The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Choose to Challenge”.
At Dillon, we embody a culture of courage and inclusiveness. We celebrate and honour the achievements of women across Canada. Most importantly, we are transparent about our goals for equity, equality, inclusiveness and diversity to create, promote, and sustain a work environment that empowers women to have healthy and successful careers.
We’re proud to share an inspirational story of one of the many incredible women at Dillon.
Nicole Caza joined Dillon over 21 years ago and has been a Partner at our Windsor office for almost 10 years. Thank you Nicole for your phenomenal leadership and dedication towards empowering women and helping us grow as a company.
Written by Nicole Caza
When I reflect on what this year’s theme means to me, it means choosing to challenge gender bias and inequity, choosing to learn and grow from the challenges faced, and having the courage to drive for change. As the Technical Leader for the approximately 200 employees in our Communities and Environment Group, I will take this challenge on through my leadership of recruiting, development, and mentorship of our people.
Personally, I found this past year challenging, but with challenges come opportunities. This year provided me with the opportunity to reflect on my career and my work/life balance and to challenge my own assumptions on what success looks like for me personally. I know I am not alone when I say that I used to think success meant I had to say yes to every opportunity presented to me. I often feel that I need to do it all, and when I don’t, I am failing or that I’ve let someone down.
I am on Dillon’s Board of Directors (for the last three years) and a Senior Leader in the firm. These are both big responsibilities and both offer me a way to contribute to the future direction of this great company. But I found that I was struggling to find a balance in the face of both opportunities. Finding personal balance, including taking actions to improve my personal mental health, meant I had to choose.
This last year taught me that I do my best work when I focus on things that I am passionate about and that fuel my development, and I know I work at a company that values quality over quantity. Now, knowing what to do and actually doing it are very different things, and I had to build up real courage to choose to focus.
For me this means choosing to step away from Dillon’s Board of Directors so that I can focus more on my Technical Lead role and continue to grow personally as a leader and develop my team.
Was it easy? No. But it takes courage to value myself and change my mindset around what success really means to me, and I came to realize that I wasn’t letting anyone down by prioritizing my personal wellbeing. My choice was supported and celebrated at the highest levels in the organization, as good choices always are. I know that this choice will open up another opportunity in the future when the time is right for me.
Happy International Women’s Day!