As we celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day, we are highlighting ARAG Service Corporation’s CEO, Barbara Haynes. Learn more about Barbara, her career and how she will be challenging herself in 2021.

Question: What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
Barbara: Probably those times in my career when I've been building something, so start-ups, new divisions, that kind of thing. One of my greatest joys is seeing a group come together as a team and achieve something greater because of that team bond.

Question: What leadership lessons have you learned during the pandemic?
Barbara: That this has been hard on people, and very much dependent on their own circumstances. Whether it's kids, dogs, lack of space, technology, older or sick family members, the need to communicate has been even more important than before. We need to be aware of the challenging circumstances our teams are under – be flexible with hours, recognize efforts, celebrate wins, and try to weave in some fun and humour along the way.

Question: What's the biggest focus for ARAG in 2021?
Barbara: Growing in Canada, making an impact, making use of many of the capabilities, technology, and skills within the greater ARAG Group. Bringing more legal service products to market, while providing greater access to justice.

Question: What do you attribute your career growth to?
Barbara: In three words – passion, confidence, and communication. Through my career I’ve been drawn to roles that have been challenging, maybe even unconventional, but they were important to me and I enjoyed each of them. Life is too short, so do something you love. Also, particularly as a woman, make sure you have the confidence to stand up for what you believe in. Lots of people talk about mentors - I feel I've learnt something from almost every person I've worked with. Never assume you know everything - and don't be afraid to ask smart and capable people for help - it's almost always beneficial.

Question: The 2021 campaign is Choose to Challenge, how are you going to challenge yourself this year?
Barbara: Keep learning! I say the day I stop learning, is the time I am no longer useful, and it's the time to give it up.