The inVisible Minority Report | Chanel Parris

chanel

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CHANEL PARRIS

CURRENT POSITION & TITLE:
Currently I am a Software Engineer (more specifically, an Embedded Software Designer).

NUMBER OF YEARS AT CURRENT ORGANIZATION/ROLE:

I’ve been in my current position for approximately two years.

WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT THE MOST?

I am most passionate about finding simple solutions to complex problems – the art of problem solving is a fascinating one. I enjoy applying a variety of techniques in order to attain the most elegant solution.

ETHNICITY/BACKGROUND:

I am Canadian born and raised, but I owe the “wuk in my waist” to my Trinidadian mother and father.

1. What is your fondest childhood memory?
My fondest childhood memory was when I was around 8 years old. My mom surprised me and my sisters at school with a steel pan and asked us to play in front of the entire school. It was the first time I transformed under pressure.

2. Tell us about your proudest accomplishment.
My proudest accomplishment was graduating with an Engineering degree from McMaster University. It was the first time that I set out to conquer a goal that felt way BIGGER than myself.

3. What is your favourite dance party song (the song that makes everything all right & that just melts the stress away).

My ‘must move’ song is: Da Style Deh from Busy Signal

“I am most passionate about finding simple solutions to complex problems – the art of problem solving is a fascinating one. I enjoy applying a variety of techniques in order to attain the most elegant solution.” – Chanel Parris

4. What is your definition of Sisterhood?
Sisterhood, to me, describes the unity that exists between women who aim to guide each other through the beautiful chaos we call life.

5. If you were given a million dollars – what would you do and why?
I would buy a detached home in downtown Toronto 😉

6. How do you define success?
Success is trying. Once you try, you are a success in my eyes, anything outside of that is playing God and that position is already filled.

 

“Sisterhood, to me, describes the unity that exists between women who aim to guide each other through the beautiful chaos we call life.” – Chanel Parris

7. What career advice would you give women trying to manage/do it all?

Stop.

8. Define leadership.
Leadership is a language. You must know how to speak the language of those you wish to lead and most importantly you have to let them teach you that language.

9. Tell us about a defining moment in your career. What made it stand out to you?
At my current company, I became the first female software engineer, ever! I didn’t intend on making history, but I rather enjoyed it.

10. We all experience self-doubt, self-sabotage or lack of confidence at some point in our lives, tell us about a time you came up against your inner critic and how you managed to overcome it?
I was hesitant about leading a Women Engineers Society at work. I felt under-qualified leading such a prestigious group of women – they disagreed and I found power in their support.

11. What is the MUST READ book – the book that every woman MUST read? Please share your favourite quote/line/lesson from the book. 
“Black women are born leaders… our leadership strengths and capabilities are minimized, prematurely compartmentalized, or actively silenced. Now is the time to own.. [to] step into the breadth of our greatness. Now is the time to lead.” – Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, How Exceptional Black Women Lead:  Unlocking The Secrets To Creating Phenomenal Success In Career And In Life.

12. Rapid Fire Round. Tell us in one sentence or less your response to the following:
I believe that what we women need the most is: Admiration for the person in the mirror.
I want the world to remember me as/by: I want the world to remember me as someone who loved to make others smile.
I am the happiest/most fulfilled when: I am most fulfilled when I’m sitting still and hearing myself breathe. It is so calming!
What I love about myself the most is: I love and this is a recent love, my hard-to-manage enthusiasm.
One thing I would tell my younger self is : Nothing. She’s better off this way.

 

Thank you again for your time Chanel! Continue to be BOLD, Brilliant & Beautiful! You are an inspiration to us all. Know someone in the C-STEAM – Corporate, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Advertising, Math & Media  industry we should feature? Drop us a line and let us know!

::About the inVisible Minority Report::The inVisible Minority Report is a bi-weekly feature – an  important conversation that matters and seeks to address  the lack of women of colour featured in main stream media, senior leadership positions,  and other leadership conferences. We believe that young girls need role models who look like them and hope that this serves as inspiration to who they can be.