Tell us about your career path and how you got into this field – was it purposeful or by accident?
My history with sourcing and third-party risk management
came as a bit of an accident. As part of my responsibilities as Director of Retail and Wholesale Debt for a central bank, I became responsible for a large and complex outsourced relationship. This required that I become a bit of an expert as well in sourcing, relationship management and third-party risk management. And so I looked to build my networks, make contacts with experts and get involved in projects that would help me be a thought leader in this aspect of the work that I was responsible for, and that’s where my passion for the field started. I was provided the opportunity to get involved and collaborate on several initiatives that not only helped me do my job, but also helped me learn, grow and give back.
If you didn’t work in sourcing, what career path would you have chosen?
Well, I don’t work in sourcing. My career has been in the financial industry, the past 12 years of which have been for the Bank of Canada (Canada’s central bank). The Bank has allowed me to work in some very different fields – from retail debt management, to strategic planning and business excellence, to currency education and awareness, to the office of the COO, to risk management – where I am at the moment for the next year renewing and implementing a new third-party risk program. I’m not sure what is in store for me next, my only requirement is that I continue to learn something new, be challenged and add value to my organization.
What do you feel sets you apart as a rising star in sourcing?
Certainly what fuels me is getting involved in interesting things. My network has provided me with many opportunities to contribute to challenge the status quo, think about new things in new ways and contribute to thought leadership. In the past year alone I have had the opportunity to:
So, I would say perhaps my enthusiasm for extracurricular interests may contribute to this distinction.
Do you have any mentors who have helped you in your career?
Yes, yes and yes! I very much value the perspectives and inputs of colleagues and distinguished professionals. I have always made a point of having two mentors (one in the private sector and one in the public sector). I consult not only on my career path and opportunities, but also on how to handle tricky situations, or how to position or brand myself. I have never expected a mentor to help promote my career, but rather one who provides thoughtful and honest advice.
What professionally motivates you and gives you drive?
Having responsibility; coaching, mentoring and seeing others achieve their objectives; and feeling like my contributions add value for the organization.
Can you share any professional goals you’ve set for yourself for 2019 and how you plan to achieve them?
2019 is a year for me to learn – I have been given an opportunity to learn more about third-party risk from a process and implementation perspective and I intend to maximize that learning to further my thinking.
I also have the opportunity to work for an organization and in positions that allow me to get involved in many other areas of the Bank and learn about what they do – I intend to continue to do that as well.
What do you think will be the big trends in sourcing and procurement this year?
A growing concern that is getting more attention these days (certainly in the risk space, but also in the public governance space) that I think may become a trend in sourcing is the growing concern for the threat of ecological collapse. I think a trend for activity and discussion around ecologically responsible sourcing may see an upswing over the next while.
Another is the increased concentration in technology players and the risks of that concentration (in our third, and nth parties) not only on our organization but in the larger systemic context.
What tips do you have for maintaining a work-life balance?
Compartmentalization – I try to segregate my day job from my home job as a mom. I will go into the office at 4 a.m. to get something done rather than mingle it with my home life. It keeps me sane.
Exercise – always good for mind, body and spirit!
What advice do you have for those who are new to the profession or considering entering the industry?
Get curious and get involved.