish Canada.


Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  CMPW Top 100  female leaders  leadership  mentoring  powerful  powerful women  powerfully empowered  Top 100  Top 100 awards  Top 100 Winner  top 100 winners  Women  Women empowering women  Women in Business  Women in Leadership  Women Leaders  Women Leadership  WXN 

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#BlackLivesMatter

Posted By Women's Executive Network, Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, June 2, 2020

On behalf of the WXN community, it is difficult to process the recent and explicit acts of racism evident in the news over the past week. We feel great sadness, frustration, and anger at the violent and harmful acts directed towards the black community, and acknowledge that such acts do not come in isolation.

The long history and continued occurrences of violence and oppression towards people of colour, Indigenous communities, women, and minority groups are pervasive all over the world. Perhaps now more than ever, it is important for us to acknowledge that black lives matter, and speak out against racism whether it be explicit or implicitly rooted within our social systems.

At WXN, we value and advocate for Diversity and Inclusion, and are particularly grateful for the anti-racist work that we celebrate within our community. However, this is also an opportunity for us to engage in a much larger conversation about building an equitable foundation that recognizes the real challenges and hardships that occur on an intersectional level, and how we can better support the community at large. Now is the time to listen, learn, and act.

We must be committed to understanding our differences on every level, and we must be committed to making change.

To our black community in particular, we send our deepest and most profound regrets.

Tags:  black lives matter 

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Powerfully empowered is being dedicated to empowering and growing the people around you

Posted By Tevi Legge, Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, May 19, 2020

It was funny because when I first received the email letting me know I was selected as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women: Top 100 in the Mercedes-Benz Emerging Leaders category I was delightfully confused. I had two schools of thought: is this spam, do I need to unsubscribe? Or is this a mistake? But soon after, the colleague who nominated me called me as she had received an email letting her know I had won and we had a good laugh. She confirmed it was no mistake at all and that I was the recipient of this incredible award. After I had some time to absorb it all I felt so honoured and completely humbled by all of it. It has taken some time for it to really sink in and it still is!

Being a part of the Mercedes-Benz ‘She’s Mercedes’ experience was a second to none experience. Most notable for me was off-roading as well as being a passenger in a real race car travelling up to speeds of 200km/h – what a rush!! Getting to know this group of trailblazing women through the Mercedes-Benz Experience was life changing and we will stay connected and support each other for life.

For me, being powerfully empowered is about being dedicated to empowering and growing the people around you. Being Powerfully Empowered is completely selfless, it’s about being courageous, being bold yet optimistic, and exercising our muscles of vulnerability, empathy, and resilience.

We have to be able to try, to fail and dust ourselves off quickly and try again. The most incredible leaders I’ve had the pleasure of learning from know how to remove their ego from any situation and bring it down to the roots of the problems we are trying to solve. It is very important for me to empower myself and those around me to do the same. The other key piece for me is really applying a growth mindset to everything I do and always knowing that I can learn from every person I meet and every experience I take part in, in all aspects of my life. I learn so much from my teams, my children, my husband, and even my favorite barista in my everyday life and it’s really important to me not to lose sight of that.

I always bite off more than I can chew, and I do it with intention and on purpose. I personally learn the best when I am immersed in unfamiliar or overwhelming situations and need to work to navigate through ambiguity that is in front of me. I use a ‘think yes first’ mindset, and truly believe that everything is solvable if we collectively work together. I love to challenge myself by surrounding myself with diverse thinking and people who come from completely different life experiences than myself so I can leverage empathy to learn and hopefully make the world a better place. I am a very data-driven person, so when looking to solve problems I always love to learn from the evidence, the cold hard truth about what we are solving for and I don’t shy away from being honest. I feel fortunate being surrounded by brilliant humans every day whom I learn so much from. Other things I do to challenge myself include meditation, physical activity, and not shying away from things that make me uncomfortable.

Tevi currently works as the Vice President and Head of Customer Experience for Everday Financial Services at ATB Financial. She is a 2019 Mercedes-Benz Emerging Leaders Top 100 Award Winner. She has been recognized as a woman between the ages of 30 to 40 years, who has had a career of successive leadership positions within her organization and has proven a passion for learning and innovation.

2020 Top 100 Nominations are now open. Click here to learn more about Top 100 and nominate a powerful female or even yourself! Nominations close June 8, 2020.


About Tevi:

Tevi Legge – Vice President and Head of Customer Experience for Everyday Financial Services, ATB Financial

 Tevi Legge

2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
Mercedes-Benz Emerging Leaders

As one of Lethbridge’s Top 40 under 40 and one of Alberta’s 60 She-Innovators, Tevi Legge is a pillar in the province of Alberta. Through her vulnerable and transparent leadership style, Tevi is a courageous leader at ATB Financial and an ATB President’s league winner, which represents the top one per cent of achievers in the company. Tevi is an advocate for gender equality, a mom of three boys and wife, with a double degree from the University of Lethbridge.

Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  CMPW Top 100  Emerging Leaders  female leaders  inspiration  leaders  leadership  powerful  powerful women  powerfully empowered  Top 100  Top 100 Awards  Top 100 Winner  Top 100 Winners  WXN 

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Growing as a leader by building your own org chart

Posted By Jenn Lofgren, Thursday, April 2, 2020
Updated: Thursday, May 28, 2020

One of the biggest honours I have received is being named to the WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100. I attended the gala in Toronto last November where I met distinguished women of all backgrounds from across the country, from my fellow award winners to the 10 Hall of Fame Inductees. The opportunity to surround myself and connect with amazing women was one I couldn’t miss.

Having worked with executives over the years as a leadership coach, I’ve found that one of the best ways to set yourself on the path to leadership success is by surrounding yourself with a diverse group of mentors. I like to refer to this as developing a personal organizational chart.

What is a personal org chart?

Businesses have org charts to define roles and organize employees by skill sets, making sure their bench is full of the right people to work towards a common goal. Think of yourself as the CEO of “Me Inc.” Who are the people and what are the departments that you need to meet your goals? And I don’t mean just at work. Beyond a boss and direct reports, who is part of the informal team that helps you get things done?

Your personal org chart should include:

  • Peers
  • Personal advisors
  • Mentors (lots of different kinds) and mentees
  • Your boss, team, and others across your organization or outside of it

The various “departments” of your org chart should be able to provide you with:

  • Emotional support
  • Personal development
  • Professional development
  • Mentorship or coaching
  • Feedback and thoughtful discussion (a sounding board)

The importance of mentors in your org chart

If you’re looking to grow the mentorship arm of your personal org chart, you’ve come to the right place. Before receiving the Top 100 honour last year, I’ve been involved with WXN in different capacities, mostly from my hometown of Calgary. Now, I am also proud to share that my company, Incito, has also become a national supporting partner of the Wisdom Mentoring™ program.

You can have more than one type of mentor in your personal org chart:

  • Internal mentors – this could be a person within your organization who performs the same function as you do. You can also seek someone who performs a different function, to offer different perspectives.
  • External mentors – look for those who are in the same industry as you, as well as someone who is in a different industry.

How to find a mentor (or become one yourself)

Mentor diversity is critical in your growth as a leader. I also recommend seeking mentors who are going through the same things you are going through, whether professionally, like experience dealing with a merger, for example, or personally, such as having young children while working. Being able to relate to someone with similar experiences is beneficial because you can work through challenges together, and share in the experience. It’s also nice to seek mentors who have dealt with similar challenges in the past, but are well past them, so that you can learn from how they got through the situation and know what it might be like on the other side. You do not always have to formally ask someone to be your mentor. Sometimes the dynamic occurs naturally; an informal mentor/mentee relationship can relieve some pressure around the expectations from the partnership. If you’re struggling to get started, I’ve written more about how finding a mentor doesn’t have to be awkward.

If someone approaches you to be their mentor and you don’t feel comfortable or qualified, try your best to fight these feelings of Imposter Syndrome. Becoming a mentor yourself not only enables you to share your own knowledge and wisdom with others, it also opens up your worldview as you connect with your mentees. For example, after being named to the WXN Top 100, a mentor/mentee matching organization called Elevate Aviation approached me to mentor an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. Even though I am technically her mentor, I’ve found that I have received so much more in return – I have already learned so much from her sharing her experiences.

If you are looking to become a mentor, you should reach out to potential mentees whose work you find exciting. You can find them by volunteering, networking, or even following someone’s work that you want to be part of. Go to events big and small. Reach out to your network and tell them about your interests. They might know someone looking to connect, whether or not they have expressed interest in formal mentorship. Put your name forward for any awards, programs, or networks, even at universities.

WXN is a great way to get started on building your org chart’s mentorship arm, whether you are looking for a mentor or a mentee. WXN’s mentorship programs often pair women from different geographical locations and diverse backgrounds. You can learn from others who are doing great things, and pick up skills or insights that you can bring to your own community.

I am grateful to be a Top 100 Winner because it has also helped me connect with my fellow winners: many women with whom I am able to build relationships over time. Forevermore, we have something in common, and we’ve been able to reach out to each other because of it. I’ve stayed in touch with Sandra Sutter, Victoria LaBillois, and Jessica Lui, to name a few. If you have something like this in common with someone you want to connect with, don’t be shy and reach out. The fact that I am able to say “Hey, I’m also a WXN winner. Let’s have coffee,” is just as good as any warm intro.

Learn more about WXN’s Wisdom Mentoring™ program and how you can benefit from a mentor who has faced challenges like yours, how they got to where they are now.

Jenn Lofgren, Founder, Executive Leadership Coach & Consultant for Incito Executive & Leadership Development is a 2019 BMO Entrepreneurs Top 100 Award Winner. She has been recognized a woman who owns and operates a thriving business in Canada.

2020 Top 100 Nominations are now open. Click here to learn more about Top 100 and nominate a powerful female or even yourself!


About Jenn:

Jenn LofgrenJenn Lofgren – Founder, Executive Leadership Coach & Consultant, Incito Executive & Leadership Development

2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner

BMO Entrepreneurs

Jenn Lofgren helps executives across Canada and worldwide unlock their leadership potential and grow into inspired, authentic leaders. She is one of only 60 recipients of the esteemed Master Certified Coach (MCC) designation in Canada and five per cent of coaches worldwide. Jenn is a champion of local enterprise, an ally to women in business, an actively involved citizen and a passionate member of the global business community.

Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  CMPW Top 100  female leaders  leaders  leadership  mentoring  powerful  powerful women  powerfully empowered  powerfullyempowered  Top 100  Top 100 awards  top 100 winner  women entrepreneurs  women in business  WXN 

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Inspired, Humbled and Making a Positive Impact

Posted By Irini Mikhael, Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Updated: Thursday, May 28, 2020

When you follow your dream, you don’t think about the fact that it might earn you a level of recognition beyond anything you could have imagined. In March of 2019, I was surprised to learn that I had been nominated for Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100™ by two individuals. While I was honoured to have received the nominations, I never thought I would actually win.

The gala – what a memorable occasion

November 21st was a special day. I was excited to attend the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100™ gala event and, together with my immediate family, decided to bring all the treasured women in my life who have made an impact on me. This included my two aunts, and my mother. Among my four children, three are girls, which made my experience even more profound.

When they announced my name as one of the winners, I was shocked. Speechless. Humbled. And very emotional. I felt truly blessed to have my family and incredible female support network there with me, and it was extremely rewarding to know that others had recognized me for my dedication and hard work over the years. In that moment, my mind flashed back to my father’s speech at my wedding when he expressed his confidence in my intelligence and drive, and said he couldn’t wait to see what my husband and I would accomplish in the future. Unfortunately, my father passed away 8 years ago and even though he was there to witness the opening of our first two Lullaboo Childcare centers, I wasn’t able to celebrate with him on the night of the gala. Nevertheless, the gala was stunning and a thrill to be part of from start to finish. For me, the most meaningful aspect of it all was having the opportunity to be in the presence of so many profound and inspiring women in Canada.

Paying it forward

Pre and post gala, the overarching theme of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100™ this year was empowerment and resilience. After attending both the Top 100 Summit and Top 100 Gala, the significance of my award began to sink in. This experience has made me realize I now have an even greater responsibility to my staff members. Given the fact that I have now been recognized as “one of Canada’s most powerful women”, it is up to me to take that acknowledgment and use it to further support and empower my employees. And it just so happens that of our 350 employees at Lullaboo, 98% are women.

In December 2019, I hosted “coffee events” at each Lullaboo location and invited all staff members to join me. Promoting open, candid and honest communication, I posed the question: “If you had a magic wand capable of anything, what would you do at Lullaboo to make an impact on yourself, your coworkers, your students or all three?” I was both amazed and impressed with what people presented. Some ideas were relatively small, others more significant. All had the potential to make an impact. I followed up and addressed each and every idea. In some cases, implementations have already been made. For other concepts, I prompted my employees to expand and explore their thought processes in order to further develop their ideas.

Given the nature of the Lullaboo business, I am in a position to impact very young lives for the betterment of our society, and to work collaboratively with the parents of those young lives. Within our organization, women perform 98% of the roles. As our business expands, we are creating an increasing number of jobs for Canadian women. I feel compelled more than ever before to guide, support and empower the people on my staff and in our local communities: by helping employees obtain a higher level of education and advance their careers in childcare education; by developing integration and inclusion strategies to assimilate ill and troubled children into our classrooms; by listening to the individual needs of families and tailoring each child’s care accordingly; and by offering delayed, reduced or flexible payment plans to single mothers who struggle financially but who also want to give their children the best possible start in life, to name a few.

Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100™ has both inspired and humbled me as a woman, as a mother and as an entrepreneur. In light of this honour, I have and will continue to put new plans into action so that child by child, parent by parent, employee by employee, I can strive to make a positive impact upon the lives of those around me.

In light of our current situation

Remember over these days, be extra compassionate with your neighbours. Practice patience and tolerance more then ever with your children, your parents, your grandparents. Seek help if you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious about these uncertain times. Use video conference tools as much as possible and share a smile with as many people as you can.

Lullaboo is a family and we will continue to provide the same great service when this is all over. Without you, our centers are just buildings. The children, the energy, the laughter, the singing, and the artwork that provide life in these buildings is sorely missed. We miss you, the children, our extended family.

When things eventually improve, and they will, we look forward to getting back to doing what we’ve been doing for so many years: Providing enrichment to young growing minds and allowing parents to have the peace of mind when they go to work. Until then, let’s keep learning and enjoy the time with our loved ones. We will see you soon!

Irini Mikhael, Chief Operating Officer for Lullaboo Nursery and Childcare Center Inc., is a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in the BMO Entrepreneurs category for 2019. She has been recognized as a woman who owns and operates a thriving business in Canada.

2020 Top 100 Nominations are now open. Click here to learn more about Top 100 and nominate a powerful female or even yourself!


About Irini:

Irini MikhaelIrini Mikhael is Chief Operating Officer for Lullaboo Nursery and Childcare Center Inc.

2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
BMO Entrepreneurs

After having her first daughter and being unsatisfied with the service and quality offered in childcare, Irini Mikhael, a professional engineer, decided to open her own childcare centre in 2008. Irini went back to school to obtain her Early Childhood Education degree to improve the program’s educational content. Today, Lullaboo has nine locations across Ontario, cares for more than 1,300 children and employs 350 educators.

Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  CMPW Top 100  powerful women  powerfully empowered  powerfullyempowered  Top 100  Top 100 Awards  top 100 winners  WXN  WXN Top 100 

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