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Empowering motherhood: How Janice Myers, CEO of CREA, navigates career success and family life

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The journey of motherhood is a profound one, marked by moments of joy, growth and unexpected challenges. I know this as I speak from experience. The arrival of my new family member heralded not only a shift in daily routines but also a profound evolution of my aspirations and priorities.

For Janice Myers, CEO of the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), motherhood catalyzed a journey of self-discovery and professional growth. In a world where societal norms often dictate that motherhood should supersede professional ambition, Myers’ story challenges these preconceptions, offering hope and inspiration to working mothers everywhere.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day and honour the invaluable contributions of mothers in the workplace, Myers shares her insights and experiences, shedding light on the delicate balance of career aspirations and familial responsibilities. Through her journey, she exemplifies the resilience, determination and unwavering spirit of working mothers — proving that with faith, support and determination, anything is possible.

Let’s delve into Myers’ reflections on motherhood and its huge impact on her career journey, along with her valuable insights and wisdom.


Natalka Falcomer (NF): You’ve undoubtedly encountered numerous career opportunities and challenges throughout your journey. How has motherhood influenced your approach to seizing these opportunities?


Janice Myers (JM): “Motherhood has been a guiding force in my career decisions. It has taught me that everything is a choice, and timing is paramount. There have been instances where career opportunities presented themselves, but upon careful analysis of their impact on my family, I realized they weren’t the right fit for us at that moment. And that’s okay. I’ve learned to have faith that other doors will open when the time is right.

On the flip side, motherhood has also emboldened me to pursue opportunities even when I may not feel 100 per cent qualified or ready. Women often hesitate to take the next career step because they feel they need to check every box. But sometimes, you just have to figure it out as you go along.”


NF: Balancing the demands of family and career can often feel like an uphill battle, leading to stress and self-doubt. What strategies have you employed to navigate this challenge?


JM: “The biggest challenge for me has been the constant juggling act, feeling pulled in so many directions. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’re not doing any of it well. But I’ve learned to recognize that achieving balance is an ongoing process, and what works for me may evolve over time.

Prioritization has been key — identifying what matters most in both my career and family life helps me make informed decisions and allocate my time effectively. And while I strive to stay in control, I’ve also learned to embrace the unpredictability of life’s roller coaster ride.”


NF: Delegation and support systems are crucial for working mothers. How have you leveraged these resources throughout your career?


JM: “I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have a supportive partner and family who have played instrumental roles in my journey. When my children were young, my husband’s home-based business allowed him to be present when needed, providing invaluable support.

Additionally, I’ve learned the importance of delegation — both at work and at home. As women, we often feel the need to do it all ourselves, but sharing responsibilities alleviates pressure and allows us to focus on what truly matters.”


NF: Reflecting on your journey as the first female CEO of CREA, what lessons or insights do you hope to impart to other women navigating the complexities of motherhood and career advancement?


JM: “One particular moment stands out vividly in my memory — a moment that underscored the delicate balance of seizing opportunities while managing their impact on loved ones. It serves as a reminder that no matter how meticulously we plan, external forces can disrupt even the best-laid plans.

My hope is to inspire other women to pursue their ambitions while navigating the complexities of family life, knowing that with determination and support, anything is possible.”


NF: You mentioned a significant moment in your journey — attending the York Executive Program at the Schulich School of Business. Can you share more about how this experience impacted you?


JM: “Absolutely. Attending the York Executive Program at Schulich was a dream come true for me, but it came with its own set of challenges. I vividly remember the internal conflict I faced when considering the program. On one hand, the opportunity for professional growth was undeniable. Yet, on the other hand, the thought of being away from my children for an extended period weighed heavily on my mind.

Despite my hesitations, my parents and husband rallied behind me, urging me to seize the opportunity. Their unwavering support gave me the courage to embark on this journey, leaving behind carefully written bedtime notes and hidden presents for my children to discover in my absence.”


NF: How did you navigate the separation from your family during the program, and what did you learn from that experience?


JM: “Throughout those long weeks, maintaining regular contact with my family became a lifeline. Despite the distance, our connection remained strong through phone calls and heartfelt conversations. However, the separation still felt like an eternity, and I grappled with feelings of guilt and longing.

Yet, upon my return, I was greeted with overwhelming excitement — a warm reminder of the unwavering love and support that surrounded me. That experience taught me a valuable lesson about the delicate balance of seizing opportunities while managing their impact on our loved ones.”


In the broader context of workplace dynamics, Janice Myers’ narrative underscores the imperative to recognize and celebrate the invaluable contributions of mothers as productive contributors. Rather than viewing motherhood as a hindrance to professional success, Myers’ story highlights the notion that motherhood enhances one’s capacity for leadership, resilience and innovation.

By embracing a culture that values and supports working mothers, organizations within and outside of real estate can harness the diverse perspectives and talents they bring to the table, fostering environments where both personal and professional growth thrive.

As we honour mothers this Mother’s Day and beyond, let’s champion policies and practices that empower mothers to excel in their careers while nurturing their families, recognizing their integral role in driving progress and prosperity in and out of the workplace.


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