Who is Gillian Chevrotiere?
I am business woman who owns an HR Company - InterFace HR. At InterFace HR I provide a wide array of services and HR interventions. These include building companies' employee filing system to organization process reviews and policy development. Additionally I am the Caribbean Channel Partner for the Human Capital Institute (HCI). Of all my professional activities my relationship with HCI is perhaps the most rewarding as I get the first hand opportunity to impact our region's capability. Through their Certification programmes my colleagues and I have been able to build new competencies and change mindsets.
Outside of work I live a very simple Caribbean life with my husband of the past 19+ years and our four children (three boys and one girl). I also sing with the Lydian Singers as an Alto. We practice three nights each week. I consider that my me time.
What does a typical day for you entail?
My day, every day begins at 4:45 am with prayer, organizing lunch kits and breakfast. We are normally out of the house by 7:00 a.m. to drop off the children. I take two my husband takes two. Two of our sons attend secondary school while the two youngest attend primary and pre-school. I normally complete my drop off by 8:45 am after-which I resume my client work and plan and/or make calls about upcoming HCI Certification classes. My clients are served by a combination of on-site and off-site hours depending on the nature of the engagement. By 2:45 p.m. I pause my client work to pick up the children. Pick up is our noisy period because it is usually when they are most in need to chat about their respective days. Once back home they get some downtime then we begin homework, studies, baths. We all have dinner together every evening even if it is a brief stand up moment. Bedtime occurs between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. for the youngest while the eldest heads to bed by midnight.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in pursuing a business similar to yours?
I happened into this role of business owner. I was in a comfortable well paying job and then it all suddenly collapsed and I found myself without a job, no opportunities and mounting bills. I knew I had to do something so I again approached HCI having done their Certification previously. They agreed and that is where our relationship began. I was given the encouragement by some and there were those who could not see this as a viable decision. You must first be accountable to yourself and ask whether you are truly passionate about the venture or this journey.
How best would you recommend someone to stand out on the job market?
Be authentic. You cannot be anyone else and emphasize your strengths. Be pleasant it is the first thing that people see.
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
I am sharing this not for sympathy but for knowledge. I suffered Coronary Cardiac Failure (CCF) six weeks after the birth of our daughter. It was a challenging time but I have lived to share the story and now ensure to put first things first.
What is one common myth about the Human Resources profession that you would like to clarify?
A common myth is that HR is no longer relevant but rather obsolete. This is as far removed from the truth as possible. HR will always be required. The fantastic thing about HR is it is an extremely agile career in that it provides the opportunity to adapt response around changing circumstances. It is a perfect landscape for people and science.
If you could have lunch with one individual, who would that be?
I really could not decide on one. I would have lunch with my maternal grandmother Ms. Wilhelmina John (deceased) and my father Mr. Rudolph Arthur Taylor (deceased). They both died at important junctures in my life and I wish they were here to see what has sprung from the seeds they planted. My grandmother died just as I was completing my Ordinary level exams (CXC). She planted some very traditional seeds of virtue and a love of God and music. She ensured we were brought up in the fear of God and Church was not optional. Every Sunday after church we sat together to have breakfast and lunch. The table was always formally set. Later in the evening she would invite her neighbour for tea and I would often sing a hymn from church. I guess this is why I have such a deep love for music and singing.
My father died knowing that I was accepted into University and he briefly met my husband. He was my go to person for everything up to the time of his demise. He was not there for my graduation, wedding or the birth of my children. He loved me unconditionally and I could have told him anything. He loved me to sing the old Anglican hymns to him and we regularly attended 6:00 a.m. services together during the week. There was this one occasion I went out to a University party and got in at 4:30 am. he still woke me for church. I could not refuse.