March is Women’s History Month, so each week we’ll have a post celebrating one of the female employees at Cognibox who are vital to our success. Women make up 50% of our workforce, and act in key roles on the executive team. The company itself was female founded. Simply put: we wouldn’t be the organization we are today without them.
That’s why we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to chat with women in different departments at Cognibox to get to know them better, celebrate their professional achievements, and find out how they make a positive impact every day in our workplace.
In our first spotlight, we’re highlighting Rose Desmarais, Cognibox’s Director of Human Resources. Rose has been with Cognibox for almost three years., and in that time Passionate and rigorous, she’s become an essential part of the success of our business.
Ask any member of our team about her and you’ll quickly see a common theme: she’s a hard worker who genuinely cares about the well-being and prosperity of every employee at Cognibox. This past year proved especially demanding from a human resources perspective, but Rose thrived at helping overcome the challenges of teleworking and planning for a healthy and safe post-COVID workplace.
“Rose’s leadership in the last year ensured a smooth transition to remote work, and most importantly helped maintain a healthy work environment,” says Cognibox CEO Georges Karam. “Now, she’s managing a large increase in recruitment demands, and working closely with other members of the team to implement a new onboarding program.”
Thanks for taking the time to share your story, Rose.
Could you start by telling us about your professional background and journey to Cognibox?
I graduated from the Université de Sherbrooke in Business Administration in 2016. Upon graduation, I worked as a recruiter for a multinational company. I then left Montreal to move to the Mauricie region where I started my job at Cognibox in the spring of 2018.
I was hired as a Human Resources Advisor. With time, the growth of the company and the efforts invested in my work, I obtained the position of Human Resources Director in the fall of 2020.
What is a work-related project or achievement that you’re particularly proud of?
Although not yet complete, managing the crisis at the beginning of the pandemic a year ago was an accomplishment in itself. We have been very reactive and my primary goal has always been to ensure that employees are safe and comfortable working from home.
We had all the necessary equipment delivered to employees' homes, from laptop stands, to ergonomic chairs, to office supplies. We have significantly increased communication with employees to reassure them, and regularly conduct internal surveys to take the pulse of the company.
I am also proud to be where I am in my career. I love my job and my level of responsibility. I feel like I belong here.
Do you have a female role-model or mentor in your life that you look up to?
I come from a large family of seven people, including five women who are all hard-working and ambitious. They are certainly the role models who have forged my professional character.
What advice do you have for young women thinking about their careers?
To rise to the occasion. To believe in themselves and to be ambitious. I would also give advice not to take their position and tasks for granted - to always want to surpass oneself and acquire new knowledge and skills.
The situation is improving year after year, but there are still too few women in management positions in Quebec. I am proud to work at Cognibox, an information technology company where 50% of the employees are women.
What is your favourite part of working at Cognibox?
Every employee has an impact on the growth of the company. It is motivating to work on concrete projects that truly make a difference in our work environment. I also appreciate the importance that our CEO places on employee well-being. It makes my job as Director of Human Resources much easier by empowering me to implement different initiatives.
Also, one project doesn't wait for another at Cognibox. We're never bored!
Isn’t that the truth! A huge thank you for sharing your story, Rose.