2022 Star Women in Grocery winner Louisa Furtado (Q&A)
Senior Level Star
VP Human Resources Ontario and Health & Safety
What is your biggest career achievement?
Being able to navigate through the ever-changing environment that was created by the pandemic. I'm really proud of being a member of our corporate pandemic team, representing Ontario. [Our team] was able to be nimble in the midst of a lot of unknown factors, while being pragmatic and able to adjust, as needed, and execute and support the implementation of the various initiatives to ensure we provided a safe environment. We made sure all our decisions were at the forefront of overall health and safety for our employees and customers.
You’ve been in the industry for more than 30 years, what keeps you passionate about the work?
It is really remembering my roots and my experience. I started out part-time (at age 16) working in grocery stores. Never did I expect that would lead to the type of career I've been able to enjoy. And it’s remembering that we're all here for one purpose, regardless of our roles, and that's to provide a service to our customers that will hopefully enable them to continue to return to our business. And to provide that service, we have to remember to focus on employee needs. And so that's the passion of having grown up in the industry, being able to impact it now.
How would you describe your leadership style/philosophy?
My style is about focusing on collaboration and taking the time to get to know the people you work with. Whether it's your colleagues or whether it's your team, being able to understand what we all bring to our roles is important. I think in management, as a leader, regardless of what one's title may be, we need to focus on building strong teams that work well. And that doesn't mean working the same, but that we work well with each other and can communicate well with each other to achieve our objectives.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I wish I could say that I jump out of planes or something like that, but I don't! Fun for me means spending time with my family and creating those family moments and those opportunities to connect more deeply with each other.
Click here for the full list of 2022 Star Women in Grocery award winners.