Leslie Woo is Chief Planning Officer at Metrolinx, the regional transportation authority for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. In 2015 she was named the Outstanding Leader by Canada’s Women’s Infrastructure Network for her work leading the strategic planning for Metrolinx. A key partner with the Chief Capital Officer in the delivery of the $35 billion capital rapid transit expansion underway, she establishes the pipeline of future projects and project scope and business case. Prior to joining Metrolinx Leslie worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Among her many global professional accomplishments, Leslie is a 2011/12 Fellow and member of the International Women’s Forum, a Global Trustee with the Urban Land Institute, and a retired member of the Ontario Association of Architects. Leslie holds many community volunteer roles including Board Director with the Women’s College Hospital and YMCA for the Greater Toronto Area.
My first job ever was… Selling perfume on the department store floor at Christmas.
I chose my career path because… I have always wanted to have an impact and make the lives of others better, starting with architecture.
My proudest accomplishment is… Seeing my kids succeed as independent adults and still come to ask me for advice.
My boldest move to date was… The first time I successfully made the case for why I should be paid more.
I surprise people when I tell them… Tequila is my drink of choice.
My best advice to people starting their career is… That hard work is a given – don’t expect that it is something that distinguishes you.
I would tell my 20-year old self… It’s not all about you.
My biggest setback was… Thinking I could do it all.
I overcame it by… Changing my view that my role was not just to elevate my career but to bring others along with me by coaching, nurturing and developing a legacy.
Work/life balance is… A myth – we are always making choices.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… That I am a big fan of Eminem and Pink.
I stay inspired by… Learning about others, whether in books, in person or in the movies.
The future excites me because… The next generations are smarter and they are impassioned by a vision for a better world.
My next step is… To amplify my impact through leadership and continually improving myself.