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Out front and open to others’ opinions

by Shari Graydon

The more you put yourself out in front of the public, the more you open yourself up to opinions.

And that’s one of the major deterrents for many women who — although certified experts in their fields — often decline media interview requests.

But retailing whiz Bonnie Brooks, who uttered the observation above during an interview with CTV, puts herself out in front a lot. Recruited from a prestigious retail job in Hong Kong back in 2008 to revive the flagging fortunes of Canadian retailing icon, The Bay, Brooks has been featured in numerous profiles and appeared in a series of radio ads for her company. Even though people close to her note that she’s not eager to be in the spotlight, it’s clear that she appreciates the impact that such profile can deliver.

Trying to turn around the fortunes of a large retailer just when the economy has tanked is a mammoth task. Doing so under the watchful eyes of both a highly competitive industry and the news media raises the stakes even higher. But in her profiles at least, Brooks seems undaunted.

The halls of academe may be just as competitive as the retail milieu, and the front lines of advocacy work may be equally challenging, but the benefits that flow from drawing attention to the change you’re making remain the same.