Rochelle is the founder of Girls E-Mentorship also known as GEM
What is your morning routine?
I’m pretty busy in the morning because I have two young kids. I’m up around 7:00 am to get my nine month old changed and ready for breakfast. Then I get my two and a half year old ready. We all have breakfast together before things get too busy. Once my eldest is on his way to his programs I get ready for my day.
Tell us about your career path
I am the founder of Girls E-Mentorship (GEM), a charity that provides mentorship to girls facing multiple barriers.
I studied International Relations and started my career researching international human rights violations, evaluating child labour reduction strategies, and terrorism.
I later worked for a government relations firm in Toronto and then transitioned into the provincial government. I knew I wanted to help the youth in our city and give those with limited opportunities the best chance to succeed. So eventually, when the timing was right, I started GEM.
What challenges do you or women face in your industry?
I think women and mothers struggle with balancing a family and having a career. I don’t think it’s industry specific. Running an organization takes a lot of time and effort, as does taking care of a family and having a social life.
I am constantly learning and trying new ways to make it all work!
What advice would you give to young girls who want to be the NEXT you?
Follow your passion. When you do something you love it’s not work.
Find a mentor. Mentors are so important and can be helpful at different stages in your career.
Be patient. The path to your dream job can take time but stick with it. You will get there.
Show initiative. Be the person who works harder than everyone else. It’s a fast way to get promoted.
Be positive. Everyone wants to work with someone who is happy and easy to be around.
Never ever burn bridges.
How do you separate work life from your personal life?
I work at it every day and my friends and my husband tell me when I’m spending too much time at work or getting too stressed out. That’s when I know I have to take a step back.
I now try and disconnect from my phone and computer in the evenings. Sometimes that’s not possible but I do the best I can.
What inspires you?
Seeing GEM and the girls in GEM succeed brings me a huge amount of joy and inspires me to do more. Being a part of a community of women that is passionate about empowering girls is also an incredible source of inspiration.
When you’re off the clock, what are your indulgences?
I love spending time with my family. We drive up to the farm on weekends and spend a lot of time in nature. I also enjoy being active so yoga, tennis, and Pilates are all on my list of indulgences.