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Women on their Way: Paula Terrio-Boyd

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. 

Paula Terrio-Boyd is an alumna of Women Leading the Way™, and is currently the CEO and Founder of Marigold Collective,  a social enterprise dedicated to the social and economic empowerment of women and the preservation of heritage craft traditions.  

What is one thing you learned from the program(s) that influences your work today?

I learned to listen and observe carefully and to ask good questions – to be able to better understand the person in front of me and determine what their perspective and values are.  This enables me to create a clear, big picture view of all aspects and make decisions based on that.

What are your top three values and how do they influence your leadership style?

Respect – I believe it is important to show self-respect and respect to your staff and colleagues regardless of differences.  I have earned the respect of those who I have worked with because I treat others with dignity, empathy and compassion.  I have won dissenters over in this way.  People feel valued and are willing to do their best and goals and projects are successfully accomplished.   

Integrity –  I operate from this place and am a “straight shooter” by nature.   Any of my staff over the years, whether within my businesses or when I worked for organizations I would say, mostly appreciated this about me.  They always knew what to expect – no mystery or surprise – and I was always more than willing to help and support them.

Teamwork – Good teamwork creates synergy and I love to build productive and collaborative teams.  I like that it builds positive culture and also allows participants of the team to shine as well as inspire them to look at learning new skills in the safety of a supportive and enthusiastic group.   I have always worked shoulder-to-shoulder with my work teams and feel that it makes them feel supported and increases their motivation and their ability to work together to meet goals. 

What advice would you share with young women at the start of their career? 

I would advise young women at the start of their career to become involved with groups like Minerva where they can develop a network of colleagues and peers, to engage in professional development and then to find a mentor.

How do you practice self-care? 

Work/life balance is super important.  I have a lot of family responsibility (especially with an aging parent) as well as developing and running a social enterprise as one person wearing many hats.  I meditate every morning.  I walk for an hour every day or ride my bike for that hour or more in the summer.  I make myself a healthy home cooked meal every evening, and eat well in general.  And I spend time with friends socializing, eating and laughing a lot.

How has participating in Women Leading the Way™ changed you as a leader? 

I found that it helped me evolve. The most important take away that I had was the acknowledgment of the progressiveness and importance of “values based” leadership. I naturally tended toward this style by nature and had experienced conflict at times in workplaces where this model was not in place. I did not feel inspired or motivated by a dysfunctional “top down” model.

What is one thing that others might be surprised to learn about you?

I lived and worked in Bali for 10 years and speak Bahasa Indonesia.  I also went on an unforgettable several days Camel Trek through the sand dunes just outside of Jaisalmer, India, and very close to the peace fire line in Pakistan in 1990.

How do you define success?

Success is being engaged in work that I have a passion for and that has positive impact on the communities I work within and live within.   Success is also to be able to provide myself with a sustainable living while contributing to well-being in the world. 

What inspires you?

Travel inspires me a lot – being exposed to different nature, food, culture, people and traditions.  Nature also inspires me and I spend time most days, doing something in nature.  The kindness of my daughter who so willingly and lovingly spends time with my mother, feeding her, massaging her feet and reading to her even though my mother has little cognitivity.  As a young person to invest and show so much value without any recognition directly – wow!  that has touched me deeply and has very much inspired me!

If you could have coffee with anyone, who would it be and why? 

Likely if I could have coffee with anyone, it would be Stephen Lewis.  I admire his work, his passion and his integrity.  He works with principles of social justice, equality and partnership which is what I have based Marigold Collective on.  Since 2003, the Stephen Lewis Foundation has been delivering resources directly into the hands of the grassroots organizations turning the tide of HIV and AIDS in Africa.  These grassroots experts have achieved an astounding and tangible impact.  I am interested in the power of the people, grassroots and what a small endeavor can grow to be.  He has been at this a long long time and I’m sure would have some words of wisdom that I could benefit from.

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