CEO, Economic Club of Canada
Inspiration through experience
Traill’s journey from impoverished youth to CEO contains its share of setbacks and sacrifices, but today, she uses her story to inspire youth. She earned her position at the helm of a successful speaker’s forum in Canada because of her philosophy on altering one’s attitude.
The key components of success, she says, can be broken down into two simple categories: confidence and work ethic. Traill elaborates that often women are “too scared to even try” pursuing their passions, but passion is precisely what motivates us to persevere, take risks, and grow as individuals. Instead, she advocates that women should “jump right in” — they should let go of misgivings, and take a proactive stance in choosing a career driven by passion, which fuels dedication and hard work.
To find their passion, young women must construct personal definitions of success unfettered by the obligations and expectations of others: “don’t follow in someone else’s vision for you,” Traill advises. If you love what you do, then working hard comes naturally — work ethic breeds success, she suggests.
Keep an open mind
As a final tip, she also cautions against the gender-stereotypes many women are guilty of, such as when seeking a mentor. A healthy mentor relationship need not be exclusively female: far more important is that the person invites honest dialogue, shares passions, practices respect, and encourages a reciprocal, authentic relationship.
Rhiannon Traill’s advice to women and girls is down-to-earth, yet powerful. Feeling empowered starts from within — find your passion and embrace the courage to pursue it.