CPHR BC & Yukon Professional Mentorship Program Provided Valuable Learning Opportunities For Two Members


We’ve all had someone who’s helped us learn something.

Whether it be that first awesome manager who taught you how valuable simple skills like being on time for work or that upbeat millennial in the cubical down the hall who taught you how technology is making it so we don’t necessarily have to be in the office to be on time for work – we’re always learning from others.

With that in mind, CPHR BC & Yukon launched its Professional Mentoring Program (PMP) a little more than 15 years ago. The PMP is designed so that members who are relatively new (proteges) to the HR profession can learn from the wisdom of experienced HR professionals (mentors) who were once in their shoes. The PMP also helps experienced HR professionals stay connected to the younger generation and practice skills such as giving feedback and problem solving.

Currently there are more than 475 CPHR BC & Yukon members involved in the PMP, with application for the program happening August to Mid-September. The PMP runs October until June with check-ins along the way.

The PMP is overseen by CPHR BC & Yukon, but would not be the success it is without the volunteer work done by the Professional Mentorship Committee and CPHR BC & Yukon members.

One of the many success stories from the PMP is the mentor/protege relationship Christina Gerow and Denise Lloyd have formed over the years.

Christina and Denise were paired up in the Fall of 2015 and renewed their mentor/protege relationship the following year as well.  The learning experiences both gained through the PMP can be described as invaluable.

Get to know Christina and Denise below and gain some of their personal insight into CPHR BC & Yukon’s Professional Mentorship Program.

Protege Spotlight – Christina Gerow

Christina Gerow, CPHR

Christina Gerow, CPHR is passionate about start-up communities, helping young companies grow and empowering others to start careers in technology. She is the founder of PeopleOps—a network of people operations and HR professionals—and the senior HR business partner for Workday Canada. Christina also sits on the board of directors for VIATEC and sits on the steering committee for the HR Tech Group, representing Vancouver Island. Christina was also the recipient of CPHR BC & Yukon’s 2016 Rising Star award.

Who or what served as your earliest inspiration in pursuing a career in HR?

When I joined a tech start-up as an executive assistant, I was tasked with a little bit of everything to do with the business – one of those things was recruiting and promoting the company’s job opportunities. I tasked myself to think creatively about how I could promote MediaCore in the local community and ended up practicing my “pitch” at local VIATEC industry events. It was thinking about employment branding and our value proposition as an employer that first got me excited about HR!

What inspires you most about the HR profession?

HR is such a diverse profession with opportunities that range across many different specializations. Not only can you have an enriching career as a generalist, you can narrow in on everything from talent acquisition, total rewards, learning and development, operations, business partnering and more. The possibilities are endless!

Why did you choose to become a protege in the CPHR BC & Yukon Professional Mentoring Program?

My early experience in HR purely stemmed from learning on the job. I had to get comfortable with making mistakes and asking for help, fast. I had a lot of success connecting with local colleagues who also held HR and people operations roles in technology to share tips, advice and brainstorm.

Once I learned about the CPHR BC & Yukon Professional Mentoring Program, I jumped at the opportunity to work closely with an experienced HR practitioner that could not only help me navigate my day-to-day challenges at work, but help me think strategically about my career.

What has been the greatest satisfaction of being a protege? How has it changed your career perceptions?

I am incredibly grateful to have Denise Lloyd, FCPHR as my mentor. She has provided me with incredible insights throughout our relationship that I truly have taken to heart. I’ve also really valued hearing about her experience as a CEO and entrepreneur. It has definitely opened my eyes to the possibility of owning my own business one day.

Mentor Spotlight – Denise Lloyd

Denise Lloyd, FCPHR

Denise Lloyd, FCPHR is the founder and chief engagement officer (CEO) of Engaged HR, an award-winning, Victoria-based human resource consulting firm that works with organizations across Canada to create great places to work. Denise is a leader that brings new ideas, innovation and a solutions-focused approach to the practice of HR and she believes that a happy, healthy workplace is within every employer’s reach. Denise is a Fellow CPHR and a long-time volunteer with the Vancouver Island’s CPHR & Yukon Advisory Council, the Mentoring Program, and recently joined the Experience Assessment Committee.  
What inspires you most about the HR profession?
Over the many years I have been in HR, the profession has inspired me in different ways at different stages in my career. When I was first starting out, inspiration came from being able to directly help an employee with an issue and then seeing them grow and succeed.

Later on, my inspiration came from working directly with managers, executives and business leaders to make strategic, people-focused business decisions. Now, as we navigate the challenges of today’s labour market and the business focus is on employee retention like never before, I am inspired by the fact that HR is not only welcomed “at the table,” we are the cool kids that everyone wants to sit beside.

Who or what served as your earliest inspiration in pursuing a career in HR?
My Mom! I grew up in Winnipeg where my mom worked as an HR manager for a large non-profit organization for many years, eventually moving to BC where she retired from HR with the Northern Health Authority. When I was considering my educational options after high school, going to business school (following in the footsteps of my entrepreneurial, accounting father) and majoring in human resources was the most natural thing in the world and I have loved it!

What has been the greatest satisfaction of being a mentor? How has serving as a mentor changed your own career perceptions?
Being involved in the CPHR BC & Yukon Professional Mentoring Program has been such a joy! Christina Gerow, CPHR is an amazing young professional who is going to go very far in her career and it has been an honour to watch her growth and career progression. Our conversations and discussions have been so enlightening for me as we explore situations through her lens and experience and they have also been a great reminder to me to stay curious. There is always something to learn, regardless of how long you have been in this field!

What advice do you have for someone considering a career in HR?
What I love about the field of HR is that it is so diverse. There are so many competencies that are required and so many specialty areas to explore which means that it is never boring! For someone considering HR as a career, spend some time working in a variety of areas of HR and in a variety of industries, getting as much exposure to all of the facets of HR as you possibly can so that you can find the area that really excites you and then pursue that with all of your heart and your passion.



For more information on CPHR BC & Yukon’s Professional Mentoring Program visit our website.

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