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Women on their Way: Carol Driver

Over the years, Minerva has had the absolute privilege of working with some our province’s most inspiring and impactful values-based leaders. Some have been at the pinnacle of their careers while many others are just beginning or part way through their leadership journey.  We would like to introduce you to some of these leaders from the Minerva community, as we believe there’s much to learn from one another.  

Carol Driver is an alumna of Women Leading the Way™ (Cohort 6) and is currently the Manager, Online Auction Operations at Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. She started at Ritchie Bros. in 2010 as a Supervisor of Online Global Bidding, which was a bit of leap for her as she came from a customer service background. However, after a few short years she was tasked with taking on their Customer Service group as well as their Online Bidding team. She went from seven direct reports to 28. After three years in these roles, she felt it was time to ask for help and then the opportunity to sign up for Women Leading the Way™ was offered to her. She knew there had to be a better way to be a more effective and engaged leader. “If I was honest,” says Carol, “I was doing my best, but with so many people in my direct command, it was hard to dedicate the time I wanted to spend with each person on my team.”

She has since been able to restructure her departments and now has four supervisors in place in two different countries, each with their own direct reports. “With this distribution of day to day activities, I have been able to focus on a more strategic role working with my boss on new initiatives and enhancements to grow our existing business.” Carol has also been asked to be part of an integration team as Ritchie Bros. has recently acquired one of their major competitors.

Carol is grateful for all the support she has received along the way, especially from the women in her cohort, “none of this would have been possible without my classmates at Minerva who gave me the nudge to make some changes and to believe in myself and my ability to mentor new supervisors and expand my comfort zone to strategic planning.”

What motivated you to join Women Leading the Way™?
Working in a male dominated industry, I was looking to learn and network with other female leaders

What is one thing you learned from the program that influences your work today?
I learned the importance of values and staying true to them. I found that when something didn’t sit right with me, it was usually challenging one of my values. I also learned a lot about my team’s values which ensured that I was always bringing out the best in them.

What are your top three values and how do they influence your leadership style?
My top three values are: loyalty, security and trust. These values have shaped my leadership style by ensuring I stay true to myself and to those around me. I do not leap frog over people and I make decisions by looking at the bigger picture on the impact of my actions.

What advice would you share with young women at the start of their career?
Be firm but fair. Truly understand why you are making the decision you are and able to defend it.

How do you practice self-care?
To be honest, this is probably one of the hardest things for me. Self-care is difficult. I try to take an hour a night when everyone is in bed to do something for myself…read a book, talk with a friend. I need to improve on this.

What book/app/Website or resource would you recommend to other women leaders?
Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink & Leif Babin.

How has participating in Women Leading the Way™ changed you as a leader?
I find I look to my colleagues for their advice because I had some amazing classmates who helped me change the trajectory of my career.

What is one thing that others might be surprised to learn about you?
On a professional level people see me as an extrovert, however, I have to give myself pep talks to believe in my abilities. No one believes me when I say that I see myself as a shy person.

What advice do you wish you had known five years earlier?
To believe in my abilities and to ask for what I want. Know my value.

How do you define success?
Watching the people around me achieve more than they thought possible and knowing that I played a role in that.

What inspires you?
Listening to my parents discuss with their friends how proud they are of me and what I have accomplished. Seeing my kids look up to me for being a mother and working full time. Watching my daughter realize that her possibilities are endless.

If you could have coffee with anyone, who would it be and why?
That is a great question. On a personal side, my grandmother, she died before she could be proud of the woman I have become and the successes I have had. On a professional level, I would love to have coffee with Oprah Winfrey. She has a way of seeing the world in such a positive light and giving meaning to even the smallest things.

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