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2020 Star Women in Grocery winner Shilpa Bains (Q&A)


Rising Star

Shilpa Bains
Country Manager, Human Resources Manager (Canada)
The Clorox Company

How did you get into the grocery business?
I have been in HR for my entire career, but entered the CPG space only 10 years ago. I was fortunate to have been hired on by Clorox after being on maternity leave for one year with my older son. Since joining Clorox, I have moved progressively through various HR roles, which has enabled my experience and skill set to flourish.

Best advice received?
To remain authentic to your true self and trust in your capabilities. It is so easy to fall into self-limiting beliefs that can create self-doubt and insecurities. We all have those voices in our heads telling us we are not good enough and these stories affect how we present ourselves in this world. I was given the advice that it is important to trust that your best version of yourself is the best there can be and that the right people and circumstances will come your way when you give yourself the gift of staying authentic to yourself.

Career highlight/greatest achievements?
The recognition and growth I have experienced in my career are definitely aspects I am proud of. My biggest achievement, however, is not necessarily one event or one point in time; the continued focus and time I have put towards self-improvement and development for my own gratification is extremely special to me. An example of this is that I recently completed my professional coaching designation while balancing career and family. I was naturally drawn to coaching and completed the designation not because it would give me a competitive advantage but rather for my own development, to stretch myself and to pursue my passion. I believe the journey is as important as the achievement and my recognition of this life principle is what I feel is an achievement.

Biggest challenge faced in your career? And how did you overcome it?
I once had to make a decision to take on a work assignment, which would be beneficial for me from a career perspective but would have negative impacts to my personal life. It was a really challenging time because at that point in my career I was focused on doing everything that I could to move forward. I knew that not accepting this assignment would be a career limiting move for me, however, in weighing the consequences, I decided to stay true to my personal values and declined the opportunity. It was really difficult at first and very challenging to move forward as others started to doubt my dedication to my role and the organization. It was not a decision that senior leaders were happy with, but I found a way to be resilient and prided myself with being courageous enough to put my personal and family needs first. I don’t regret that decision and have more confidence in my personal convictions as a result of that challenge.

What do you like most about your job?
I love connecting to people and having the ability to build and sustain relationships. I have a people focused role so this does come with the territory, but specifically having the opportunity to connect with people through coaching, training and education, which I am very passionate about, is extremely rewarding.

Your best quality?
Empathy and connection. Ever since I was younger, I was very good at sensing the energy around me and being situationally aware, which made it natural for me to put myself in the place of the other person. This quality has helped me to find my place in my career and in a company like Clorox that is so people centric. For many years however, I didn’t believe that empathy was a strong quality to have as a leader in the corporate world, so I would often downplay it. Once I started to tune into my own power and authenticity, I realized what a gift empathy and personal connection was in my life and what an impact it had on others. I love this quote by Oprah Winfrey, which speaks to me about the importance of empathetic connections with others, "Everybody just wants to be heard. Validate them. 'I see you. I hear you. And what you say matters to me.'"

Anything else you'd like to add?
I am very humbled by this award with the belief that we all have infinite potential; therefore, all women are star women in their own lives. I believe through authenticity and continuous self-development and learning we have so much more that we can give to ourselves and consequently to others. I am grateful for this recognition and being part of such a talented and prestigious group of women.

Click here for the full list of 2020 Star Women in Grocery award winners.

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