background image
University | 25
positions at McGill, Concordia, and Queen's universities.
In her classes she made a point of learning as many of her
students' names as possible, even in large classes of 100 or so
students. When the students realized that Craighead knew
their names, she found it made a difference to them.
"That is what I liked when I was at Mount A. There were no
student numbers; everything was done on a first-name
basis. I remember going to pay my fees and being greeted
by name."
Craighead credits her research for her move to the private
sector. In her doctoral thesis she looked at negotiating exec-
utive compensation from a new angle. She used economic
theory to design contracts that give incentives to both par-
ties to behave optimally.
It was a chance encounter on a flight to a conference that
dramatically changed Craighead's career. She and the
passenger beside her chatted on the way to Chicago about
her research and exchanged business cards at the end of the
trip. He turned out to be a senior executive at a human
resources consulting company in Montreal. A week later
she was offered a job as head of executive compensation
practice. She took it.
Later on in her career, Alcan, the giant aluminum company,
approached Craighead and offered her the position of Vice-
President, Compensation and Benefits for their 66,000
employees in 62 countries. Just a couple of months after she
started this job, Rio Tinto acquired Alcan, effectively dou-
bling the size of Rio Tinto, and forming one of the world's
largest multinational mining companies. She continued as
VP at their corporate head office in London, England.
Craighead designed the global policy and practices for com-
pensation, benefits, pension plans, and international mobil-
ity. One aspect of the job she found interesting was the
designing of incentive plans -- things that can really affect
people's behaviour. "I look at incentive plans as a commu-
nication vehicle. They tell people how to prioritize their time
and what the organization wants them to deliver in order to
achieve what was promised to shareholders."
She kept her home base in Montreal for family reasons and
along the way racked up many frequent flyer points.
"Technology allows people to live where they want. I had a
virtual team at Rio Tinto with people in Melbourne,
London, Montreal, Salt Lake City, and Dallas."
Still, she wanted to be closer to her family. So, after three and
a half years, Craighead has just taken on the role of Senior
Vice-President Total Rewards at Scotiabank, which is based
in Toronto.
Craighead has a special fondness for Mount A. She is back
on the Board of Regents and is a member of the Ron Joyce
Centre for Business Studies (RJCBS) Advisory Board,
which is made up of business leaders from across the coun-
try. She is also part of the RJCBS Founders Circle, which
was established to help raise funds to match the original
$5-million gift from Ron Joyce.
"Mount Allison is different; it gave me such a great start,
and I am eternally grateful for that."
Craighead's career has taken her to many different areas
around the world.
Mount Allison
is different;
it gave me such a
great start,
and I am eternally
grateful for that