Rhiannon is the President and CEO of the Economic Club of Canada (The EC).
What is your morning routine?
Always up early – in the 5’s. About 3-4 days a week I’m at the gym first thing. I joined an amazing CrossFit gym after I had my second son and I love the people and the whole experience. Then I’m back at home to try and help get the kids out the door in one piece. Lucky for me, my husband works close to home and does the majority of the dropping off and picking up, as I have a long commute. I like to skim through a few morning papers and I’m always listing to news radio on my drive in.
Tell us about your career path
I am the President and CEO of the Economic Club of Canada (The EC).
A few weeks before graduating, I met the former President of The EC at a Ryerson University event. He was impressed with the presentation I had given that day, and not long after, offered me an entry-level job at the Economic Club. I was ready to start my Master’s in September, but something told me this was an opportunity I had to take. I took the entry-level role, and within two years I was named Vice President. When the former head of the Club left for a career in politics, he asked that I take the reins. I’ve been President & CEO of The EC for 6 years now. I’m also proud to say that I founded the Jr. EC in 2010. The Jr. EC’s mandate is to help young Canadians become financially literate, socially conscious, and civically engaged.
What challenges do you or women face in your industry?
People are often surprised when I introduce myself as the President and CEO of The Economic Club of Canada. Why? Because they’re likely expecting a male of a certain age.
The imposter syndrome is something that a lot of women in business struggle with, I know I felt it at times, especially early on in my career. Now I really make a point to own everything about who I am and remind myself of the value I bring to the table.
What advice would you give to young girls who want to be the NEXT you?
Don’t be the next me – be the next you! Find your own voice, passion, problem to solve, and go after it. Believe you can, and just do it. Be kind to people, work your ass off, and always be the real you.
How do you separate work life from your personal life?
Work-life balance – I don’t have good advice on this. In my world, everything is blurred together. I bring my work home and I often bring home into work. I’m not perfect and I don’t have all the answers – all I know is I love my family and they know it too and I love my job and it’s obvious. I think that’s pretty great for now. I also have the most amazing and supportive husband ever, who does more than his fair share of home and family duties. I lean on him big time and I’m so lucky to have a partner like him.
What inspires you?
I’ve met so many passionate young people across this country through the work that I do with the Jr. Economic Club. What they have in common, whether from Ottawa or Iqaluit, is the desire to claim a seat at the table. They want to share their ideas and make positive change happen. It’s so inspiring to see. It’s really why I created the Jr. EC, and why we feel so strongly about putting young, passionate Canadians in the same room as thought leaders.
When you’re off the clock what are your indulgences?
Big tall cans of craft beer, a good laugh with my best friend, and snuggling in bed with the whole family on a Sunday.
I absolutely love live music. The two standouts have to be when I saw Radiohead in Florence and the Tragically Hip farewell concert in Toronto.