CEO, founder of Grandin Properties

Smith major

Career path
Wyant began her career by starting her own small company, then went to Procter & Gamble, where she was its highest-ranking woman during her 16 years there, founding P&G’s strategic planning and new ventures group and managing billions in P&G branded business. After taking time off to raise her family, she founded two firms: Grandin Properties (1988), which buys, develops and manages properties, and Fund Isabella (1999), a venture capital company.

How to create a career track that fits your life
“When my oldest was 16, I faced the difficult challenge of getting back into the workforce. The world writes you off as being done or brain-dead if you’ve been home. I got turned down by so many people. So I adopted a new attitude that no matter what anyone suggested, I would say, ‘I can do that.’ [An acquaintance] needed help renovating houses, and I said, ‘I can do that.’ So we started rehabbing houses. Someone else said they were going to be a real estate agent, so I said, ‘I can do that,’ and I did. Someone asked me to consult, and I did for companies like Bristol–Myers and U.S. Shoe. I ended up with three or four jobs—all lucrative. That could have put me back in the corporate world, but I decided that entrepreneurship was a better route for me as a woman because it doesn’t come with rules. If you create your own company, you can succeed at very high levels. I started Grandin Properties 25 years ago and a venture capital fund that ran for 10 years and outperformed all the guys’ … and I hire lots of women because I know I’ll get more for my money.”

SAQ, Fall 2015