Women across Canada are kicking butt in the workforce, all while maintaining their cool and doing the things in life they enjoy. “Monday Motivation: How she does it” is a news series where we profile notable women working in various fields to find out how they juggle work-life, balance. For this installment, we chatted with Debra Margles - President of Michael Kors Canada.
Can you describe what you do in your position as president of Michael Kors Canada?
I’ve been the President of Michael Kors Canada for the past 12 years, but I have worked in the fashion industry for over 30 years. I have always been very involved in merchandising and the marketing side of the business. Now working for a public company, I have learned more about the finance and operations side.
What does a typical day look like for you starting from the moment you wake up?
I wake up at 5 am and cherish the first hour of my day as it’s the only “me time” I get. At 6 am, my trainer rings the doorbell and I do an hour of pilates, cardio and weight training. Then my day starts with breakfast with my children and then I am off to work. Every day is different depending on the season or the market. I may be travelling to New York with our buying team, visiting for a training summit on leaders or presenting to the board of directors, or visiting our 40 stores across Canada. Lunches are usually spent at my desk in between a call or a meeting, or even during a meeting if the day is very busy! I am usually out my office door by 6:30 pm so I can be home for dinner with my family. By 9:30 pm I am in bed reading my emails and by 10:00 pm lights are out!
What are some challenges you face as a career woman?
Prioritizing family obligations and making time for friends is tough. I deal with a lot of guilt and I overcompensate with my children. Then, there’s finding time to give back to the community and for health and wellness.
How do you overcome these challenges?
I plan vacations whenever I can with my family as well as for myself to places like Canyon Ranch and Rancho La Puerta. With my sisters, i’ll go on mini weekend trips to Fogo Island or Mont-Tremblant to climb a mountain. I’ll also incorporate exercise and community service into my social life. I’ll exercise with friends or go for long walks with them, or I’ll even do community service with people I enjoy spending time with.
How do you juggle work-life balance?
I have a great husband who helps me with everything from grocery shopping to carpool – that is one big plus in my life that has allowed me to focus on my career. A great circle of family and friends has also been a big help. I’m organized and I’m a good multi-tasker, but I also cut corners when I have to like ordering a salad instead of making one at home, or I’ll have a hairdresser come to my house on a Sunday night.
How do you like to unwind?
Massages are my number one go-to special treat! I also love to unwind with a great movie, book or magazine, and hot bath with epsom salts and a candle. But there is nothing like exercise or a great yoga class to help me unwind after a big day or week.
Choose one: wine or cocktails? Why?
Wine – I like a full bodied red wine but the next morning I always regret it!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Believe you can and you will succeed. I live each day like it’s my last. I have buried a lot of young friends along the way and I don’t want to have any regrets.
How do you define success?
Time to enjoy, time to give back and have meaningful relationships along the way. In particular, success for me is when I see my children all self-sufficient.
Do you know someone we should feature in this segment? Send an email to [email protected]