Financial Leaders Genevieve Deschamps: manages the finances of the port of Montreal

Not because she thrives on problems, thinks big and juggles thousands of projects at the same time, Genevieve Deschamps, vice president of finance for the port of Montreal, neglects the human aspect of her work – nor the mind of her team. Vice versa.

Published at 9:00

Maud Goyer

Maud Goyer
special cooperation

“I’ve always cared about people’s well-being,” said the 47-year-old woman, who has 20 years of financial experience. The pandemic has changed the situation somewhat: we need to listen to others even more, to understand what is happening. I make sure that no one is isolated, that everyone is well. My door is always open. »

A unique journey

Genevieve Deschamps was not intended for finance: after she began her university studies in kinesiology, she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in administration from Laval University. “I had a teacher who really made me love finance,” said the man, who has worked in the port of Montreal for nine months. She continued to earn a master’s degree in finance from Sherbrooke, then went into exile for a year in the United States to study English. She also holds the title of Certified Professional Accountant.

As her career took off, Desham decided to start a family with his wife, a very bold institution … “This is not typical! she says. I was a financial analyst, I was a man, I was young. But I had the support of my husband and during this period I learned a lot about myself. This was an important period in my development. »

The vice president jealously guards the balance of family and work. “It’s important for me to be at work and at home,” she says.

seize opportunities

During her 17 years at Énergir, Genevieve Deschamps changed roles several times: she studied financial analysis, accounting, treasury, finance and rules. These movements, often sideways within the company, are part of its good strides, she said.

I rushed to positions or sectors that were less natural to me. I go on calls a lot. I’m very structured and orderly, but I like to do several things at once … and if the goal is ambitious, even better!

Genevieve Deschamps, Vice President of Finance, Port of Montreal

Today, she manages about twenty people, some of whom work from home. “I think we are in the process of restoring a certain spontaneity that we lost while everyone was at home,” says Fields. Personally, I am very happy to be in the office, have lunch and go to work with people in a team. It is precious! »

His advice to young people

Dealing with finances may seem dry or unattractive. And yet … There are needs (lack of manpower affects this industry) and areas of activity are diverse, as well as positions (financial manager, advisor, accountant, technician, etc.).

Genevieve Deschamps believes in the next generation … and speaks confidently about his work. “If you are passionate about what you do, you will achieve it,” she said. You have to go for it and listen to your instincts. Give yourself the right to make mistakes. According to her, the necessary qualities: rigor, determination, honesty and authenticity.

She advises those who are interested in finances not to be ashamed to pick up the phone, ask questions, get information. “That’s what I do,” she says. Since the maritime industry is new to me, I contact my peers to discuss with them. People are happy to answer questions! We must dare. »