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International Woman’s Day
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International Woman’s Day

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. We at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise celebrate the gender diversity and equality of our team and support them in their professional development through our RiiSE program. We believe there is strength in unity, and power in diversity. In honor of International Woman’s Day we asked some of our female leaders about their professional journey. Read below to see what has inspired them and driven them to succeed.

TINA O’DONNELL – Acting Director of Spa

Question: What advice would you have for other women as they grow professionally?
Answer: Be confident, put yourself (and your health) first and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone!

Question: What did your career path look like to bring you to this point in senior leadership?
Answer: I have always been interested in working towards a career in wellness and/or recreation as I studied these in school and am very passionate about both topics. My career at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise began as a Spa Experience Concierge, I then moved to Fairmont Gold Supervisor and back to the Spa as the Spa Supervisor and have worked up towards my current position as Acting Director of Spa.

Question: What achievement are you most proud of in your career journey?
Answer: I am most proud that at my age (27) I have the opportunity to be Acting Director of Spa here at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. It is a huge accomplishment for my career and I am so excited to continue to learn and grow within this industry.

AVNEET SAHANI – Director of Front Office

Question: Who inspired/inspires you to be a great leader?
Answer:
My dad. He makes me want to be better by talking about my flaws and help make them my strengths. He always dreamed of having a daughter and making her a strong independent women and he did exactly that.

Question: What did your career path look like to bring you to this point in senior leadership?
Answer: I’ve always felt recognized for my hard work and dedication during my professional journey. An environment where several women around me encouraged each other to develop was inspiring through my career path.

Question: What is the most rewarding part of your current position?
Answer: Being part of such a diverse and accepting group of individuals. Accor strives for growth and betterment for Heartists and guests alike which is highly encouraging.

Question: What one piece of advice you would share to a young female, who is looking to progress within their role?
Answer: “Visualize your highest self and start showing up as her”

DAVINA BERNARD – Director of Resort Activities & Wellness

Question: What advice would you have for other women as they grow professionally?
Answer: Find a mentor or friend that you can practice having financial and developmental conversations with before you bring them to your leader. Get comfortable using language that supports your career path instead of traditional society roles for women. Take a Women In Leadership course or read books.

Question: What did your career path look like to bring you to this point in senior leadership?
Answer: I’ve held all of the different roles from Coordinator to Director and learned a lot in each. I had to advocate for myself at each step to progress upwards. I also found it beneficial to switch company locations after my first decade. It was easier to start fresh as an experienced manager with people that didn’t know me at one point as a 24 year old coordinator.

Question: Who inspired/inspires you to be a great leader?
Answer: I’m so grateful for the people I’ve been able to work with. True Fairmont legends. I’ve watched them all and taken bits and pieces and combined their methods with my ability to connect with people. Connections are the foundation to successful relationships which lead to great results.

JANELLE GASKIN – Chief Steward

Question: What challenges have you faced when entering your first leadership role?
Answer:
My first challenge was gaining the trust of my team who where all way older than me and had years of experience, I also had to learn to delegate so as to not micro manage, making hard decisions.

Question: What is the most rewarding part of your current position?
Answer: The people I work with are amazing and I wouldn’t be able to do it without them!!! Building relationships with my team and being able to work hands on whilst supporting them in every task.

Question: What one piece of advice you would share to a young female, who is looking to progress within their role?
Answer: Apply for the position, never doubt yourself, keep pushing the limits, listen carefully and ask lots of questions, network, be passionate and supportive, be persistent, never ever quit.

Janelle Gaskin | Chief Steward
Rebekah Gerber | Director of Talent & Culture

REBEKAH GERBER – Director Human Resources

Question: What was your first position in the industry?
Answer: Greenskeeper for the Banff Springs Golf Course, Turf Care Team

Question: What challenges have you faced when entering your first leadership role?
Answer: Understanding the balance between staff needs and the business, and figuring out those boundaries because I became a leader amongst my previous colleagues.

Question: What is the most rewarding part of your current position?
Answer: Getting to meet so many new people and get creative with the ways to try and give people the support they need.

Question: What one piece of advice you would share to a young female, who is looking to progress within their role?
Answer: Don’t let yourself think you’re underqualified, recognize your strengths and find ways to make those work to your advantage.


One of our main Diversity & Inclusion pillars is RiiSE, where we focus on gender diversity and equality. We are constantly setting and exceeding targets of equal employment by setting concrete goals to have a diverse workforce of male and female employees along with diverse leadership teams comprised of males and females.

Learn more about our commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

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