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MUHC Foundation president named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women

MUHC Foundation president Julie Quenneville can add another award to her already impressive resume. She was recently named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women by The Women’s Executive Network.

She joined Global’s Laura Casella on Global News Morning Tuesday to discuss just how much the honour means to her.

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“I find it very empowering,” she said. “As women we often feel very vulnerable and incredibly guilty. To be reminded that we can be powerful also makes me feel a great sense of responsibility to other women.”

As a successful female in a leadership role, Quenneville acts as a mentor to many young women.

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She knows the importance of having a mentor because she said she wouldn’t have the career she has today, without the help of her own mentors.

“But I haven’t had any female mentors and I think that there’s a difference in the approach to leadership,” Quenneville said.

The approach to the bounds of life between women and men is different, she said. Now in her role, she says she feels as if she has a responsibility “towards helping young women be able to reach that.”

As a single mom of two, she balances home life and her demanding job.

“We feel guilty the house isn’t clean enough, we could be at home more with our spouses, we could be taking care of our kids much more, so it’s a balancing act that’s harder and more emotional for women,” she said.

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When asked how she let’s go of her guilt, she laughed.

“I don’t. I use it as fuel.”

Her kids are actively involved in the work she does with the MUHC.

“I saw the look on my daughter’s face when I was named one of the top 100 women and how proud she was,” she said.

As a woman, she says she hopes to inspire her daughter but also her son.

“I’m hoping that I’m raising a man who’s going to be supportive of women and who’s going to be respectful of women.”

Over the past year, the #MeToo movement and its prominence in the workplace has been heavily discussed. Quenneville said she experienced the issue while working in politics and the government.

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“I endured a lot of things in my career because I thought this was an obligation to be able to climb the corporate ladder,” she said.

“I feel very protective of the women who work around me and I hope that they will never have to deal with the kind of things I’ve dealt with.”

In order to ensure that this is the case, she says “we need to intervene, we need to create a safe place that women can come speak to us and know that they’ll be protected.”

Her job helps her reach a larger audience, and she strives to use her platform for the greater good.

“We used to think that we had to endure it and keep silent and make sure that we laugh it off,” Quenneville said.

“That is not OK in today’s world and we have to talk about it.”

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Quenneville is participating in a panel called “In Her Shoes” hosted by The Women’s Executive Network.

“We’re hoping to empower young women to know that they have a place in leadership roles,” she said.

The event on Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. at the Intercontinental Hotel hopes to mentor the young attendees, support them and provide them with useful advice to “make it” in leadership roles, said Quenneville.

For tickets and information about the event, visit muhcfoundation.com.

“The more women are in leadership roles, the more we will pull up,” she said. “We have a responsibility to pull them up into those roles with us.”

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