Striking a Balance

with Maple Leaf Foods' Emma Horgan

Horgan practicing her kata—forms—in her backyard in Toronto
Horgan practicing her kata—forms—in her backyard in Toronto

Emma Horgan, Vice President of Human Resources, Maple Leaf Foods.

Martial arts.

“There are a number of reasons I love martial arts and have continued to pursue it on and off over 15 or so years.”

“I became a black belt in karate in the UK and after moving to Canada started tae kwon do, in which I hold a “black tip” belt—two away from a full black belt.

“Any martial art is excellent for fitness, and the pursuit of your next belt means you always have a goal to strive towards to keep you motivated. You learn self-defense in the process, which is good for anyone—particularly women.

I was relatively early in my career when I started karate and was one of few females in a very male-dominated environment. It played a significant role in the development of my confidence and ability to hold my own personally and professionally. The other thing I love are the values that are embedded in the practices and approaches. There is a huge emphasis on respect, discipline, a competitive spirit to always push yourself further than you think you can go while also valuing humility, and an extremely high sense of community. I remember being struck by how similar some of these things are to Maple Leaf Foods’ leadership values!”

Read more about Horgan and Maple Leaf Foods here.