On today’s episode, I am interviewing Caroline Codsi, the Founder & Chief Equity Officer of Women in Governance, as the first guest of the Unmistakable Series, on Speaking with Women.
A Citizen of the world, fluent in four languages and having lived on three continents, Caroline was born in Beirut and grew up in the civil war. A highly sought-after speaker, Caroline has addressed audiences across the globe, including two TEDx. She has also done more than 100 fireside chats with preeminent CEOs, Chairs of Boards, and global public figures, including Hillary Clinton, Justin Trudeau, and Chrystia Freeland.
Widely quoted in national and international media, she is the recipient of numerous awards from prestigious organizations including from the United Nations’ Women’s Committee, the Quebec Business Women Network, The Federation of Chambers of Commerce or the New Delhi Women’s Economic Forum. She was also recognized as a Top 20 Diversity Leading Figure in Quebec, Top 75 Canadian Immigrant, Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada, and Top 100 Entrepreneurs changing the world. Caroline is a Forbes Business Council member.
Caroline’s word: Unwavering self-belief
Very early on when I started thinking about personal branding and doing presentations on it, there was a slide dedicated to my guest today.
She was there along with AOC, Jacinda Arden and Badass Boz.
I realize now, that even at the time I had an inkling of what unmistakable looked like.
She was for me, an example of a woman who was putting herself out there intentionally and as I found out later, the fact that she were putting herself out there in the service of such an important cause made her an even more compelling role model.
Now there is something really different about the way she took charge of that cause: parity in corporate spheres of power, namely boards. With her organization, she build artefacts that would support and then legitimize organizations that were meeting the standards of parity.
The certification her organization gives made it and her absolutely unmistakable in that space. Her commitment to fighting injustice, which you will hear very early in our interview, took a life of its own by creating a powerhouse organization and throwing her full genius for putting herself out there behind that commitment.
She is a study in what is possible when a woman has an unflinching belief in her capacity.
3:45 – Caroline speaks about her childhood, the impact of the Lebanese Civil war on her and her family, and how it shaped the woman she became
8:35 – The lessons learned from moving to Paris at a young age, trying to survive by leveraging her communications and networking skills
13:38 – I ask about where her self-belief comes from, and she explains the role her family played in it
18:50 – Her thoughts on how women can be less tough on themselves, and how to keep persevering in the face of hard times
24:42 – How Caroline has flipped the script with Women in Governance, and ‘names and fames’ organizations that are making progress when it comes to Gender Equity
29:00 – Caroline’s three key takeaways: be authentic with your message, be visible, be generous
Her work: Women in Governance