Ten questions for… Geneviève Bouthillier | Cultivate your strengths rather than your weaknesses

Every Friday, someone from the business community reveals themselves in our section. This week, Geneviève Bouthillier, vice-president at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, responsible for participations in medium-sized private companies, answers our questions.

What are your best and worst habits?

I have a very bad habit of always checking my emails and text messages. Except when I sleep, I always look at my phone. The counterpart, and it’s a good habit, is that I’m curious.

What do you do when you need to come up with an idea?

I clean. The whole house goes there. I collect, I classify, and at a given moment, there is something that emerges in the action. If I stay still, nothing will happen.

How do you unplug?

It’s a challenge for me to pick up. This is something I want to learn to do better. I read, not financial reports, books. And I also invest a lot in my circle of friends and my family. Spending time with the people I love is something that recharges my batteries and is essential.

What advice are you glad you ignored?

The one from people who say we need to work on our weaknesses. To work hard to correct something. Yes, but I much prefer the philosophy that says to work on our strengths. Put ourselves in a position so that our strengths are appreciated. We all have weaknesses. By surrounding ourselves with people who don’t have the same weaknesses as us, we can go further and we will be happier.

Was there a moment when your career changed?

At the start of my career, I was in business. I worked at Bell, at Videotron. When I discovered the other side, the investor side, who can support lots of companies, there, I found my place. On the support side, each entrepreneur has their own story and values. I decided to dedicate my career to it.

At the office or at home?

I really like hybrid mode. I think it’s a very nice balance. It’s important to be in the office for team spirit and collaboration. But a day or two at home where you can really concentrate is fantastic. At the same time, those who are 100% teleworking are missing something. Especially for the youngest, who learn a lot through emulation, through the questions we ask in front of the coffee machine.

What physical activity do you do?

Not enough. But I walk a lot and I take the opportunity to listen to all kinds of podcasts. I’m very curious, so psychology, politics, there are lots of things that interest me. I’m trying to learn Spanish too, with more or less success, but it will come.

Have you found a balance between work and family?

I don’t believe in work-life balance. I think we’re always a little unbalanced on one side or the other, but in general, yes, I keep a balance. To always be in balance, no. There are times when we work more. But I think I’ve found a not-so-worse way to deal with this.

What is your biggest mistake?

I had applied for law and finance at university and missed the date for law. So I said to myself: I’m going to go into finance. But I think I would have been happy in law.

Do you have or did you have a mentor?

I never had a mentor, but I was lucky to have inspiring bosses, like Geneviève Morin (president of Fondaction), and women who do finance with their heads, but with their hearts too. It inspired me a lot. I had that chance.

Who is Geneviève Bouthillier?

Vice-president at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Geneviève Bouthillier is responsible for the Caisse’s investments in medium-sized private companies in Quebec that have growth projects. Specializing in finance, she manages, with her team of around twenty people, a portfolio of several billion dollars.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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