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The Path to Leadership

Lessons on career growth and inspiring stories from Black leaders in Canada

What does the journey to leadership look like for Black Canadians? What advice do today’s leaders have for the next generation, and how can we amplify Black voices in business?  

Watch this Smith Business Insight webinar in celebration of Black Histories and Futures Month.  

Led by Aziz Garuba, host of the Made to Lead podcast, this webinar features an all-star panel of accomplished individuals who have risen to top positions in their respective industries: Wanda Costen, dean of Smith School of Business and Roxane Ducasse, senior consultant at Walmart Canada, and Eguono Omotayo, vice-president of product at HomeStars.

You’ll gain valuable insights into their career journeys, the challenges they had to overcome, and the pivotal moments that shaped their path to success — plus actionable insights for today’s aspiring professionals.  

Participants explore:  

  • Real-world examples of successful leadership journeys
  • How to identify and leverage personal strengths for career growth
  • The importance of mentors and building a professional network
  • How to identify and embrace leadership opportunities as they arise
  • Challenges that can get in the way of career success 

This session was recorded on December 13, 2024. 

Session Participants

Aziz Garuba

Host, Made to Lead podcast

Aziz Garuba is a seasoned finance and strategy professional, a diversity and inclusion advocate, a podcaster, speaker and facilitator with over 15 years of experience driving change and delivering improvements to business performance. He is the co-founder of BlackTies, a global community platform for high-performing Black professionals in all industries. His professional experience includes most recently director, business architecture at RBC Capital Markets and engagement manager at EY. He is the producer and host of the podcast Made to Lead, a show that highlights Black excellence and leadership through thought-provoking success stories of amazing professionals and entrepreneurs of African descent who are leading in various industries.

Dr. Wanda Costen

Dean, Smith School of Business

As dean of Smith School of Business, Dr. Wanda Costen brings a unique combination of experience in academia and private and public sector management. Her passionate belief that businesses can drive positive social impact has made her a catalyst for partnerships between academia, business and public organizations on diversity initiatives and training programs throughout her career. With a research interest in strategic human resources, women in leadership and racial and gender inequality in organizations, she works to ensure business research and teaching at Smith are training emerging leaders to thrive within the changing aspects of society.

Roxane Ducasse

Senior Consultant, Business Process Re-Engineering, Walmart Canada

Roxane Ducasse is a versatile professional excelling in consulting, retail operations and project management. Formerly a public servant with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, she seamlessly transitioned to Walmart Canada’s strategic operations program, culminating in leading an $80-million Walmart Supercentre. Currently a senior consultant in business process re-engineering at Walmart, Roxane spearheads cross-functional initiatives, enhancing organizational efficiency. Her dynamic background showcases expertise in operational performance management and strategic leadership, making her a valuable asset in various professional realms.

Eguono Omotayo

Vice-President of Product, HomeStars
Eguono Omotayo is a visionary leader with over 14 years of experience in diverse fields including telecom, banking and service marketplaces. As a Black woman in STEM, she is keenly aware of the power of representation, as well as the power of diversity of thought/ cultures and strongly promotes these in her workplace and community. Eguono is an inclusive leader who brings courage, humility, and open-mindedness to work every day. In 2021 she won the Catalyst Honours Emerging leader award for her contribution to building an inclusive culture in her teams.