Achievements, Alumni, Economics

Chancellor Anne Giardini named Influential Woman in Business

March 05, 2018

From SFU News...

SFU Chancellor and Economics alum Anne Giardini is among six B.C. women to receive a 2018 Influential Women in Business Award from Business in Vancouver. The award recognizes B.C.’s most outstanding businesswomen in private or public-sector companies. They have each risen through the ranks to become senior executives or entrepreneurs and, through corporate board placements, are helping to influence and shape policy at some of Canada’s largest companies.

Below is an excerpt from an interview with Giardini in Business in Vancouver.

I think a lot of successful women have a hard time being kind to themselves. There’s a saying I like, which is that we should try to be as kind to ourselves as a good mother would be, always.

It’s a great thing if you have a great mother, and I did. But if you don’t, go out and find them – find the friends you need, the mothering you need. An odd discovery in my 40s was that if you go to yoga, the yoga instructor kind of mothers you a little bit at the beginning and end of each class.

I had one of those wonderful childhoods. A competitive, big family – in a good way. My mother [Carol Shields] became a quite successful writer when I was growing up. My father was the dean of engineering in a university. It was an idyllic childhood, and it gave me confidence. It taught me nothing, however, about business because I didn’t hang around with business people. In fact, when I started my articling job as a young lawyer, I don’t think I’d ever been in an office before. It just wasn’t in my world.

I learned early on that if you’re curious about things and open to learning, there’s nothing that isn’t interesting. Even the right to reject non-conforming goods under the international sale of goods act; I ended up writing the most boring master’s thesis in the history of master’s theses. But it was interesting to me.

We grow up going to stores and I was always interested in what happened behind the doors. What was making this run? That gave me a deep interest in business as it happens. Whenever I see a closed door, I want to know what’s behind it.

I always thought I would write books. Isn’t that odd, because I didn’t exactly set out on that path. I’ve published two novels; I’ve written four. I think if I didn’t have a book brewing, it would remove some of my happiness. It makes me very happy to have a project like that on the go.

Law, by chance, is stories. I found when I read cases, it was like reading short story after short story. I’ve never had a dull day in the legal profession.