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#BossWhoMadeMe: Carolyn Lawrence – A series of open letters to Women Bosses who shaped us

The average person has about 12 jobs during the span of their working life — with this number increasing for millennial workers. Assuming that you have one boss per job, that is at least 12 bosses who will have a direct impact on your career. Some positively and some otherwise. And whilst through the course of your career you might work with a number of great bosses, there is always one who you feel forever indebted to. Maybe they gave your first job, maybe they encouraged you to believe in yourself or maybe they supported you through a difficult time. In the spirit of all things love — I penned an open letter to the Woman #BossWhoMadeMe and invited members from our community to pen theirs too.



By Ony Anukem



#BossWhoMadeMe: Carolyn Lawrence [Submitted by Alicia Skalin]


Dear Carolyn,

Way back in 2012 I was living in New York and received a LinkedIn message that piqued my interest. It was from you, reaching out with an opportunity at Women of Influence that you thought I might be a good fit for. At that time I wasn’t prepared to pursue it, but shortly thereafter had a lingering feeling of ‘what if’.

Soon enough it was 2014, I was back living in Toronto, and to my pleasant surprise, another message popped up. You were letting me know the team was expanding and there was another exciting role on the horizon. This time, I didn’t hesitate.

Within a day of interviewing I was hired, onboarded, and six days later producing a 500 person Luncheon and praying it went off flawlessly. I’ll never forget the excitement, rush, and ultimate relief once the event was done. Little did I know, this was the first of hundreds to come over the next year and a half.

During this growth period, you became not only a boss, but a mentor, a champion and a personal friend. I was inspired by your cool confidence, your grace under pressure, your ease and natural ability to communicate directly and succinctly, and your deep expertise around women’s advancement. You helped shape me into the leader I wanted to be and together we produced work that I will forever be proud of.

And then it was 2015 and change was on the horizon again. I’ll never forget the day you called me into your office, sat me down over a bottle of tequila, and presented me with the opportunity to take over the company you had built over the last 10 years. The fact that you believed in me to that degree, along with your confidence that I could do well with your business, is the only reason I felt brave enough to say yes and take the leap into entrepreneurship. Hands down, this has been the most defining moment of my career to date.

Now here we are in 2019 and our story has a happy ending: we’re still good friends and the business is thriving! I am forever grateful to you for all the reasons stated above and hope you know what a significant impact you have had on a young woman with big dreams who was not quite sure how she would get there from here. Today I share my endless thanks for getting me here and never allowing me to wonder ‘what if’….

Love & gratitude,



READ: #BossWhoMadeMe: Jasmine Dotiwala [Submitted by Ony Anukem]

READ: #BossWhoMadeMe: Pegi Gross [Submitted by Lisa Macintosh]


Would you like to a share a #BossWhoMadeMe open letter to a woman boss who has had a positive impact on your career? Send us an email with your open letter and the best ones will be shared as part of our #BossWhoMadeMe series.