Isabelle Perreault is a Partner, Marketing and Digital Transformation at Blueprint. Prior to joining Blueprint, Isabelle was VP and Practice Lead, Digital Transformation at Stratford Managers and Head of Digital Strategy and Director of Marketing at the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club.
When did you start your career path and why did you choose it?
Starting my career right out of University when I graduated with a communications degree with a focus on “new media”. (I’m dating myself here.) I was interested in digital media right from the start and how it was impacting society, marketing and communications. I’ve followed that general passion ever since. However, more than ever now, I think the younger generations are increasingly thinking about the “type” of work that make them happy. What does an ideal day look like vs. planning in terms of titles and positions. I think this vision will change many times over throughout one’s life. Since having kids, I’m very clear on the overall lifestyle I am looking for but the way to get there might change over time.
Who helped you get you to where you are today?
I’ve developed a very tight knit circle of supportive women over the years and am so grateful to have them. I gravitate towards change agents, those that are incessantly curious. As for personal traits, I’ve been somewhat obsessed with self-development and improvement over the last decade. I am an avid reader and have made it a habit of reading biographies of super achievers. If you read enough of them, you see there is clearly a set of behaviours they all have in common. For example: gratitude, laser focus on goals, resilience and a comfort with discomfort (i.e. ability to go to the edge of what scares them). I truly believe mental strength is something you must develop and work on, similar to physical strength.
What are some challenges that you faced in your career? How did you overcome these challenges?
The types of challenges have varied greatly depending on the stage of my career and my life. One of my biggest challenges now is managing my energy between career ambitions, health and fitness goals and my family. Whatever the challenge, I’ve always turned to those that have been there, have lived through the particular challenge I’m facing. I also don’t take myself too seriously and laugh a lot.
When you look around the room in meetings, do you see enough diversity?
This is improving. But the statistics on diversity, women in the media and on boards clearly show this is still an area of growth. I’m seeing an increasing amount of dialogue around the value of having diverse opinions, gender, and ethnicity within organizations and on boards. I believe the globalization of business in general especially in the next 5 years will be a further catalyst for this.
What advice would you give your younger self? What advice would you give a young woman considering a career in your field?
There’s nothing I would say to my younger self because she’s not ready to hear it and wouldn’t believe it. I think everything is as it should be… it’s a journey. To those thinking about digital transformation of industries, work and culture: It’s such an exciting time with artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, quantum computing, Internet of Things etc. There is no historical precedent for the speed of change and breakthroughs we are seeing and we will need new leaders adept at manage through the pace of change.
What is a quote that you live by?
Oh boy… I have so many that I look at every day. At the top of the list would be:
“We see the world as we are, not as it is.” Meaning our beliefs shape our perception of the world. Change your beliefs about what’s possible and you can change your life.
Isabelle Perreault is a WCT member and helped facilitate WCT's Blueprint for Women's Leadership Roundtable in Montreal in 2017. Read a re-cap of the roundtable discussion, or sign up to our mailing list to receive an advance copy of the Blueprint Report.