Alex Landry shares how she strives for better

First National Financial LP Mar 14, 2023   mins

Alex Landry, Bilingual HR Specialist, Montreal shares her experiences as an Olympic gymnast, why she values perseverance and what #EmbraceEquity means to her.

In honour of International Women’s Day, we are profiling several inspiring women on our team. These women lead by how they live in the world, how they share their wisdom through their actions and integrity and how they show up every day. Alex Landry, Bilingual HR Specialist, Montreal shares her experiences as an Olympic gymnast, why she values perseverance and what #EmbraceEquity means to her. 

Q: Tell us your story in your own words.

AL: When I was young, my family moved from Montreal to Ajax, Ontario. I was six years old when I started gymnastics. My sister was doing it, and I wanted to do everything she was doing. I fell in love with gymnastics. My parents saw my skills and talent and put me in a higher-level club in Toronto. I didn’t speak English very well but I had to adapt quickly and work my way up. By the time I was 14, I was selected for the national team in rhythmic gymnastics and competed internationally for four years. In 2011, my team competed at the World Championships in France. We secured our spot as the first Canadian rhythmic gymnastics team to compete in the Olympics. When I was 18, I competed in the 2012 London Olympics. 

While I loved gymnastics, my experience was difficult mentally and physically. Despite the challenges I faced, I am proud of how invested in myself to become an elite athlete. I am proud that I was able to keep going and rely on my support system without feeling any shame. It was a tough journey for me personally, but I persevered to realize my dream. It’s very rewarding for me to say I am an Olympian who competed and represented Canada proudly. 

Q: Why does the word perseverance resonate with you to exemplify how you live in the world?

AL: No matter how difficult something may be, keeping going and fighting for your dream. I apply this philosophy to everything in my life – sport, personal and work. It’s inevitable we will face obstacles in life. But perseverance helps us get to the end goal. When I was a gymnast, there was so much pressure in the lead up to the Olympics. There was this constant looming threat that at any moment someone else could take your spot. Instead of succumbing to that fear, I chose to prove myself every single day. Show up and work extra hard. I realized how much I wanted to be an Olympian and how much it meant to me. That lesson translated into my personal/work life at the start of the pandemic. I lost my job. But I decided I didn’t want to sit at home and collect CERB. I took the opportunity to rethink what I really wanted and figured out a way to go after it. I realized I wanted to join a company where I could grow and work my way up. And I found First National. I joined in recruitment as the first bilingual role in our HR department. 

Q: From your life experiences, what wisdom do you want to share with other women?

AL: As women, we often apologize for going after our dreams because we are afraid to appear too competitive or ruthless. But we need to celebrate and support each other in going after our dreams. Because we deserve to reach them. As I’ve reflected on my own experiences so far, I’ve realized the importance of focusing on what I can learn from the past to take with me into the future to make it better. What can my experiences teach me? I chose not to be a victim. Instead, I chose to focus on my strengths – my work ethic and my ability to be a supportive team player. That shift in perspective has helped me in my career and will continue to guide me as I grow. 

Q: As a woman, what is it like to work at First National and what inspires you?

AL: In the HR department, I’m surrounded by amazing, smart women who inspire me and teach me so much. That’s why I love working at First National. My work ethic gets noticed and recognized. I feel so confident building a career in a company that values hard work as a way to achieve your goals. I get the support I need. I am encouraged to share my thoughts. And I learn something new every day. But most importantly, I can be myself, and my colleagues and managers celebrate me for that. 

Q: #EmbraceEquity is the theme for International Women’s Day 2023. What does that mean to you?

AL: It is important to embrace equity because everyone has the right to the same opportunities and advancement. No one should face barriers to reaching their full potential, especially if they have no control over those barriers. If we all embrace equity as a unit, we will be capable of so much.


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