Directwest, proudly serving Saskatchewan for over 100 years, knows the value of diversity. It makes their business, and our province, stronger. Meet four women that are critical to Directwest’s success in today’s marketplace.
Michelle Chittenden, Director of Human Resources and Industrial Relations
Michelle has been with Directwest for nearly 24 years—all spent working in human resources. Today, she’s the company’s chief negotiator and works as the lead on everything from recruitment to payroll and everything in between. “I have seen a lot of change over my career as our company has evolved,” she says.
Michelle has a passion for supporting women and their career journeys. She sees the value of women in the workplace not only from an HR inclusivity lens, but also its value for the bottom line. “When we have diverse voices in the business decision-making process, we all do better,” she says. “Having women with a seat at the table has a remarkable effect on an organization’s success.”
She advises that women set goals and boundaries in their careers. “Know where you want to go, know what your priorities are, and where your work ends,” she says. “Real work/life balance means you can focus on what matters to you. Achieving that, along with plenty of drive and determination, has been the key to success for me.”
Andrea Hau, Sales Manager
Andrea’s role as a Sales Manager means that she is responsible for a team of media advisors and small business channels that help Saskatchewan SMEs meet their marketing goals. Her team handles marketing of all kinds, including print, digital and social media. Her career started in the B.C. hospitality industry, and eventually brought her to Directwest eight years ago. “I started in ad production, and after two maternity leaves, moved into media advisory and then into management,” she says.
Her eight years with Directwest have been great for her career trajectory. “I have had so much opportunity to learn and grow,” says Andrea. “Directwest has transitioned from ‘the phone book company’ into a full-service, dynamic marketing company that knows the community it serves like no other. My career here has been exciting. There is never a dull moment.”
For women starting their career journey or looking for their next move, her advice is simple. “Never stop growing and learning,” she says. “There is no reason women can’t climb the ladder and achieve everything men do.”
Pam Marriott, Marketing Manager, Digital Platforms
Pam leads a cross-functional team that manages the mysask411 platform—a flagship product for Directwest. Her career started in communications and then moved into marketing communications, and onto product marketing. Pam arrived at Directwest six years ago and was able to grow into the role she has now. “I transitioned into digital marketing, diving into analytics, digital product management, and strategy,” she says. “Now, I can help business owners by dealing with their digital strategies, so they can do the business they need to do.”
She sees ‘getting comfortable being uncomfortable’ as the mantra for her career. “You have to have self-awareness around what you’re good at, and what you’re not,” says Pam. “Don’t doubt yourself but recognize where you need to build your skills. I think good leaders know where they excel and take the time to work on the things they need to improve on.”
Pam also knows the importance of balance, and the word ‘no.’ “You don’t have to say yes to everything to get ahead. That’s the fast track to burn out. Like they always say, put your own mask on first. Know your limits and hold them,” she says.
Rosa Brittner, Media Advisor
Rosa spends her days working one-on-one with Directwest customers, guiding them through the world of marketing. She joined Directwest on the urging of a friend, who thought she would be perfect for the job. The friend was right. “I enjoy working with people, and I love sales,” says Rosa. “I applied for an inside sales position, and then moved into my current role.”
She started her career in accounting and then took time off to raise her children before jumping back into a new career as a real estate agent. A friend recommended she apply at Directwest, and it was a great move. “Working with Saskatchewan business owners is so rewarding, and the last two and a half years have flown by,” says Rosa.
Rosa’s career has had many twists and turns, as she evolved from accounting to stay-at-home parenting to daycare to real estate, and now as a media advisor. She’s a believer in finding the place and the work that matters to you, regardless of the financial rewards. “Money doesn’t matter if you don’t love what you do,” she says. “Find your passion and the people you want to work with, and the rewards come. I love what I do, and I find my success in their success.”