HEC Montréal Alumni Association and the Club des 100

Joanie, member of the HEC Montréal Alumni Association’s board of directors and the Club des 100.

What is the mission of the HEC Montréal Alumni Association?

Active since 1921, the HEC Montréal Alumni Association now represents 95,800 graduates across Canada and around the world. HEC Montréal’s graduates also make up one of the most important networks of decision-makers and business contacts in Quebec.

The HEC Montréal Alumni Association’s mission is based on four pillars:

  • Career development;
  • Networking;
  • Maintaining the school’s prestige; and
  • Giving back and getting involved with the school that is training the next generation.

How did you get involved with the HEC Montréal Alumni Association? Tell us about your role as a board member.

Joining the alumni’s board of directors came naturally, since it fits in perfectly with my intention to give back to the school that has given me so much. After graduating, I entered the job market with this desire to excel professionally. During this time, I felt somewhat disconnected from my school, and that’s when I decided to get involved either as a lecturer or by doing philanthropic work.

As a compensation management specialist, I know perfectly well that, behind the numbers, there’s a situation, a story, a person. In line with my current work in this field, I’ll be contributing to the alumni’s board of directors by breaking down ideas and preconceived notions to enhance the well-being of graduates as they advance in their careers. I’m interested in issues regarding wellness, equity, diversity and inclusion.

Although my specific involvement remains to be defined, I’ll be focusing on well-being, equity, diversity and inclusion. I’ll also be helping with the activities celebrating HEC Montréal’s 100th anniversary, scheduled for 2021. My work with the HEC Montréal Alumni Association complements my involvement in other spheres, such as women in governance, teaching and the Club des 100.

“It’s a privilege to be part of this group, to interact with passionate and dedicated professionals in their community.”

You are also a member of HEC Montréal’s Club des 100. Can you tell us a little more about its mission and how it relates to your involvement with the HEC Montréal Alumni Association?

The Club des 100 is a group of young philanthropists (under 40) who provide significant support to the next generation of HEC Montréal’s alumni, both on an annual and an ongoing basis. Our values are:

  • Philanthropy as an investment in the next generation;
  • Higher education as a driver of economic development; and
  • Solidarity and mutual help.

It’s a privilege to be part of this group, to interact with passionate and dedicated professionals in their community. The Club des 100 is always seeking new members and greater diversity, whether among women, many of whom are graduates but still not adequately represented on boards of directors and in philanthropic associations, or in terms of intersectional diversity. All of us can make a difference. All we need to do is just put our hearts into it and get involved.

Through your involvement with HEC Montréal, you also helped write additional instructional content for the textbook Gestion de la rémunération. Why is this project important to you?

Following the publication of the latest edition of the textbook on compensation, Gestion de la rémunération, by Sylvie St-Onge, HEC Montréal offered me the chance to review the Compensation Management certificate course material. Since I was already teaching the course, I was grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this project and revisit some of its methods. Lastly, the publisher Chenelière asked me to write the educational content for the other French-language universities in Canada offering a Compensation Management course and using this same textbook.

My goal is to share my passion for the profession, inspire students and draw their attention to the field of compensation. When we’re actively employed, it’s beneficial for us to gain a better understanding of what total compensation is, how it’s defined, what an employer’s obligations are, and more.

This fall, I also wrote an article entitled “En temps de crise, humanisez votre stratégie de rémunération” for CRHA magazine[1]. It’s a philosophical reminder that money doesn’t make us happy. Given the current situation, money is certainly not the only factor that drives commitment and recognition, especially if there isn’t any money because of budget cuts. This article discusses the opportunity to redefine the total compensation strategy and to keep in mind one key aspect that’s often overlooked: having fun at work. Are our employees having fun? Can non-monetary components of compensation contribute to this?

What do you find most rewarding about your involvement with HEC Montréal (the Club des 100 and the HEC Montréal Alumni Association)?

It’s quite simple: to feel like I’m making a positive difference in my environment and to actively help make a lasting change in my community. It may seem easier to criticize than to take responsibility collectively and act, yet every gesture counts and makes a real difference.

Why is it important for you to get involved in the community?

My involvement has given me a new purpose, a personal and professional goal. I think I’m a better citizen in my community and I’m grateful for the opportunities that I have. After that, all you need to do is take action and put your heart into it.


[1] Coutu-Bellerose, J. 2020. En temps de crise, humanisez votre stratégie de rémunération. CRHA. https://ordrecrha.org/ressources/revue-rh/volume-23-no-3/remuneration