Cynthia Renaud — the journey of a determined lighting specialist

Cynthia Renaud

Laurence Rocher-Brasssard

On the other end of the phone one recent Monday morning, Cynthia Renaud —formerly a student of policing techniques but now a lighting specialist — tells me with pleasure about her unusual journey. It begins at age 25, when with the help of a friend she gets a job with a lighting distributor. During her years there, she takes lighting courses. Her performance comes to the attention of a headhunter, who offers her a position as a travelling sales rep for another distributor. A few years later, she moves into a similar position at Standard, the lighting manufacturer. She has now held this position for eight years.

What attracted her to the lighting industry?

Mother of two children, Cynthia Renaud was drawn to the industry by its infinite possibilities. She could just as easily work on a design project as an energy conservation project. She also appreciates the opportunity to work with the same customers from one project to the next.

She tells me that along the way she has had to adapt to this predominantly male world by doing more. She felt that she wasn’t entitled to make mistakes. Being the best in her field was for her key to proving she was as capable as a man. Cynthia turned this intoa challenge, gradually earning the respect of her clients along the way.

Early in her career, she suffered through rebuffs and stale jokes. Today, she is well known in the industry, so it’s become easier, even though she still sometimes senses hesitation on the part of new customers. She has managed to create a place for herself. We can say that she has met the challenge successfully.

She would have felt a greater gap between women and men during police services training. Not having the same physical strength as men and not being partnered with a woman on patrols, she did not feel at ease. She had more of an impression of being there to fill a quota of women in the police force. She did not have this impression in the lighting industry. “There is absolutely nothing in my job that I can’t do as well or better than a man,” she says. This is how to succeed in the face of life’s challenges.

Advice for women wishing to enter the field?

She would say, “Have confidence in yourself. Hold your head high and go forward.” She also advises newcomers to be well prepared. Plan in advance your meetings with clients so that you’re prepared for all contingencies, and don’t be taken in by tricky or difficult questions. In the same vein, knowing not to take what doesn’t belong to you is very important. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t be afraid to say so. Then find the answer and get back to the client, instead of attempting an uncertain answer. “By doing so, by standing up for yourself, by being right…that’s how we earn respect,” she says.

Today, looking back at the road she has travelled, Cynthia Renaud says she has no regrets and would make the same choices. She loves her work, particularly her customers. She loves having the opportunity to see the results of her efforts. If she designs a clothing boutique, she has the privilege of seeing it lit. She loves this industry and this work, and wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

Finally, in Cynthia Renaud’s own words, “It is not unusual for me to hear today that women are more organized than men and it’s nice to work with us.” Women make a valuable contribution to the electrical industry and are an asset to develop.


Laurence Rocher-BrossardLaurence Rocher-Brassard is the Editor of EIN’s sister publication: Le monde de l’électricité en ligne

More in EIN by Laurence Rocher-Brassard:

EH2 Solar — A Small Business with Global Reach

EFC Officially Launches the Young Professionals Network

Swati Patel: the Art of Success Outside Your Comfort Zone

Stephanie Santini: Never Underestimate Her Capabilities

 

Related Articles


Latest Articles

  • Video: LEDVANCE Lightpoint Learning Facility

    Video: LEDVANCE Lightpoint Learning Facility

    February 23, 2024 LIGHTPOINT Studio & Showroom, the brand-new corporate classroom training facility, located at their national customer service and sales center (NCSSC) in Westfield, IN. Go HERE for more information Read More…

  • How Effective Communication Reduces Plant Hazards

    How Effective Communication Reduces Plant Hazards

    February 23, 2024 By Rick Farrell, President, PlantTours In plant operations, the margin for error is notoriously slim. The smallest oversight, a single misinterpreted instruction, or an unnoticed alert can be the difference between smooth operations and catastrophic failures. While advanced technologies and protocols play an undeniable part in ensuring safety, the bedrock upon which… Read More…

  • A Guide To The Most Essential Hand Tools for Electricians

    A Guide To The Most Essential Hand Tools for Electricians

    February 22, 2024 By Jonard Tools It is currently a great time to be an electrician- however, you’ll need the right hand tools for the job. In this article Jonard Tools highlight the most essential hand tools for electrical work, as well as dive into the specifics of how they are utilized and why they’re… Read More…

  • New Research on Smart Home Technology and Market Trends

    New Research on Smart Home Technology and Market Trends

    February 22, 2024 AI-driven features in home energy management and security systems excite more than half of the current smart home users, concludes new research exploring the perceptions, preferences, and reservations of residential renters and owners regarding the adoption and usage of smart home technologies. However, the survey also highlights data privacy concerns and high… Read More…


Changing Scene

  • LEDVANCE Canada Welcomes Cristiano Konofal as National Account Manager

    LEDVANCE Canada Welcomes Cristiano Konofal as National Account Manager

    February 26, 2024 LEDVANCE Canada has introduced Cristiano Konofal as their National Account Manager. “I am thrilled to announce the return of Cristiano Konofal as a National Account Manager. Cristiano has extensive experience working with our customer base and has technical skills that will be an asset to our team. We look forward to seeing… Read More…

  • Government of Canada Invests in TDG Transit Design Group

    Government of Canada Invests in TDG Transit Design Group

    February 23, 2024 The Governemnt of Canada has announced a FedDev Ontario investment of over $1.6 million for TDG Transit Design Group, a manufacturer and designer of made-in-Canada, energy-efficient LED lighting systems for the global rail transit industry. Through this investment, TDG Transit Design Group will adopt new equipment at its newly expanded 10,000-square-foot facility… Read More…

  • Alberta to Invest in Apprenticeship Seats Through 2024 Budget

    Alberta to Invest in Apprenticeship Seats Through 2024 Budget

    February 23, 2024 Through their Budget 2024, Alberta’s government would invest an additional $24 million per year over the next three years to create 3,200 apprenticeship seats at 11 post-secondary institutions across the province. The new investment would bring the total funding through the Apprenticeship Learning Grant for the 2024-25 academic year to $78 million…. Read More…

  • PataBid and City Electric Supply Introduce Estimating Software Promotion

    PataBid and City Electric Supply Introduce Estimating Software Promotion

    February 23, 2024  City Electric Supply Corporation CA and PataBid have joined forces to offer our mutual customers an exclusive discount on Quantify electrical estimating software.  Sign up for a free trial and link your CES account to your PataBid Quantify account to unlock this special offer. If you’re not registered with CES yet, drop by… Read More…