League of Extraordinary Young Women: Caitlin Bryant

Caitlin is an ambitious young woman making a name for herself in the heart of Toronto. With a degree in International Development, experience in the financial sector and a network that spans industries, Caitlin is showing no signs of slowing down. During her spare time, you will find her running along the lakeshore, co-chairing this year’s Boobyball event in support of Rethink Breast Cancer or attending whatever hockey, basketball or baseball game is on the docket. Describe who you're working for and why it's important to you.

I current work in product management within the retail industry. I work in an environment where things move fast. It's important to me because no day is the same - there is always a new issue to address or a different way to launch a campaign so I am constantly learning.

How does your role empower you?

My role is driven by results so having ownership of a project from beginning to end is empowering. Building relationships, monitoring sales and data analysis all attribute to my success, so I get out of it what I put into it. It’s empowering to see the importance of my role within the bigger picture and to know my contribution is valuable.

What advice do you have to other young women looking to get involved in your field of work?

No matter what field of work you are in or are interested in, the best thing you can do is to put yourself out there. Start by networking, registering for courses and joining a professional association. Through this process, you will learn what you like to do, the type of environment you want to work in and what you’re passionate about. There is always something to learn and someone to meet who will teach you something new. It’s funny how you can fall into a role if you’re open to anything.

If you are looking to get into Marketing specifically, I suggest taking courses through Canadian Marketing Association, keep abreast of industry trends, and always ensure your resume is current.

Who is your biggest role model, why?

I wouldn’t say I have a specific role model but I do draw from a few strong women. Michelle Obama, Victoria Beckham, and Sheryl Sandburg all display qualities and characteristics that I admire and strive to embody. Although these three woman are very different, they have created a positive impact, built an empire and achieved success on their own terms. Achieving success without compromise isn’t easy but these women have done it with grace and tact.

What book do you recommend every young professional should read?

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. Although it’s not your typical “professional” read, it has lessons that can make you an overall better person and therefore a better professional. The book explores how important it is to let the opinions of others go, lean into a given situation and accept that it is okay to be vulnerable. We all have a fear of failure and inadequacy and this book discusses different ways to acknowledge those fears as normal and how you can work through those feelings in order to achieve success.

After reading this book, I created a short list of people whose opinion matters to me and treat everything else as background noise. Daring Greatly is a great tool to get through tough situations you may encounter.

If you could go back to your 16 year old self, what would you say?

Nothing is going to go according to plan but that’s okay! As long as you have a goal, it doesn’t matter how you get there.

Why do you think groups like YWiB are important?

Groups like YWIB are important because it is a network of likeminded individuals who are providing a positive source for growth. Any time you can connect with people that have ideas and stories to share, you should capitalize on that. The moment you think there’s nothing left to learn or no way to grow, you’re doing yourself a disservice. 

What can our readers do to help you?

You can all purchase tickets to this year’s Boobyball event in support of Rethink Breast Cancer. Tickets go on sale this summer and the event will be in October. As co-chair of the event, I would love to see you all there!