Isabelle Hudon: Aiming for Excellence

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CASE STUDY. This case presents the career of Isabelle Hudon, a trailblazer who was the first woman appointed to head the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal – at just 38 years of age.


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Isabelle Hudon: Aiming for Excellence: Abstract

Self-education and strong ambition are the hallmarks of Isabelle Hudon’s career. She began her career as a political press secretary before moving on to the private sector, where she worked for several large companies. She was the first woman appointed to head the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal – at only 38 – and, more recently, the first Canadian ambassador to France and Monaco. After four years of diplomatic service, she returned to Canada in August 2021 to serve as President and CEO of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). As with many of her appointments, she was the first woman to hold that position.

Teaching objectives

The case is intended to enable students to do the following:

  • Establish and analyze the mechanisms by which leadership is constructed;
  • Determine and analyze the representation of leadership conveyed in the case;
  • Develop a reflective approach to analyze the mechanisms specific to Isabelle Hudon and the determinants of her leadership;
  • Act in one’s environment;
  • Identify and analyze the factors that have contributed to the creativity in Hudon’s leadership, as well as how she mobilized creativity in her leadership;
  • Determine and analyze the effects of creativity in Hudon’s leadership on the people she works with and her professional environment.

Additional information

Also available in French.

Teachers’ notes (in French only) are available for university teachers only. Please contact the HEC Montréal Case Centre.

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