Click here for the full list of 2020 Star Women in Grocery award winners.
2020 Star Women in Grocery winner Christina Bédard (Q&A)
Senior level star
Vice-president, E-commerce & Digital Strategy
How did you get into the grocery/CPG business?
The grocery business has always been a natural fit for me because I can combine two of my passions: retail and food. I grew up in the retail environment—my father was a store manager for a major Canadian retail chain. In university I was introduced to the food industry, as I did my degree in Consumer Sciences at Laval University, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences. I found the industry fascinating, and decided to jump in, starting my career as a buyer for grocery products. I am still as passionate as I was day one, and feel privileged to be part of an industry that is contributing so much to Canadians’ everyday life. COVID-19 has reinforced my pride of working at Metro.
What are you proudest about in terms of your work?
I am most proud of the incubator working culture I have contributed to create in growing our eCommerce business. It has allowed us to be agile as we continuously test, learn and adapt based on results and customer expectations that are changing fast as they embrace digital. As a result, we’ve been able to help simplify the lives of our customers through a fully personalized digital ecosystem suited to their individual needs and behaviours.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Hire passionate individuals who you think are better or will be better than you. Then, give them the freedom to perform and the opportunities to grow. I believe surrounding yourself with a strong team is a key success factor to achieving ambitious objectives.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced was the launch of the metro&moi loyalty program in 2010. It was the first time in my career that I had the opportunity to lead a multidisciplinary team on a large-scale project. It was both extremely challenging and rewarding because it gave me the chance to develop my leadership skills. I’m thankful to the leadership team at Metro for believing in me, guiding me, and helping me become a better leader. I feel extremely proud to have been part of the team that launched a loyalty program that today is still considered best in class in Canada.
What is your leadership style/philosophy?
I see myself as a coach. I believe in guiding my team in their development path. I love identifying someone’s strengths and motivations, and then providing them challenging objectives and coaching them along the way with regular feedback. I truly believe this is essential to create a positive and motivating environment that enables personal growth. You can then challenge your team with ambitious objectives and push for continuous innovation.
What do you like most about your job?
My job combines retail, food and digital, and I love that all three areas are in continuous evolution. Digital provides so many opportunities to better serve our customers and allow them to easily access and enjoy products they like. I love my job!