Get to know Lesley Parrott, Business Manager

What’s been a defining moment for you as a woman in your career? 

 The most defining moment in my career thus far occurred post maternity leave – when I had the opportunity to really step back and assess my priorities and values and contemplate how they intersected with my career ambitions. Unsure of how I was going to balance my big ambitions with my desire to be the ‘perfect’ mother, I stepped away from the corporate career trajectory that I was on and experimented with a number of roles in various industries.  It was through that process that I discovered my passion for gender equity advocacy and the fulfilment that a ‘portfolio career’ brought me. 


What is your own experience of the Three Barriers and what tips would you given women navigating their own barriers? 

The entire Three Barriers model resonates with me immensely and it is what initially attracted me to Shape Talent.  I’ve had experience navigating societal, organisational and personal barriers in my lifetime, but have been most impacted by societal expectations/norms. Born and raised in a small rural community in Newfoundland, Canada, it was typical for women to stay at home and assume the majority of the unpaid work and mental load. Men, as breadwinners, often worked remotely – being away from the home for weeks on end to work. My mother, who worked as an educator in the community, took care of the vast majority of the household labour while my father worked remotely 75% of the time, set the bar high in terms of the expectations I placed on myself. It takes significant intention, self-awareness and reflection to separate the inspiration I receive from my cultural upbringing from the likely distorted reality of the situation.   


What have you read recently? 

I’ve recently finished Dare to Lead by Brene Brown and am now re-reading The Gifts of Imperfection – by the same author.  The subtitle: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, is a statement that should be shouted from the rooftops – especially to women.   


What do you like to do in your spare time? 

As an extremely curious person and lifelong learner, you’ll typically find me reading or listening to podcasts in my spare time, ideally, hiking while listening to a podcast. Travel is also very important to me. I love to experience new environments, food, culture and people. Aside from travel and consuming content, I spend significant time on the sidelines of music recitals, dance classes and swimming lessons as a proud mom supporter to my young daughter, Josie.