Élodie Bergeron

Director, Family Services, Research and Partnerships, Leucan

« I thrive on changes! I love to keep looking farther ahead. I have often been in this situation: in forward-thinking mode, but so completely convinced of my point that I succeeded in convincing others. That’s the kind of energy I hope to bring to the Audacieuses AND the cause. »

As Director, Family Services, Research and Partnerships for Leucan, Élodie Bergeron plays a key role in the organization’s management and vision. Adeptly combining her extensive experience, profound human qualities and professional proficiency is like second nature for this quintuple graduate who is widely recognized by her peers for her bold approach and management skills. It is a true honour for Leucan to nominate this exceptional woman to the 2023 Audacieuses cohort.

“I watched the Audacieuses of the past two years in awe. It was so inspiring to see my colleague Pascale Bouchard joining their ranks. Getting involved today is a way for me to show just how committed I am to our mission and member families.” Élodie felt like it was the right time to further her commitment with this concrete gesture.

In her role at Leucan, she comes in contact with families affected by childhood cancer every day, but she also has to cope with a child diagnosed with a chronic illness. This gives her a more personal empathy and enables her to embody Leucan’s mission at a deeper level. “I see those children going through the cancer ordeal, including hair loss, which is generally the most defining moment of their journey. After the ominous ‘Will I die?’ question, children quickly wonder if and when they will lose their hair. I find it so poignant.”

Born to Dare

Élodie has always had a daring nature. She and others around her always felt like she could easily slip out of her comfort zone for a cherished project. “When I was working in the healthcare sector, let’s just say that I stood out from the crowd! I would be at the helm of large groups, and be told repeatedly that I had a lot of guts. Why? Because when I believed in something, I would face up to all the changes and obstacles to make it happen. To be daring, you have to get off the beaten bath. That applies to me but also to ideas and projects, not to mention my teams.”

Working hard for the common good, to advance a project or a cause: that’s what drives Élodie. Of course, that’s not a path free of pitfalls. “It can be hard when you’re dealing with big systems or well-established organizations. I strive to think outside the box, to go against the tide. I need this constant unbalance, to get out of my comfort zone, to challenge myself. I think that’s one of the best ways to move forward.”

A Person-Centred Leadership

It can difficult to find the right balance between confidence in one self and one’s team, perseverance, a human approach, and clear objectives. Yet, it seems innate for Élodie Bergeron. “Leading with individuals in mind comes easily for me. Some very human leaders can look like they’re going around in circles, while more pragmatic leaders will keep an exaggerated focus on results. I strike a balance between the two: I will use my team’s individual qualities to lead everyone in the same direction.”

A true human-centred approach to decisions requires boldness and influence that can clash with existing structures—something Élodie have seen more than once over the years. “But I’m so self-possessed that I usually managed to convince my superiors. And in the long run, everyone ended up embracing the same vision. Effectively influencing others so that good and logical ideas stand the test of time: that’s my true reward.”

A positive approach to management can yield unexpected results. Her person-centred leadership has helped Élodie to influence people in many ways, including in building a strong team spirit. It not only means that her team will often go above and beyond the goals she sets but it also fosters greater dedication and loyalty among her employees. “I always strive to do that, even in remote work situations: influence my team positively in myriad ways to foster team spirit. Yes, by setting a good example and listening well, but also by taking everyone into consideration.”

You’re Beautiful, Just as You Are

Influential, genuine, self-possessed; Élodie never once thought of covering her grey hair even though she went grey at a young age. “My first white hair appeared at 18; it’s part of me. While many people associate grey hair with old age, I see it differently.”

Feeling self-possessed can be a lifelong challenge. It’s a daily struggle against oneself, one’s reflection in the mirror, and even the media. To be truly beautiful, you must dare to be yourself, without artifice. To be confident in who you are, in front of others and yourself. This is exactly what Élodie emulates. “I love my hair. There are even people stopping me on the street to tell me how much they like it. How fun is that! I inspired many women around me to simply embrace their grey.”

Taking on ambitious projects together: that is a hallmark of Leucan’s Director of Family Services’ approach. “I thrive on changes! I love to keep looking farther ahead. I have often been in this situation: in forward-thinking mode, but so completely convinced of my point that I succeeded in convincing others. That’s the kind of energy I hope to bring to the Audacieuses AND the cause.”