The 2014 International Women’s Day theme, “Strong Women. Strong Canada: Canadian Women – Creating Jobs One Business at a Time.” The theme focuses on the important role women play in the business world as entrepreneurs and organizational leaders. These women help drive growth, create jobs and foster innovation, making a significant impact on the Canadian economy; they are leaders, thinkers and change makers.
Our own, Dr. Robbie Babins-Wagner demonstrates these qualities in her role as CEO at Calgary Counselling Centre. In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8, we caught up with Robbie to talk about her experiences as a female leader.
Robbie has led the Centre in becoming a leading provider of counselling across a spectrum of mental health issues, all while finishing her doctoral work, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Calgary and balancing home life with her supportive family.
“It’s been pretty smooth,” Robbie says of her transition as a female CEO, “At the time I transitioned into my position there were more female CEO’s in the sector. I am grateful for the women before me who have helped make that transition smooth.”
Clear priorities and strategic decision making have allowed Robbie to focus on what is important in her life and to obtain a reasonable work-life balance.
“Family is my top priority. I have chosen positions [in my career] that allowed me to arrange my schedule to make things work,” Robbie explains over the phone from Toronto. She is currently on her way to visit one of her two sons in the UK, illustrating her ability to make things work.
Although women have come a long way, she explains that women are not always met with the same expectations, “There is still a lot to be done. People still look at women with a gender lens.”
She discusses her concern for the next generation of women not having the close history or experiences of the women before them. Robbie emphasizes the importance of not taking the privileges women have worked to achieve for granted as we continue to move closer to greater equality.
With a busy lifestyle, Robbie still manages to make time for herself. When she has spare time she enjoys reading fiction, entertaining, exercising, spending time with her large circle of friends, theatre and music and the list goes on. She is an inspirational leader to all, demonstrating the importance of strong women leading in Canada.
Robbie isn’t the only female leader at the Centre, we also have a leadership team full of strong female minds as well as throughout the rest of our organization. We are happy to celebrate all of the women here at Calgary Counselling Centre! Happy International Women’s Day!
And don’t worry men- we didn’t forget about you! This year International Men’s Day is November 19, 2014.