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Forty Under 40 Award winner Q&A: Courtney Steeksma

This year’s cohort of recipients will be celebrated at an event Feb. 7, 2024

BIV is recognizing Courtney Steeksma, regional lead of The Scotiabank Women Initiative at Scotiabank, and 39 other exceptional business leaders as part of the 2023 Forty Under 40 Awards cohort.

Longer Q&As with each recipient are included in BIV's annual Forty Under 40 Magazine (out in print Dec. 11). Award winners will be celebrated at an awards gala Feb. 7, 2024.

This profile may have been edited for length and clarity.

What career highlight are you most proud of?

In 2022, I was appointed as the regional lead for The Scotiabank Women Initiative, a role that fills me with immense pride. I am grateful for the trust and support the organization has shown in endorsing my vision for the initiative in B.C. and Yukon. The realm of women in business and female entrepreneurship extends far beyond the bank, and I am both humbled and honoured to contribute to fostering a space for these crucial conversations and effecting change in this landscape.

What was your toughest business or professional decision?

Opting to step down a job level with the aim of advancing my career in another industry was an incredibly nerve-wracking decision.

How do you lead?

Leadership is about collaboration and inspiring others to do their best work. I aim to be direct and collaborate with my team by delegating tasks that contribute to their growth, setting a positive example and demonstrating genuine care and support.

What is the biggest lesson you've learned in business?

Establish a diverse network! Connections across different industries and backgrounds broaden perspectives and provide a robust foundation for seizing new opportunities.

Best piece of advice ever received?

To grant yourself permission to fail – embrace it as a natural part of learning and growth. Shift your perspective to see failure as a steppingstone to success and normalize it as a common experience.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Empower yourself to say no. Define your core priorities and if something doesn't align with your current goals or promote personal growth, it's okay to decline.

What's left to accomplish?

I aspire to invest more of my time in travelling and exploring the world. Perhaps, in the future, I might even pursue opportunities to work on an international scale.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or acknowledge?

I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to my husband, for wholeheartedly supporting my aspirations and never doubting their attainability. I'd also like to express my gratitude to the professional champions who recognized my potential even when I couldn't see it myself. Your influence has left a lasting impact on my life.

Read Q&As with all 40 award recipients here. Tickets to the 2023 Forty Under 40 Awards gala on Feb. 7 are now available.