2022 Star Women in Grocery winner Sylvia Sicuso (Q&A)
Director of Corporate Affairs
How did you get into the grocery/CPG business?
Food isn’t just about nourishment—it’s what people connect over. They share their cultures, lives and celebrate momentous occasions over meals. Ever since I can remember, I have loved spending time connecting with people over food, and when it came time to choose a career path, I knew I wanted to work in this industry and contribute to nourishing people’s lives. Feeding Canadians during the pandemic has only served to reinforce that this was the right career path for me.
What do you like most about your job?
In university, I read a quote from Peter Drucker that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” It stuck with me because no matter how good a company’s business plan is, without associates who know the plan and are engaged in it, they will not be successful. In my role, I work with leaders across the organization to inform and engage associates in our business objectives and build our culture of nourishing a better world. I also get to tell consumers and customers about who Bimbo Canada is, the great work that we are doing in the communities that we live and work in, and our sustainability initiatives, which I am very passionate about.
What’s the best career advice you’ve received?
To never stop learning and to always be curious. These two things have guided my approach in my personal and professional life. I always tell my husband I have failed before, it’s not that bad… The key is to fail fast and to implement the lessons learned and move on.
What do you think is your best quality?
I am curious about everything, which leads me to being solutions-oriented and finding new, innovative ways to do things.
What has been a career highlight or one of your greatest career achievements so far?
I am very proud of my work during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was instrumental in keeping our associates safe while continuing to feed Canadians. With my team, we developed innovative communications such as the COVID-19 Supply Chain Leaders Toolkit, an ever-evolving resource that became the point of reference for handling any situation in Bimbo Canada’s facilities as it related to COVID-19. We also launched a virtual Lunch with Leaders meeting series to share timely updates and offer associates the chance to ask questions weekly. The Lunch with Leaders concept was shared with the other business units within Grupo Bimbo as a best practice and it has received global acknowledgement and endorsement. In recognition of my work leading through the COVID-19 crisis, I was a 2021 recipient of Bimbo Canada President’s Big Bat award, which recognizes leaders who, through their distinguished service, achieved outstanding accomplishments throughout the past year. I was also a 2021 Finalist for Best HR Communications Strategy in the 8th annual Canadian HR Awards.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Spending time with my family. The greatest honour of my life has been to raise my daughter and watch her grow into the smart, witty, wonderful person that she is. In terms of hobbies, I like to cook and snowmobile.
Click here for the full list of 2022 Star Women in Grocery award winners.