Each year, Business in Vancouver recognizes B.C.’s most outstanding businesswomen in private and public-sector companies. Honourees have risen through the ranks to become leaders in their fields. They help to influence and shape policy not just in our province, but also at some of Canada’s largest companies and organizations. This year’s winners include six women across a wide range of industries, with varying backgrounds and some very impressive credentials.
Laura Nashman has spent her career in the public sector.
She worked at Legal Aid Ontario and then for the Region of Peel in Ontario before joining the BC Pension Corp. as CEO in late 2008.
Nashman prides herself on an ability to create a space for everyone in her organization to thrive.
“Leadership is vitally important,” Nashman says, “and as I’ve built my personal leadership practice I have taken a fresh and different approach to the role.”
What does it mean to be an influential woman? • When you are called out for being influential, in my mind, you better use that influence for good.
This acknowledgment ups the ante for me. It reminds me of the humility that I need to bring to my work every day and the reach I have and what I do and what I say matters, makes a difference and has an influence on the people around me.
What are some of the early lessons you learned in life and leadership that serve you today? • Authenticity matters. Being genuine matters. You need to find the place and space where you can be that genuine person. You need to enjoy, like and feel purposeful in what you do. With that comes more confidence and more energy. For me, it was learning to recognize what I’m good at and what gives me energy and excites me to do even more in that space, whatever that might be.
What does work-life balance mean to you? • For me, there’s a work-life integration: I work when I play, I play when I work. Technology has made it easier for us to integrate work and life. It’s easier to do and say that when you really love what you do. The trick, for me, is being present in the moment and that you give everything you can to that particular moment. If you can figure out how to do the mental gymnastics, to be present for that person, then I think you can more seamlessly integrate your work and your life.
What is your advice for the next generation of women leaders? • Recognize what you’re good at and be proud of it and find ways to leverage that talent in your career and life. They aren’t easy things necessarily, but they energize you and enable you to perform well. For example, running a marathon isn’t easy, but for some people that tiring thing creates energy.