Mildred Klassen

Mildred Klassen
Director, Labour Force Policy and Strategies

Mildred Klassen Girl Bosses 1

HUGO BOSS Cibo oversized wool coat with notch lapel, two button closure and side slit pockets in green, SKU: 1109240, $895

DOROTHEE SCHUMACHER Geometric Merge dress, with front slit in green tile print and detachable orange belt, SKU: 1090530, $895

REBEKAH PRICE Fall Rivoli necklace, crystals embedded on plated antique silver, SKU: 1067710, $265

HUGO BOSS Staple patent leather pump in open blue, SKU 1021880, $525

Mildred Klassen Girl Bosses 2

ANNETTE GORTZ Trip printed lightweight silk kimono shirt-dress with back bow detail and oversized pockets, SKU: 1231110, $1065

CAMBIO Ross Techno stretch pant with pin tucked seam in mud colour, SKU: 1015050, $270

MICHELLE ROSS Paula long multi strand gold tone necklace with fresh water pearls, SKU: 1194810, $185

DOROTHEE SCHUMACHER Wild embroidery badge heeled sandal with cork details in multi-colour goat leather, SKU: 1200060, $845

SNEHA VARMA Essie hobo bag top grain cowhide leather with pony hair detail in grey, SKU: 1264810, $325

Mildred Klassen Girl Bosses 3

MONCLER cardigan down feather with ruffle detail in navy, SKU: 1229920, $1020

MAX MARA WEEKEND Tobias silk long sleeve blouse with embroidered trims in beige botanical print, SKU: 1128430, $425

CAMBIO Parla pant 4 pocket style with ribbed side inserts in navy, SKU: 1087840, $285

AGL Butterfly sneaker in soft calfskin, with grosgrain laces and a miniature-pearl appliqué butterfly, SKU: 10801A0, $485

UNO DE 50 Perierr chain necklace with round pendants and blue stones in silver, SKU: 0676510, $295

LONGCHAMP Roseau crossbody leather bag in navy with bamboo-shaped metal toggle clasp, SKU: 1333010, $545


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We meet exceptional women every day.

Girl Bosses is our chance to share a few of their stories, their memories, their advice and their humour. Please enjoy.


What is the best advice ever given to you?
A senior manager I worked with for a number of years advised we should “embrace change.”  Her advice really struck home. The ability to adapt is both a survival skill and an essential success skill. For most of us though, change is hard. It requires constant problem solving and the ability to adapt to new situations.  Developing resilience is part of embracing change.

Another important piece of advice that I’ve always carried with me comes from my older sister.  As a teenager, she was my role model for healthy living. The combination of exercise and a healthy diet has given me energy, health and happiness. It’s a life-long gift.

Looking back, what is the best advice you would give to yourself at age 25?
Smile, and put things in perspective. All problems are solvable… some just take more time. If you sleep on a problem, it will be different – and more manageable – in the morning.

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Who have been the influential people in your life? How did they influence you?
My mother will always be one of my inspirations. She worked incredibly hard for her family and was very generous. She would say, “Don’t give away your last dollar” – and then would give her kids her last dollar.

What are your favourite qualities in another person?
I really appreciate people who are compassionate, who listen, and who have a sense of humour. 

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What is your idea of happiness?

Helping others. There is a saying that goes, “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”

I worked as a career counsellor for a few years and realized I really enjoy helping people figure out the direction they want to go.  I continue to do some of this work, and count it as my volunteer work. It’s my way of giving back.

What is your idea of misery?
Comparing yourself to others. It’s a sure recipe for unhappiness.

What was your most regrettable fashion purchase?
A pair of el naturalista sandals bought in New York. They were bright green, heavy and clunky. My girlfriend laughed out loud when she saw my prized purchase.

What talent would you like to be gifted with?
I wish I could sing. Singing takes us to a different time and place – we’re transformed.

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If you could be any historical figure, who would you be?
I’d choose to be Barbara Frum, a CBC interviewer who passed away in 1992.  I loved listening to Barbara’s interviews. She was curious, insightful,  articulate and well-informed – all characteristics I admire.

Make three predictions about the future.

  • We’ll be a culturally diverse society. The demographic changes in the past 20 years have created incredible positive change. It will be exciting to see how we look and act as a society in the next 20 years.

  • I also predict we’ll have self-driving cars in 20 years – or less! We already have cars with much more automation than we had in the past… and auto makers and tech companies are spending billions of dollars to develop self-driving cars.

  • We’ll have more innovation with tech-smart clothing. We already have fitness companies making smart clothing. The next step is other kinds of clothing that helps track not just our physical data but our emotional wellness.

What is the dress code for success?
I believe in beautiful, comfortable clothing that is appropriate for both work and home. For women and men, dressing well brings confidence, which in turn helps us to think more clearly and to be more productive.

How important is image?
As human beings, we take less than a second to form impressions.  Caring about our appearance and looking after ourselves tells others that we regard ourselves as important.  We care enough to want to make a good impression.

Shopping ethically is part of image. Fast fashion has environmental and social impacts. I look for well-made clothing that will have a lower cost over time.

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Short Bio:

I’ve worked for the Government of Alberta and Government of the Northwest Territories for over twenty years. I’d never thought of working for the public service – I fell into it, and have loved every minute. Well ok, almost every minute!!  Members of the public service get to make a difference each and every day, problem solving and just working out how to address big complex problems. This takes team work and collaboration, and opportunities to work with really interesting and smart Albertans and Canadians across the county.

My first few positions were analyst roles, with a lot of time spent on research and writing up information papers, briefing notes and reports. As a manager, I had the privilege of acting as project manager for provincial employment and health strategies. Over the past five years I’ve worked as a director in two exciting ministries – Health and Labour.  In this role, my focus has shifted to supporting staff and helping them to move the work forward. I’m always learning, and that is what makes a career in the public service interesting and exciting.


Wardrobe styled by Suzana Skoric, Assistant Manager, BLU'S Manulife Place
Ms. Skoric is available by appointment.