At Fit Communications, to say we are passionate about supporting strong, powerhouse women is an understatement. We love sharing information specifically for women about nutrition, fitness, parenting and business. Over the summer, two articles really hit home with us that we shared throughout or social media. The first, from Forbes Magazine bringing light to the fact that Serena Williams in the only female athlete in the Top 100 Paid Athletes in the World. And in fact, she’s ranked pretty far down the chain for such a well-recognized and established athlete at #63.
The second article was from the Winnipeg Free Press showcasing the top 10 City paid Winnipeg positions – whereby ALL were male.
Between the two of these articles it had us shaking our heads asking WHY is there still such a disconnect? Why is the hill for women still so high to climb? And better yet…who is doing this RIGHT?!
With our boutique marketing agency, we work with some of the largest food manufacturers in the province. In doing so, we get to meet some really great people who are mega passionate about what they do. Case in point? Jeanette Duncanson with Sysco.
I met Jeanette is a meeting with one of our clients, and she noticed my notebook was from SHEDay. In February of this year I was asked to be part of a panel on health, to the sold-out SHEDay conference. I was there to give my thoughts on physical health. It’s such a massive topic, with so many elements, and I was thrilled to be a part of the day. Jeanette and I quickly realized we had lots in common so I thought it would be great to sit down with her another time to chat about Winnipeg women in business.
Jeanette, a born and bred Winnipegger has been with Sysco for fourteen years, and currently in the position of Regional Marketing Manager for Sysco Prairies. A mother of two, she has seen the company grow not only in Manitoba, but across Canada in massive ways.
As it turns out, Sysco is one of the companies that is totally ‘doing it right’ when it comes to women in business. Some of their highest ranked positions in their company are held by women. To name a few, the President of Sysco Prairies is Kim Doherty; VP Corporate Multi-Unit, National Sales is Janice Gagnon; VP of Merchandising is ChristineMoroz; and VP of Field Sales & Marketing for Canada is Sarah Anseeuw.
With over 300 people employed in their Winnipeg site alone, and the largest food supplier in Manitoba, Jeanette is part of a massive team doing big things in our province. Sysco is truly an A to Z business. They can supply a business with everything from paper to food to training to equipment. They have a full business resource team, specialists, and culinary resource team all there to help businesses thrive and grow. They are more than just an order taker and order maker kind of company. From leadership training to cost control to help building menus, Sysco is there for their customers in every way.
I asked her what she thinks makes Sysco different, especially as it relates to women in business. Jeanette said, “Kim Doherty has played a huge role in having females put into power positions. She helps put strong confident women in these positions, she’s a role model and mentor and helps pave the way for other women. Not only for Sysco, but for the food service industry overall. Diversity, inclusion, and the Women’s Food Service Forum are all big pieces of Sysco culture. They are a broad, open minded company that strives to be a leader.”
There’s a saying ‘We can’t be what we can’t see’ when it comes to kids, especially girls, when talking about having role models in place. If a girl only sees women as hairstylist, nurses and teachers (which these are all incredible positions don’t get me wrong!) then she might not be able to see herself as a lawyer, a doctor or the Prime Minister of Canada. We need to showcase the women in these positions more often to young girls so they can have big dreams for themselves and truly feel like there are NO limits on what they can be or achieve.
According to Jeanette, the best way to do this is to be passionate about what you do. The rest will come if you follow your passion. Give things your all, follow your dreams, don’t give up, work hard and stay dedicated. Sysco is a place that really encourages its team and employees to grow and continue to learn. She loves that. For not only her work life but for her own self development. The better ‘Jeanette’ she is, the better employee, mom, friend, all roles – she will be.
We love writing stories about women in our community who are killing it. If you have someone in mind who you think would be great for us to write about, let us know! You can sign up for our newsletter here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org