Speaking up and standing tall: Trish Desrosiers of PBA reflects on the importance of representation, boundary setting and women empowering women

This International Women’s Day, PBA is proud to put the spotlight on a few of the women who are critical to the success of our business. From their tenacity and expertise to their leadership and passion, these women are truly raising the bar for the next generation – and breaking barriers along the way.

Since 2020, Trish Desrosiers has played a key role in providing support to the chief financial officer at PBA. As the corporate controller, she actively participates in overseeing PBA’s accounting, finance and handles development accounting for new projects.

From the onset of her career, Trish worked with brilliant, supportive women who helped shape her career trajectory and leadership style: “One of my mentors was a w


n who was a CFO at the time I began at the company. She was smart, confident and commanded respect. I learned that a woman could be powerful, confident and heard – I recognized early on that women could serve in these higher positions and be treated with respect.”

However, Trish did experience great challenges – especially when it came to a manager who was disrespectful, sexist and condescending – which required her to reflect and seek the guidance and support of her inner circle.

“After speaking with my partner and deciding that I could leave at any time, it was like a flip switched,” she says. “I realized I had support and that empowered me to think of my own needs as well as that of my team. No job was worth being treated like that and I didn’t need to let it affect me as much as it had. I also started to learn what my boundaries were and what I was looking for in management. I wasn’t scared anymore to ask questions or challenge management because the result could be the same either way and at least I was happy with how I handled myself. I have continued to grow in this respect and advocate more for myself.”

Since this experience, Trish has witnessed industry shifts that have strengthened gender equity such as firms and companies offering maternity leave top-ups, encouraging paternity leaves, greater workplace flexibility and work-life balance. However, she acknowledges there’s still more work to be done – especially when it comes to closing the pay gap and overcoming biases towards pregnant women and working mothers.

As a working mother, Trish recognizes it’s a delicate balance in juggling professional and personal responsibilities. She credits her family’s support, her close group of female friends and PBA’s flexible workplace for allowing her to navigate these challenges with greater ease but recognizes that it’s hard for women to not carry guilt or feel like they are failing in some aspect of their lives. Her advice to help those overcome those feelings is to “communicate with your loved ones and find a support system – women thrive with the support of other women and taking care of your mental health is the best way to ensure you can effectively be there for those who depend on you.”

In the spirit of International Women’s Day, Trish’s advice for women carving out their careers is to be confident: “Apply for that job you want even if you don’t think you’re qualified. You likely are and even if