Candice Bosteels, Vesuvius

Frazer Jones is proud to be supporting International Women's Day 2018. We have interviewed a series of our female clients asking them how they are pressing forward for women's gender parity #pressforprogress

*Frazer Jones interviewed Candice Bosteels, Global VP HR Flow Control, Vesuvius *

Candice Bosteels

Past Progress

If you could tell your younger self one thing what would it be and why?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help is not a weakness. It is a sign of strength.

What action or decision are you most proud of making in your lifetime?

There is not one single action or decision I am most proud of. What I am overly very proud of is that I have the courage to make a decision when I am not satisfied with a certain situation (whether private or professional), I take the consequences of that decision without looking back too much. The only way is forward.

Describe one of your failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success?

The failure of the relationship with the father of my son, is probably the most important one in my life. However, it taught me to dare to reflect on what I want and don’t want in life, what is important to me. In a professional career, this is very critical too.

If you had to start your career from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?

I refuse to live with regrets, so find this question a hard one. Everything I have done so far, made good sense to me. The steps are logical, and I don’t regret one single one. The only thing I would have done more/different, is ask for more help at times. I wanted to do too much on my own at the start.

Present Progress

Of the people that inspire you, what character traits do they have which you admire?

People that inspire me, are people that are well grounded: they know themselves, and from that self-knowledge, they easily bridge towards others. I admire people who are very intentional in everything that they do, and they don’t do.

If I were to ask people in your workplace for three adjectives that best describe you, what would they say?

Passionate, challenging and empathetic.

How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?

I want to make things better. As long as I see that I am having a positive impact, I am easily motivated.

If you were to be a mentor to someone within your profession, what one piece of advice would you give?

2 things:
(a) Ask for help when you need it (same advice as I would give my younger self), and
(b) Don’t just select a job. Look at the company culture, and your future boss.

What is your personal mantra?

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”

Future Progress

How is gender parity being achieved in your profession and what do you think needs to be done to press for progress?

In the HR profession, we see more women than men up to a certain level. And then the ceiling seems to kick in. I truly believe, regardless of what profession or industry, that gender parity needs to start from the board room. We need a more balanced voice at the board level.

I also believe that some of the “issues” (sic) that are sometimes (too easily) connected with the female gender (like flexible working, balanced work, etc.), are actually challenges that are connected more with generational differences then gender. We do not take generational differences into account as we should do.

What would you say the top 3 compentencies are needed in order to be successful in your industry?

Resilience, focus (intentional choices) and courage: I would give this answer to any industry.

What kind of legacy do you wish to leave behind?

What a beautiful question! I want to make things better. So, in organisations I work in, I want to leave good structures, with great talent for the future, that can help grow the business long after I am gone. And, at a wider level: I want to help people grow, so they become a better person or leader than the day before. There is so much potential out there, and helping to unlock that, is a beautiful legacy to the world.

At the recent Golden Globes, Oprah delivered a moving speech which led to people talking about her running for president. If you had the choice to recommend a leader, who would it be and why?

I believe a good leader is very much dependant on what a country, organisation, or environment needs at a specific point in time. There is not one blanket answer to this question. I am personally a fan of the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. I love how he is leading the country on diversity and inclusion. There is no fear for what is different. He embraces differences, and builds on them. Many can take example.