We are proud to share that Quisitive has been named to Globe and Mail’s 2022 Report on Business Women Lead Here list. Established in 2020 by Report on Business magazine, the Women Lead Here initiative applies a proprietary research methodology to determine Canadian corporations with the highest degree of gender diversity among executive ranks. The ‘Business Women Lead Here’ list resulted from analysis of nearly 500 large, publicly-traded Canadian companies, evaluating the ratio of female-identifying to male-identifying executives in the top three tiers of executive leadership.
To celebrate this recognition, we sat down with the three women on the Quisitive executive team to talk about leadership and their values. Quisitive has three female executive leaders: Chief of Staff, Tami Anders, President of Cloud Solutions-Catapult Systems, Terri Burmeister, and President of Global Payments Solutions, Jana Schmidt.
How do you define leadership? What are the core components of great leaders and high functioning teams?
Jana Schmidt, President of Global Payments Solutions: Leadership starts with a purposeful vision, but it’s really fueled once you clearly communicate the expectations that comprise that vision. When you provide that transparent communication, you enable your team to work together in an open and collaborative environment that achieves the mission.
Terri Burmeister, President of Global Cloud Solutions- Catapult Systems: I would agree with that. Leadership is about setting that vision and then inspiring your team to take the required action. Then there is a second step where you need to reconvene the group to align on milestones and ensure that you are meeting the stated goals and objectives along the way.
Tami Anders, Chief of Staff: I define leadership as, first and foremost, building a foundation of trust, and I think that requires a highly empathetic perspective. Once that trust is established, you can set a strategy or a vision. It’s also key for leaders to break that strategy into pieces. Breaking it down helps validate that everyone is clear on the goals, understands the role they play, and can visualize the definition of success.
How do your values impact the way you lead?
Terri: My values drive me to lead by example. It’s so important that you’re mirroring the vision you set for your team and paving the way. I try to bring my passion and enthusiasm to everything I do. When I show up well, I am better equipped to allow those around me to rise up and exceed their own expectations.
Tami: I would agree that the energy a leader brings is infectious. My values guide every decision I make, but even more importantly, my values guide the way I make decisions. As a leader, it’s essential to carve out time to learn new perspectives and gather data, then allow those to inform your strategy. That listening and learning piece is a derivative of my values.
Jana: At the end of the day, I think a commonality between all of us is that we want our work to mean something. Teams look to their leaders to pull them out of the day-to-day grind and instill a sense of purpose and esprit de corps. Leaders are responsible for balancing recognition of the progress being made and paving the road ahead. I try to find that value in my work so that I’m the example and can help others find that meaning too.
Finally, what do you think companies need to be doing to attract and retain talent that brings a diversity of thought, experiences, and perspective to the table?
Jana: One concrete thing I’ve done in my work to expand the diversity of thought on my teams is reframing how I fill roles on my team. Because we are focused on efficiency and meeting goals, it’s natural to first ask, ‘who do I know that could do this job.’ Instead, I encourage us to ask, ‘who do I not know that could do this job the best?’ This approach helps me expand my network and demands that I bring not just the known talent to the organization but the best talent. Ultimately, it is more likely to get a diverse workforce to the table.
Tami: I think this is one of the most important things leaders need to be focused on. In our current market landscape, a company’s first impression is everything- this includes their digital footprint and the way their employees speak to and attract talent. Words have deep meaning, and ensuring that a company’s values are incorporated into that message is a critical way to attract diverse talent across a number of demographics. Then, of course, that message must be backed up by the corporate structure, policies, benefits, and leadership to ensure you can retain your talent.
Terri: The retention component is so important to me. It’s all about retention. As leaders, we need to continue to lean in and embrace equality as a must in our companies. We need to refine our cultures to encourage diverse thought and guide our leaders on how to lead with empathy and integrity. People want to be part of organizations that value all employees, but that’s evident in how you show up, not just what you say.
Quisitive is thrilled to have these women’s outstanding experience and expertise on our executive team. The recognition of our best-in-class gender diversity at the executive level is an excellent indicator of the opportunity for women at Quisitive.
Click here to read the full press release about the Globe and Mail’s 2022 Report on Business Women Lead Here list.