Canada's future leaders inspire as CEO for the day

Tingting Yan joins Calgary Economic Development President and CEO, Mary Moran, as CEO for the day.

Now in it’s sixth year in Canada, CEOx1Day is a global initiative designed to uncover promising future leaders and give students the opportunity to learn business and leadership skills from top executives in major cities world wide.

The 20 talented third-and fourth-year students selected are matched with CEOs for a day of mentorship that sets the foundation for years of business leadership to come.

This year, Calgary Economic Development was honoured to have Tingting Yan join our team and work with President and CEO, Mary Moran, as a CEO shadow for the day.

Completing her Bachelor of Health Sciences at the University of Calgary, Tingting Yan is a pre-med student who is also the founder of Humans of UCalgary, a medium to share the diverse perspectives of the campus community.

Yan shared her perspective on her day as CEO.

1. What motivated you to apply for the CEOx1Day program?

As a young woman, it is inspiring to see female leaders in action. Diversity of thought has many benefits; increasing female representation in leadership roles is not just a question of social justice, but of competitive edge.

Research reinforces this - Forbes reports that decisions made by diverse teams delivered 60 per cent better results, and McKinsey’s assessment of over 1,000 top companies found diversity was positively correlated with financial performance, employee satisfaction, and decision-making. Yet, women make up only 17 per cent of corporate board members and 12 per cent of executive committee members in top companies.

There’s still a lot of room for progress, but I’m hopeful for what we can accomplish together in the future. CEOx1Day is an incredible opportunity to sit on the other side of the table, to see first-hand how leaders drive positive impact within their organizations and communities.

2. Why did you select Calgary Economic Development to work with? 

I was excited to shadow Mary Moran, not only to learn more about the future of our city but to understand how she works with her team to bring a strategic vision into reality.

Mary’s career path has traversed diverse industries and she has extensive experience in not-for-profit board work also. We had meaningful conversations about challenges and successes in a leadership journey, and how to build and strengthen transferable skills in different roles (for a rapidly evolving workplace).

3. What new thing did you learn about your city?

Calgary is always innovating - I sat in on a major pitch for a client looking to set up new offices here. Calgary Economic Development does a great job bringing together the city, companies, and post secondaries to recruit, retain and retrain talent to work on cutting-edge projects.

4. What really resonated with you from your experience?

As a leader, you need to build a strong sense of trust and enable decentralized decision-making in your teams. This allows projects to move forward efficiently, and for everyone to feel ownership over the results.

5. What advice do you have for future leaders?

I’ve always stood on the shoulders of giants and benefited from the support of my community. Learn how to effectively give back to your community; personally, that has taught me so much.

This article was originally published on the Calgary Economic Development website.