League of Extraordinary Young Women: Jacquelyn Mayo

Introducing the League of Extraordinary Young Women. A new profile series where our Director of Partnerships, Victoria Stacey, chats with young women doing great things in the community, their careers or their personal lives.

Jacquelyn is currently working with the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 organizing committee as the Digital Communications Associate leading the social media and website strategy. She is a University of Waterloo graduate and has been living in Toronto for the past 2 years.

Describe what/who you're working on/for and why it's important to you? The Invictus Games will be coming to Toronto from September 23-30 2017. This adaptive international sporting event is for ill, injured and wounded active duty and veteran service members from 17 participating nations who are using sport to overcome physical and mental limitations. This 8-day competition will be hosted at various venues across the city. These Games were established by Prince Harry where the inaugural Invictus Games were held in London in 2014 and the second Invictus Games took place this past May at the Invictus Games Orlando 2016. I am so happy to have Toronto host this inspiring event for it will encourage Canadians - both young and old- to start talking about the sacrifices of those who have served and are still serving and how it is still important to never forget the sacrifices of these military men and women and their families.

How does your role empower you? I'm doing what I love in the world of digital communications and marketing all while being a part of a great cause that will leave a lasting impression on all Canadians. I have a passion for social media and am thrilled to be leading the social media strategy across all of our social media channels. It is a great honour for me to be given this level of responsibility for a grand international event established by His Royal Highness Prince Harry. I am also learning a new skill set I thought I would never have the opportunity to learn and that is managing the company website and using the program WordPress. I am now starting to develop a passion for website design which I never thought I would be good at.

It is very rare to be given such a great learning opportunity while also working for a great cause. I recently had discovered this year that my great-grandfather had served in WWI during the Battle of Somme with the British Army. My grandfather was also a Royal Marine of the United Kingdom and was trained to serve during WWII but the war had ended before he was sent to the front lines. My family's military past was not often discussed mainly due to the relatively modest attitude of my British family members. The Invictus Games is a great platform for troops and veterans to share their stories of sacrifice and for family members to give recognition to their loved one's who served so bravely.

What advice do you have to other young women looking to get involved in your field of work? My advice to women is to not let the sports industry intimidate you. Remove any preconceptions you may have that the sports industry is a male-dominated industry. I have worked at Toronto 2015 Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games, and now Maples Leafs Sports and Entertainment (part-time Fan Engagement Representative at Toronto Maples Leafs, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Marlies) and the Invictus Games, and I can reassure you, the workplace consists of both men and women equally.

My advice to new grads is to not let your degree title limit you to other possibilities. I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Major in Sociology and Minor in Drama. As much as I have a passion for theatre and sociology, I wanted to be a part of the many great sporting events that the city of Toronto had to offer. I made it a personal goal of mine to be a part of these major sporting events and companies and I was able to accomplish this by surrounding myself with the right people that lead from one opportunity to the next. Sometimes, it just takes one person to give you an opportunity that will shape your career direction. As long as your committed to the cause of your company- whether it is to give back to the military community or to provide an unforgettable fan experience during live events- you will grow with the company.

Who is your biggest role model, why? Not too sure how to answer this question, but all I am focusing on is being the best person I can be and to keep my drive for personal success. I take a lot of pride in having a passion for what I do and for the companies I work for.

What book do you recommend every young professional should read? The book I recommend reading is the "Secrets of Six-Figure Women" by Barbara Stanny. This books focuses on efficient workplace habits and how to change your mindset to achieve personal growth.

If you could go back to your 16 year old self, what would you say? Absolutely nothing. I was a dedicated theatre kid and all the habits I learnt from participating in theatre productions (personal confidence, how to be a good public speaker, to be at rehearsal on time and many more) has led me to the type of worker I am today.

Why do you think groups like YWiB are important? Groups like YWIB are important so women can surround themselves with other goal-oriented women who push each other to go the limit and pursue inspiring opportunities. With the glass-ceiling affect, motherhood penalty and income inequality still prevalent today, women need to focus more on lifting each other up then criticizing each other on mundane things that do not contribute to personal growth.

What can our readers do to help you?  Please check out the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 website and volunteer, donate, or buy tickets for this great event. 2017 is the year for all Canadians to join together and show their support for the military community.