relationships – that will always be important. In terms of compe-tencies
that are evolving or changing, I think that change agility,
driving results and business acumen in a changing global world
will be even more important.
What tips do you have for new grads or those in entry-level
HR jobs who want to move up the ladder?
MR: First, focus on mastering your day job versus the job that lies
ahead. If you’re amazing at your day job, the next opportunity will
come! Second, never stop building your network and your village.
Mentors come in all shapes and sizes. Find people you trust and
invest in them; they’ll invest back. Third, be curious. I think the
brightest people I know are the most curious. They’re constantly
learning and adapting. Finally, ask for what you want. Don’t wait
for it to come to you. Step outside your comfort zone to take risks
and grow your career.
The HR field has been evolving. What
changes excite you the most?
MR: There are a few. I think the idea of remote teams and dif-ferent
ways of working excites me the most. How do you create
culture and connectivity when you have teams working across
multiple time zones and different parts of the world? Technology
is another area – it’s moving so fast and is changing the way compa-nies
interact with their employees and their customers. Corporate
social responsibility is another one that stands out because I think
HR can absolutely shape it in any organization. Engagement will
become more critical as companies compete for talent and the
companies that empower and engage their employees will set
themselves apart as the best places to work.
What’s the future of HR?
MR: Technology and how companies leverage it will drive the
future. Talent management systems give companies the infor-mation
they need for their internal employee database. Most
importantly, they simplify the experience with user-friendly tools
while diminishing the old school paper process. That’s a big piece
because understanding the workforce is going to be critical for the
future of HR. Companies can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach
when you have so many different generations in the workforce.
Culture, social impact and engagement are all intertwined. Culture
is about being part of a place where you want to go to work and
participate; social is about giving back; and engagement is about
finding purpose with the work you do and being able to contribute
through thought leadership versus title. n
First job: At age 13 or 14, I
worked as a cashier at my
uncle’s gourmet food store in
downtown Toronto. I wanted to
make my own money so I would
have the independence to spend
it as I wanted.
Childhood ambition: It was
actually to be a talk show host. I
dreamed of interviewing guests
on my show. When I think
about that, I think the desire to
interview people has served me
well in my HR career!
Best boss and why: I have three.
The first one is Janette Lutz; she
was an executive with Estée
Lauder. She saw potential in me
and she gave me the opportunity
to move to the U.S. for larger
roles in San Francisco and
New York. She taught me the
importance of being humble and
transparent. Second is Philippe
Pinatel, currently global general
manager at MAC Cosmetics.
He is a visionary; he painted a
picture for his team of what the
future could look like, and then
he rallied the team to contribute
to that vision. Third is Mary
Herald in San Francisco. Early in
her career she was in charge of
store operations and then moved
into the HR world, so she built the
function around what she had
wanted from HR when wearing
a business leader hat. She is
a leader who balances head
Current source of inspiration:
I have a few. First, family is my
inspiration. They are why I am
grateful every day when I wake
up. Second, my peers and team
members that I have worked
with in what I call my “village” or
my community – I have worked
with some incredible people
throughout my career. In terms
of formal career inspiration,
Fast Company magazine is one I
love. Women’s Wear Daily keeps
me connected with fashion and
beauty and Harvard Business
Review has case studies and
practical examples. And HR
Professional and HRPA are my
go-to resources for a Canadian
human resources legislation and
legal landscape perspective.
Best piece of advice ever
received: How you show up
when nobody is watching is what
matters. It’s most closely tied
to integrity, values and ethics.
And, if you never take a risk, you
take the biggest risk of all. This
advice came early in my career,
when I was considering moving
to the U.S.
Favourite music: My favourite
genre is old school hip hop
Last book read: I have two
books on the go right now: The
Happiness Advantage by Shawn
Achor, which is a practical book
about positive psychology. The
other one is The Talent Code by
Daniel Coyle; this one is about
maximizing your talent and that
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