Sophia Pugh, District Vice President at Scotiabank; first navigated through the tech world, now thriving in retail.
Why did Sophia leave the tech industry?
In our interview with her, Sophia acknowledged that starting out in an administrative role at Bombardier with 125 men and only 5 women, she wanted more. She began to voice her ambition. She stated, “In my early days, I knew as long as I had the thirst to learn, the opportunities were always there I just had to ask.” We could not agree more, there is a huge amount of value in speaking up and she is a great example where you can get to in life using this mentality. Many women choose to leave the tech industry because they feel outnumbered in the male dominant industry, but in this case Sophia was driven by an appetite for more learning opportunities. Having had that technology working experience, she expressed to us that she is happy to be able to share insights from the tech perspective with her current team to offer a balanced view.
What methods did Sophia use in navigating her journey?
- One of the major points which Sophia brought to light is the importance of self reflection. She revealed, “in order to get into more senior roles I really had to look back and think, what are the skills that are going to help me get there?” While this is definitely easier said than done, it is clear that when leveling up, it is crucial to be able to really step back and analyze what tools you can bring forward.
- A second idea which Sophia shared with us was learning how to lead with leadership and realizing that, “you don’t need to know it all, you just need to know where to get the answers.” Especially as women, we feel as though we need to know all of the answers to prove ourselves. Don’t forget that you aren’t expected to know everything; that is an expectation beyond reality.
- A final point discussed in the interview referred to work-life balance. Coming from a leadership point of view, Sophia commented that “we need to make sure that we’re mindful of the fact that we were once there too, and give women that opportunity.” There are so many little things that can be done to create a positive work environment. She added that this type of environment will ultimately result in a more engaged team because, “what you give, you get back tenfold, whether you are dealing with a male or a female.”
If you would like to learn more about Sophia Pugh and her incredible journey, be sure to watch the full interview below!