Sophie D'Amours, vice-chair, Universities Canada and rector, Laval University

Sophie D’Amours is the chair of Universities Canada and rector of Université Laval.

What advice would you offer women pursuing leadership positions in their fields?

I would advise each of them to not hold back, to believe in themselves and to have the courage to dare. They should discover what motivates them and follow through.

How do you define success?

Success, for me, is about the love of learning, being helpful to others, believing in the work I do and overcoming challenges together with my colleagues. My definition of success: being happy while accomplishing both small and large goals.

If you could start your career again, what is one thing you would do differently?

I wouldn’t change anything. I have been very fortunate.

What is the most enriching part about being a leader in higher education?

I enjoy the challenges and finding new ways to solve them as a team, and I am deeply committed to advancing research and higher education.

What are the keys to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in higher education?

The key is to continually work to ensure diversity across all areas of higher education. This could include giving talented people from different backgrounds the opportunity to play new and important roles; measuring progress of equity, diversity and inclusion on campus and finding ways to reduce gaps; and constantly striving to eliminate biases and providing training to minimize their impact.

Universities Canada