Skip to main content

2024 Star Women in Grocery Award Winner Claudine Leblanc (Q&A)

Shining-Level Star
Kristin Laird
2024 star women
Claudine Leblanc

Claudine Leblanc

Director of Internal Communications

How did you get your start in the grocery/CPG business?

I joined the company in June 2020. I had been looking for a new challenge in my career and was eager to work in retail. Plus, I'd always been a big fan of the IGA brand in Quebec and figured a loyal customer may make a good teammate! 

The opportunity came [during COVID] when the grocery industry was at a pivotal moment and effective communication was more crucial than ever, and I saw a chance to make a meaningful contribution to a team that was working so hard (and still is!).

Four years later, I continue to find my role both challenging and stimulating. The grocery business moves at a rapid pace and never stops evolving. We play a vital role in people's lives. It’s an incredibly dynamic environment to work in. 

What keeps you motivated at work?

Helping my team members grow individually, while seeing us becoming stronger as a team inspires and motivates me. We’re constantly learning, adapting and raising our standards. There’s never a dull moment! 

Working in communications, we have the privilege of collaborating with teams across our organization. Every day is a chance to learn something new about our business, our people and the amazing work we’re doing to deliver value to our customers. The dedication across this business motivates me to continuously strive for excellence in everything we do.

What do you like most about your job?

Again, it all comes down to people. Whether it’s within my team or across the company, supporting and celebrating our people is what I like most about my job. I find it particularly rewarding when our communication efforts help teammates navigate change, all while driving business results.

Advertisement - article continues below

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career? How did you overcome it?

I’m reluctant to go there, but managing communications during the pandemic was both an unprecedented challenge and an eye-opening opportunity. It was unlike anything we’d faced before. The situation evolved rapidly, requiring us to constantly adapt to ensure our teammates had all the information and support they needed to be safe and continue to serve our customers. 

This forced us to rethink our ways of working. We set aside established rules and processes, pushing ourselves to find the most effective–and innovative–ways to keep our teams informed, connected and engaged. The lessons I learned during this time will undoubtably guide me for the rest of my career.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

What I find most challenging–in a good way–is the need for our team to have a comprehensive understanding of all parts of the business. We’re rapidly gaining knowledge of where the business is at, the issues at play and how our environment is evolving for us to provide the right guidance and add value.

Our insights into different teams and their projects allow us to connect the dots between various initiatives, creating a cohesive narrative for our teammates and facilitating better alignment and communication.

What career advice would you give your younger self?

Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. Don’t wait until you think you have all the answers or feel completely ready before accepting a new challenge. If you have a different perspective than others around the table, trust this might just be what the situation needs. 

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

The people who reach the finish line are the ones who never give up. Work hard, adapt to change, be resilient when obstacles arise and never lose sight of your vision. There’s always another road, a different path you can take.

What is a fun fact about you?

A fun fact about me is that I have a fun fact ready for every situation. I'm a trivia enthusiast!

Click here for the full list of 2024 Star Women in Grocery award winners.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds