15 Quotes from Women Who Own Their Ambition

15 Quotes from Women Who Own Their Ambition

The word ambition resonates more with women today than it did just a few years ago. Despite how far we’ve come, we have the responsibility to embody it, to give it magnitude and colour by lending it strong voices.

Because ambition is complex, and since it doesn’t express itself in the same way in all women, we’ve asked the leaders of our diverse programs to define it in their own words… Inspiring!

leader Isabelle Hudon

“Ambition is the energy that drives us forward. Being ambitious means living with a bit of discomfort and the confidence that anything is possible.”

Isabelle Hudon, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Development Bank of Canada and cofounder of The A Effect


“Ambition is complex, it goes by many names, and has many faces. Ambition is the courage to live your life in your own way.”

– Sophie Brochu, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hydro-Québec and leader of The A Effect Canada

Leader anne bioulac

“Being ambitious means projecting yourself forward, accepting to put yourself out of balance to create motion. There is no motion without imbalance.”

– Anne Bioulac, Vice President and Head of Customer Data & Analytics at Frog, for Capgemini, and leader of The A Effect France

Photo de Mara Harvey

“Ambition is what dreams are made of. It’s what makes us believe that we can be more, that we can be a better version of ourselves. And when ambition comes into play with ethics, big things happen. Things that benefit everyone, and that allow us to lift each other up together.”

– Mara Catherine Harvey, Founder, CEO of Smartwaytostart.com and author, and leader of The A Effect Switzerland

Photo de Debbie Zakaib

“Ambition is the fundamental desire to create big things. Things that are even bigger than we ever believed possible.”

– Geneviève Fortier, Chief Executive Officer at Promutuel Assurance and leader of The A Effect Canada

“Ambition gives us the strength necessary and essential to our professional and personal development. It will be constructive and perceived as such if, and only if, it contributes to the development of others, is in their interest and that of the company.”

– Cécile Dussart, Vice President Operations at Galderma and leader of The A Effect Switzerland

“Ambition starts in our roots. It grows by way of our differences and builds on our values. Ambition is wanting to change the world in our own way.”

Olga Farman, Managing Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright Québec and leader of The A Effect Canada

Photo d'Annick Guérard

“Wanting to take charge of your life, to overcome obstacles and to make things happen around you. Ambition is a way to fulfill yourself, not a quest for power.”

– Annick Guérard, President and Chief Executive Officer at Air Transat and leader of The A Effect Canada

Photo d'Eglantine Jamet

“Ambition is believing in yourself with clarity and being adequately grounded to look ahead. It’s daring to take risks, giving the best of yourself and owning your choices, your successes and your failures. Ambition means questioning your convictions in order to grow and show yourself who you are.”

– Eglantine Jamet, Founding Partner at Artemia and leader of The A Effect Switzerland

Benaaz Irani

“For me, ambition means having the courage to acknowledge my full potential and striving to achieve it.”

– Benaaz Irani, Vice-President, Desjardins Agent Network, Desjardins and leader of The A Effect Canada

Photo d'Hajar El haadouie

“Ambition means having the desire to dare; dare to have confidence in yourself, dare to differentiate yourself, to outdo yourself and assert yourself. Ambition involves giving up a position of comfort and allowing yourself to break the rules.”

– Hajar El Haddaoui, Head of Swisscom Shops in Switzerland and leader of The Effect Switzerland

Photo de Pauline d'Amboise

“For me, ambition is translating my values and courage into action, serving my professional objectives and those of my organization.”

– Pauline D’Amboise, Secretary General and Vice-President, Governance and Sustainable Development at Desjardins Group, and leader of The A Effect Canada

Photo de Nathalia Del Moral

“Ambition is a dream that requires courage and the best of oneself to attain it.”

– Natalia Del Moral, General Manager North America, Yves Rocher, and leader of The A Effect Canada

Photo de Marie-Huguette Cormier

“Aware of my strengths and my vulnerabilities, for me, ambition means always challenging myself, staying in motion.”

– Marie-Huguette Cormier, Senior Vice-President, Human Resources and Communications, at Desjardins, and leader of The A Effect


Five graduates from our Défi 100 jours /Ambition Challenge program, who seized the opportunity to fast-track their ambition alongside these exceptional leaders, share their definition of “ambition.” What will yours be?

“Ambition means having the courage each day to make decisions aligned with your personal and professional life that you truly want to make a reality.”

– Mélanie Lavoie, Vice President of Talent and Culture at Vosker, and Défi 100 jours graduate

Photo de charlotte Huin

“Being ambitious means to love to learn, to want to grow and get out of your comfort zone. Ambition is the filter I apply to my professional life.”

– Charlotte Huin, Head of Business and Digital Transformation at Groupe Mutuel Switzerland, and Défi 100 jours graduate in Switzerland

“For me, ambition doesn’t manifest itself as a competition that has to be won by crushing everyone in your path. Ambition is pushing my limits while being aware of the environment and people with whom I am evolving.”

Magali Amiel, Director of Consulting, Logistics & Transportation at CGI, and Défi 100 jours graduate

“Ambition is the deep desire to fulfill and outdo myself.”

Patricia Alleyn, Vice-President, Ethics and Compliance at AFI, and Défi 100 jours graduate

“Ambition defines the direction we hope to reach; the target we aim for to be peaceful in our everyday life, while still taking on new challenges. Ambition can evolve over time, it must be allowed to grow and evolve.”

Cassandre Rey-Hillion, Head of Gas Works Operator, at ENGIE, and Défi 100 jours graduate

Author profile

Catherine Bergeron


As a writer for over 15 years, Catherine Bergeron has contributed to many publications. She loves finding the right words to inspire, help, and inform by sharing truths, great and small.