Six years ago, Dominique Plourde was attracted to LeddarTech Inc. straight out of Laval University, drawn by the brand-new technologies the Quebec City-based software company was developing for the global automotive market. LeddarTech is a leader in environmental sensing solutions for autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems.
“I came from engineering and the work being done at LeddarTech was a mix of what I had studied and a completely new global market focused on automotive, so it was very interesting to me,” says Plourde, manager, data collection team. “There aren’t many companies in the world doing this, so I feel lucky to pursue these kinds of projects. We can achieve new milestones, not only in our own company, but in the world automotive market.”
Plourde also appreciates that in this typically male-dominated engineering world, the company increasingly has more women, including on her own team.
“My director is a woman and I think it’s good to have this kind of leadership,” says Plourde. “It shows we accept everyone and that you can grow here no matter who you are or where you’re from.”
Initially, Plourde was focused on application engineering, working with the sales team and customer side, helping with the different technologies LeddarTech was developing and hands-on testing. Her career progressed as she joined different teams, working on software, data collection, algorithm and AI – “everything related to the automotive market and developing software for autonomous driving” – before becoming a tech lead and then a manager.
“Now I’m managing a team based in Canada and Israel, helping the team grow and collect data and delivering products for different customers,” says Plourde. “My career path was a very smooth transition. On a technical level, I was always pushed to learn different topics, and more experienced people on the teams trained me in the early years.
“Once I could contribute more, that helped me gain recognition to work with other teams and move into new roles. The company’s training on management responsibilities also helped me become a manager and work with the full team.”
LeddarTech offers opportunities for employees to develop their skills and grow within the company through training and robust mentorship programs. The company also encourages employees to explore different roles and provides opportunities for them to move between departments and teams. Last year, LeddarTech promoted more than 20 employees internally.
“It’s a very fun environment with projects moving very fast,” says Plourde. “But we always try to make sure everyone is aligned and comfortable with the workload, as well as interested in what they’re doing. To be the best we can be, we need to have a passion for what we’re doing.”
CEO Charles Boulanger loves that employees share in the company’s mission to improve safety and quality of life by enabling applications that reduce traffic congestion, minimize the risk of road accidents and improve the overall efficiency of road transport.
“Our biggest ambassadors are our employees,” says Boulanger. “The vast majority of recruitment comes through referrals from them directly. We are very proud of this as it speaks to the passion and commitment our employees have for the company and our mission.
“In a recent town hall meeting, one of our newer employees expressed how excited he was to have joined LeddarTech and that he had shared with his daughter that what he’s doing today will make her life better in the future. That’s how I feel as well, but hearing one of our employees echo that to his children reinforces why we do what we do.”
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