How President and CEO Rhiannon Rosalind Learned to Embrace Her Authentic Self and Style

Rhiannon Rosalind is the President and CEO of the Economic Club of Canada. She is recognized as one of the most established business influencers in Canada, hosting more than 100 events a year with world leaders in politics, industry, and arts and culture discussing the most important issues in the city.

Her favourite Grayes piece is The Pencil Pant in Iron Check due to its comfort and versatility. “It's the most comfortable pant I've ever put on quite honestly and I think I'm going to continue wearing them. These are my one pair of pants now going forward. I can roll around on the floor in these and do yoga,” said Rhiannon.

At the event, Rhiannon told her story of her journey to the top of a notable and respected organization that was well known to be a boys club. She struggled to assert herself in her new role as President and CEO of the Economic Club of Canada, which she took on two weeks before giving birth to her first child.

“Nowhere did it make sense that I, especially pregnant me, was going to be taking over this organization. But I did and my style evolved in such an interesting way because for so long I was hiding who I really was because it didn't really feel like it was acceptable that I was in the role that I was in.”

But Rhiannon persevered through the “shame and embarrassment” she felt in the early days of her leadership role. “I had so many encounters where I would come into a large board meeting about to do a really big deal and a gentleman would turn to me and say  'Can you fill my tea because we're waiting for the CEO of the Economic Club to arrive?' and you just wanted to slip under the table and die,” said Rhiannon.

Rhiannon spent a lot of time trying to look older in the hopes it would change people's perspective of her. “I spent many years wearing fake spectacles that weren't actually mine. So, non-prescription glasses. If you go back into any newspaper print of 2011, you'll see me in these big, thick glasses and they're not real.” Eventually, at her wit’s end, she snapped. “The truth is I was damn good at my job and that was why I had the opportunity that I had. I realized that being a young woman in a position like this was going to blaze trails for women to come after me if I would just own it,” explained Rhiannon.

“I decided to put away the frumpy blazer and the string of pearls and just step into being me. If I wanted to be young and a bit edgier because that is who I am then so be it. It really shifted because I shifted my own perception of myself. I became my authentic self and people started to treat me differently,” said Rhiannon.

Rhiannon started focusing on buying less and buying better. “I did a huge purge and I gave a lot of clothes away. They were beautiful clothes but I think less is more and if we start focusing on creating what feels right in ourselves, it will reflect out."

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