Aug 31, 2018
Glass ceilings are being shattered everywhere. Women now shape the world in every field and discipline. The archetype of leadership is less and less the old white male. But big problems remain, whether it's big picture pay equity or the guy you know who mansplains in budget meetings. What are the next steps?
Ben has a powerful, insightful and surprising chat with Laurie VandeSchoot, a senior public servant at the City of Calgary.
About the Guest
As Deputy Chief of Department Review, Laurie VandeSchoot oversees the Community Services and Protective Services (CS&PS) department-wide review, the Calgary Fire Department’s (CFD) diversity and inclusion initiatives, and CS&PS’s 2015-2018 capital strategic planning. Her current portfolio requires extensive partnering and liaising with members of the community, private industry and provincial and municipal representatives to ensure quality, safety and consistency of services.
In her previous role as Deputy Chief of Logistics and Infrastructure, Chief VandeSchoot oversaw several CFD business units including facility management, IT services, capital and urban planning, emergency apparatus repair and equipment supply. She was responsible for the logistics and supply-chain management for large-scale incidents; managed team and business resources, budgets and approvals; and ensured compliance with departmental policies and standards.
Chief VandeSchoot began her career with The City of Calgary in 1988, providing organizational and program development for Parks and Recreation before taking on the supervision of recreation services at Village Square Leisure Centre — Calgary’s largest public recreation facility. She joined the Calgary Fire Department in 2006 as Manager of Strategic Services, where she provided hands-on leadership for all strategic initiatives, business planning, research and development needs. Moving into the position of Finance Manager of Tangible Capital assets in 2010, Chief VandeSchoot led The City through the single largest reform to public sector accounting in 100 years. She later returned to the CFD and was promoted to Deputy Chief in 2012.
In recognition of her work with The City and her involvement with various cultural diversity initiatives, Chief VandeSchoot has received a number of accolades including an Immigrants of Distinction, Organizational Diversity Award for outstanding achievements in implementing cultural diversity initiatives, and a Federation of Canadian Municipalities Award for outstanding contributions to international cooperation.
Chief VandeSchoot holds a M.Sc. in sustainable development from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, a bachelor of kinesiology with a double major in philosophy from the University of Manitoba, and has completed the journalism and public relations program at Mount Royal University. She has received certification in change management, strategic management and project management from a number of professional organizations and post-secondary institutions. She also maintains membership in several associations including the Alberta, Canadian and International Fire Chiefs Associations, Government Finance Officers Association, Institute of Public Administration of Canada and Commission on Fire Accreditation International.
Apart from work, Chief VandeSchoot is married, has two children and is an active participant and volunteer in sports, arts and social justice activism.