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Jordana Pourian

Forty Under 40 winner 2019; Senior vice-president of operations and chief of staff to the CEO, Aritzia, Age: 36
Chung Chow photo

Jordana Pourian is senior vice-president of operations at Aritzia Inc. – a global fashion retailer that has a market capitalization in excess of $2 billion.

Aritzia recruited Pourian in 2007, when she was a project manager at Deloitte involved with information technology (IT) projects.

Work at Deloitte, combined with fashion experience gained from working at Club Monaco during university, made her a good fit for IT project management at Aritzia.

Pourian was one of the project managers involved in the 2012 launch of e-commerce at Aritzia, once strictly a bricks-and-mortar retailer, and she afterward became senior director for e-commerce at the company.

More recent roles include senior director of operations and vice-president of organizational development.

When she returned to work in October after her second maternity leave, she became chief of staff to CEO Brian Hill in addition to her operational role – a job that provides her with a deep breadth of knowledge across Aritzia’s business, from retail to digital sales to product development, marketing, human resources and other departments.

“I work with some of the smartest people in the industry,” she told Business in Vancouver.

“We challenge each other to continuously improve. The team is what makes it happen.”

Originally from England, she moved to B.C. with family when she was seven years old. She completed a bachelor of commerce degree with honours at Carleton University and specialized in management information systems.

She received a scholarship during her time at Carleton and was president of the Sprott Information Systems Students’ Association.

She and her husband, Michael, have two daughters: Grace and Gabrielle.

Outside work, she is on the board of directors of the Vancouver-based charity One Girl Can Society.

“A big focus for me, and one of the things that I have really focused on in my operations work, is the development of young women and bringing them up into being successful career women,” she said.

Birthplace: Derbyshire, England

Where you live now: North Vancouver, B.C.

Highest level of education: Undergraduate, commerce, concentration in information systems with honours (Carleton University)

Currently reading: Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

Currently listening to: Father of the Bride by Vampire Weekend

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Prime minister

Profession you would most like to try: M in the James Bond movies

Toughest business or professional decision: Making the choice to take uninterrupted time for two maternity leaves and again deciding to come back to work after maternity leave. Either way it’s hard

Advice you would give the younger you: To be ambitious, you need to build resilience; to build resilience, you need to practice self-care

What’s left to do: Through all avenues possible, accelerate the development of young women. We need more women in leadership positions, especially in politics: locally, nationally and globally

Join us to celebrate the 2019 Forty under 40 Awards on January 30, 2020, at the Westin Bayshore. For tickets and event information visit