Hear Her Story: Q&A With Johanna Sofía Toribio, Sewing Controller at Gildan

Debunking the stereotype of the accounting professional
Aug 27, 2019 9:00 AM ET
Campaign: Hear Her Story

Johanna, Sewing Controller at Gildan, shares with us her passion for accounting and finance and what she wishes people knew about accounting professionals.

Q: What got you interested in finance as a career path?

When I was a young woman, my uncle was an accountant and he encouraged me to pursue this field in university. I decided to study accounting and ended up loving it! When I finished my degree, I started my career in auditing. I enjoyed it and had an amazing supervisor at the time that encouraged me to push my limits in the best possible ways. He was the one that exposed me to the world of financial planning. It was scary at first but then I really became passionate about it. I loved the idea of examining financial reports and preparing budgets.

I developed a mindset for financial planning and that’s when I moved from auditing to accounting. He played a big role in my career by allowing me to see that I was capable of great things.  The more he believed in me, the more I believed in myself.

Q: Can you tell us about your job and what you enjoy about it the most?

Right now, I’m the sewing controller for two of our manufacturing plants in the Dominican Republic. Essentially, I oversee the financial health of these two factories and my team manages everything related to accounts payable, accounts receivable, forecast, budget, payroll and more.

What I enjoy about my job is being part of the whole preparation process behind the scenes. You have no idea how much I adore planning! I get to come in and understand the needs and objectives of each department and map out what the future is going to look like with them. It’s very exciting to be involved in this part of the organization, I feel like we’re the eyes of the company.

Q: What stereotype about finance professionals and accountants would you like to break?

People assume that we’re very cold, boring and uptight. It’s probably because our department deals with such serious matters. But I think people tend to forget that we’re human too!

We get a bad rep for no reason. It’s too bad because finance impacts every department.  But since we operate in the background, people tend to either forget us or fear us.  I think that’s unfortunate.

Q: Can you share a memorable moment at Gildan?

Of course! There is one that comes to mind immediately. It was last February when I was awarded the Gildan Management Award, which recognized leaders in the Dominican Republic and Haiti who had excellent performance the previous year.  The award recognizes managers for commitment, innovation and embodying the attributes of good leaders.

 It’s a big deal! I felt on top of the world when I was recognized for this award.

Q: What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

I’m a dreamer and I want to be part of something great and do something great. I really want to continue growing within the company. I know Gildan is the right place for me because I’m happy here. I see how much the company has grown since I started, and I want to continue being part of this success.

No one can predict the future, but I know in my heart that my future is bright.