2020 Star Women in Grocery winner Marie-Claude Bacon (Q&A)
Senior level star
Vice-President, Public Affairs and Communications
How did you get into the grocery business?
Completely by chance. I was looking for a job, saw an ad for a senior communications advisor position at Metro and applied. I got the job! I knew within the first few weeks that I had found my place. I liked the people, I enjoyed that it was a fast-paced, high-stakes job and the agility of the organization. I fell in love with it and 17 years later I’m still here.
What are your greatest career highlights?
I feel lucky to have had a rich career at Metro with many opportunities. The projects that have been highlights include my role in the announcement of Metro’s major acquisitions: A&P Canada in 2005 and The Jean Coutu Group in 2018, as well as the Première Moisson and Adonis partnerships. Also, we announced to our distribution centre employees in Ontario the news of our modernization project with a major investment to build two new facilities. I also have no doubt that working through this pandemic will be a career highlight and achievement. While there is still more work to do and we’re all still facing challenges, it has been incredibly intense and interesting so far.
What is your leadership style?
I put an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration. As in a team sport, the goal is to bring together all the expertise to reach a common goal. This refers to a pillar of our Metro business strategy that we call “Best Team.” It is also the one that I am most passionate about because I know we have an excellent team at Metro. I see it daily when collaborating with different people and teams throughout the organization.
What do you like most about your job?
The opportunity to have visibility and understanding of the issues and priorities of the company and its divisions. My role allows me to talk about our strategic objectives both internally and externally, and make connections and educate our key stakeholders so they have a better global understanding of not only what we’re doing as a company, but why. It is also important for me to personally understand the why, to know how to anticipate and to think holistically before acting. When it comes to communications there’s no one-size fits all approach. What I enjoy most is the mobilization of people coming together to make things happen. The impact we have when we come together is much stronger and allows us to go further.
What is your best quality?
I am resilient.
What is the biggest challenge you faced in your career?
Change is never easy. For me, the challenge exists when the change itself may seem small, but for it to be successful you need to dig deeper to understand all the ripple effects it can potentially have within the organization. To be successful you have to make the change, show your results and then use it as a reference point to mobilize others and take on bigger changes.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Don’t hesitate to invest in your own development. It is so critical to continue with training opportunities and special projects, find a mentor and collaborate with colleagues and superiors. Above all, ask for and listen to feedback from your managers and colleagues because there’s always room for improvement. Obviously, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to achieve your ambitions, but it’s worth it.
Click here for the full list of 2020 Star Women in Grocery award winners.