March 8, 2022 is International Women’s Day (IWD); this day is intended to celebrate the achievements of women and to encourage the acceleration of women’s equality. The IWD’s mission for women and work is: “To forge inclusive work cultures where women's careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated.” At LendCare, we prioritize our workplace culture, including supporting women in the workplace. To honour International Women’s Day, we sat down with some of our very own women leaders for a quick interview regarding women in leadership. The six, dynamic women who participated are from different departments:
What advice do you have for aspiring female business leaders?
“Find a mentor, someone that can help you on your path to leadership” - Dawn Sankar, Processing Supervisor
"Always challenge yourself, learn from your mistakes and be proud of your work." - Heather Webb, Paralegal Supervisor
“Never doubt yourself! Always put your time and effort into knowing your field. Having this knowledge will always make you feel confident in your role and will make you a leader that your colleagues, employees and customers trust.” - Jennifer Walton, Automotive Finance Supervisor
“My advice would be to work hard, stay humble and be kind. It’s important to make a connection with every person on your team and know what their personal goals are, so you can assist them in reaching them.” - Joan Muscatello, Collections Manager
“Find a mentor. It is important no matter what stage you are in - we can all use mentors. [Find] someone who can serve as a sounding board for your ideas, someone that can give you helpful advice and [that] will help you grow.” - Sarah Wilson, Collections Senior Supervisor
“Be confident, passionate and love what you do. Have set goals and a strong support network surrounding you to help you grow and achieve each milestone along the way. Overcome each obstacle with integrity to push you harder and drive you further. Don’t be afraid of going after what you want and never sell yourself short.” - Tanya Flocari, Responsable des Opérations QC
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #BreakTheBias. Why is it important for companies to have gender balance among their leadership teams?
“Companies that support gender balance, typically, make better business decisions, which ultimately is a much better look for the company with lower turnovers.” - Dawn Sankar, Processing Supervisor
“Having employees from various backgrounds and situations offers a company multiple perspectives to influence their business practices and it creates a dynamic workforce that can only aid in the company’s success.” - Heather Webb, Paralegal Supervisor
“Gender balance is so important because it allows for different perspectives on the team. When you have leaders that are different genders and come from different backgrounds, it is more likely that they will communicate more effectively with their colleagues, as well as with external customers/partners.“ - Jennifer Walton, Automotive Finance Supervisor
“It’s beneficial to the company to have as many different perspectives as possible when building a leadership team. Having a female’s perspective will provide the company with new, fresh ideas and new strategies.” - Joan Muscatello, Collections Manager
“I think there are many reasons [as to] why it is important for companies to have gender balance. You have a wider talent pool, different perspectives and an enhanced collaboration. Also having an inclusive workplace is a powerful recruiting tool.” - Sarah Wilson, Collections Senior Supervisor
“Many studies have shown that decisions made with gender balanced teams are far better for business operations. This has an impact on performance, sales, strengthening business relationships and driving the company further.” - Tanya Flocari, Responsable des Opérations QC
What do you think are the most important qualities a leader should possess?
“[Leaders should ensure] your team members are developing, with guidance from management. Listen to your team members, rather than thinking you’re always right. Delegate don’t dictate. [And finally,] always have your team’s back.” - Dawn Sankar, Processing Supervisor
“I believe it’s important for a leader to be confident and resolute, but also to remain compassionate and understanding.” - Heather Webb, Paralegal Supervisor
“I think some of the most important qualities a leader should possess are: accountability, a willingness to listen, being able to communicate effectively, and having respect for others.” - Jennifer Walton, Automotive Finance Supervisor
“The most important qualities a leader should have are integrity, empathy, open mindedness, and patience. A leader must always remember that they’re dealing with people and everyone is different. You must learn what approach will work with each member of your team in order to be successful and keep your team motivated.” - Joan Muscatello, Collections Manager
“The most important qualities are respect, understanding and having an open mind. You will constantly learn and grow and there is no end to that.” - Sarah Wilson, Collections Senior Supervisor
“To be understanding, show empathy and be supportive of your team and the company’s mission as a whole.” - Tanya Flocari, Responsable des Opérations QC
A huge thank you to the women who took time from their busy workdays to participate in this interview! We hope you find their words of wisdom insightful.