“My son knows that ‘Mama goes to school.’ I think he’s proud of me, and respects the hustle,” says Nikki Martin, who recently earned her Certificate in Leadership Essentials at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies (SCS). As a working mom, it was challenging to carve out time for professional development, but it was well worth the effort. “I was open with my family, and I admitted I needed support to achieve my goals,” reflects Nikki. “You can’t be afraid to ask for what you need, and as parents, sometimes we forget that.”
Nikki has worked in the retail industry for over 10 years, finding her passion in project management and operations. She came to SCS in 2016, after identifying significant cultural changes taking place in her organization. “I realized now is the time to ramp up my leadership abilities” says Nikki, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce.
She particularly enjoyed courses focused on conflict management. “I’ve learned you don’t have to react; you can choose when it’s best to engage in conflict, and when not to. There is a psychology to each unique conflict, and through analysis I can get to the core of an issue,” Nikki says. “I’m no longer intimidated by conflict, because I have the skills to handle many situations.”
In the future, Nikki plans to use her leadership skills to counter gender biases in the workplace. “We are building the next generation of female leaders,” she asserts. “I want the same opportunity and earning potential as any other Canadian, regardless of my gender, or any other factors. I’m so glad I made self-development at SCS a priority, because now I am more capable of leading my vision of equality forward.
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