Brig.-Gen. Josee Robidoux leads by example when it comes to women in high-ranking roles.
In 2017, Robidoux became the first woman promoted to Brigadier General of the Canadian Army Reserves.
During her visit to P.E.I. this week, she met with the P.E.I. Business Women’s Association to discuss the importance of having women in leadership positions and the associated challenges.
Robidoux told The Guardian that having woman leaders is important, not just in the military but throughout all fields.
“We still need to work at it,” said Robidoux, who was previously named one of Canada’s top 100 most powerful women by the Women’s Executive Network. “It’s not easy in most environments… I think the more women who get to those types of higher leadership positions within different fields, the easier it’s going to be for others to follow in their steps.”
Robidoux, who has been in the Canadian Forces for more than 34 years, has seen a career of firsts. Two of her other accomplishments include being the first woman commander of the 35 Canadian Brigade Group and the first woman to command a brigade group in Quebec, where she oversaw a group of 2,000.
Her service has also included a deployment in Afghanistan, where she was a senior adviser to the Afghan National Army chief of training and force structure and chief of advisers.
Through her experiences, Robidoux said she found having men and women serving in leadership roles brings different perspectives to organizations.
“Having different ways to look at solving problems makes for a better solution in the end,” she said.
Robidoux said the biggest thing that can be done is to encourage other women, while also speaking of the importance of women’s groups and networks.
“At the end of the day, encouragement is really important.”