#CHAMPION - YVES PARADIS
YVES PARADIS, VICE-PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS
OPEN HEARTS LANGUAGE ACADEMY (OHLA) | USA
What makes you a champion in encouraging female leadership?
I do believe that I do my best to empower everyone that I work with – women and men included. I truly believe that one must guide people but at the same time allow them to try new things and learn from their successes and failures. One of my favorite say for my co-workers is; “The first time you make a mistake is my fault, however, if you repeat the same mistake, it is your fault”. So I encourage them to learn from their mistakes while finding ways to avoid repeating them.
For close to 20 years, I was involved in coaching several “girls and women teams” and I have always work at embedding in them the belief that they could do anything they wished to do and achieved any goals that they set for themselves. Truth be told, that given the opportunity, they often did achieve even more that they thought was possible.
Who has been your source of inspiration and role model to get where you are now?
Many people have inspired me – my parents for sure – my teachers, my coaches and my coworkers – However, over the past 15 years, I have been truly inspired by the work ethic and professional attitude of my spouse who has taken upon herself to build an international recognized corporation that is now considered by many as a “leader in the industry”. That is an inspiring story, with many ups and downs, that I have had the privilege, to witness first hand every day.
“For a company to succeed you need ALL of your employees at the top of their game and not only the men” How do you encourage your employees to be at the top of their game?
First of all, I never make any differences between women and men – for me they are all my co-workers.
Second, I try to lead by example. I am 100% dedicated to my work and I am a “perfectionist”. I always try to do my very best and, in turn, I expect the same from everyone around me.
However, I am always there to help – you can ask me anything and if I do not know about it - I will find someone who can help you. They are also no tasks that are beneath me (I can fetch coffee at anytime and I am a killer “with a broom”). In short, I never ask anyone to do something that I would not do myself.
I do believe that this attitude rubs-off on my co-workers and inspires them to always do their best. Keeping in mind that we all have limitations, doing our best is probably the most that anyone can ask for.
Have women in your country enough opportunities to flourish and grow to the full extent of their potential?
There are still inequalities in term of “equal pay for equal work” and “number of women in power positions”, which definitely still needs to be increased. But overall North America is an part of the world where women are provided with opportunities to flourish and, my spouse being a prime example, they certainly do so!