“A female engineer”: When I was enrolled in 2004, 21% of engineering students were women. “A female MBA”: In my 2007 graduating class, 17% of students were women. “A female bank executive”: When I was in this role in 2019, 38% of banking senior management were women. “A female CEO”: Today, only 26% of Canadian CEOs are women.
Being a transformational leader, purpose-driven leader, award-winning global innovator, and customer experience influencer, Sarah marked her two-year anniversary as the CEO of the company, saying that she was filled with enormous pride and gratitude for everyone who made the company Canada’s Authority on Play—from warehouse team to Play Experts coast-to-coast to head office team in Play HQ.
Turning the page in the New Year and milestones she has accomplished, Sarah shared her thoughts on leading the company in her third year as the Chief Executive Officer.
#1: It’s an absolute privilege to be a leader—especially of a purpose-driven, specialty retailer and beloved Canadian brand. I’m ready for another year with the best team in retail and I can’t wait to deliver new wonders of all sizes to kids and kids-at-heart. We have some big innovations in store.
#2: Transformation is energizing, rewarding, and hard. As Canadians have reinvented the ways they work, live, learn, and play, retailers have also reinvented themselves. Mastermind Toys has become a truly omnichannel retailer, all through a pandemic, because of our purpose, passion, and especially our people.
#3: Leadership is also being transformed. There’s no playbook to navigate the twists and turns of these remarkable times, and leaders have had to be courageous and compassionate, empathetic and strong.
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While we’ve recognized the value in new, authentic leadership styles, I can’t help but observe that I’m still labeled as a female CEO—a qualifier that’s been used throughout my career.
“A female engineer”: When I was enrolled in 2004, 21% of engineering students were women.
“A female MBA”: In my 2007 graduating class, 17% of students were women.
“A female bank executive”: When I was in this role in 2019, 38% of banking senior management were women.
“A female CEO”: Today, only 26% of Canadian CEOs are women.
The language we use to talk about women in the workforce is important and the need to label our successes undermines our potential.
So, my ask for year three and beyond is this: let’s drop the label. I am a CEO.
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