Our Stories

Meet Sarah Brown, Director of Financial Planning and Analysis at Irving Shipbuilding

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are shining a spotlight on Sarah Brown, Director of Financial Planning and Analysis at Halifax Shipyard. Sarah is a passionate accounting and finance professional leading our financial planning and analysis team.

Originally from Saint John, NB, Sarah has made Halifax home since joining Irving Shipbuilding. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys exploring the province, including pursuing outdoor activities and adventures, and visiting and sampling some of the many fantastic farmers markets.

A graduate of University of New Brunswick, Sarah’s Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting reinforced her desire to pursue a career as a Chartered Accountant.

“I chose accounting and finance due to its application to any organization and your ability to work in any industry you’re interested in. I get to interpret data, analyze the results, and understand how an organization makes money” says Sarah.

After graduating, Sarah worked in public accounting for seven years while obtaining her Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. In 2013, Sarah took her next step and moved to Halifax to join the Irving Shipbuilding team. Five years later, Sarah took a formal leadership role as Manager, Financial Planning and Analysis, then becoming Director, Financial Planning and Analysis in 2020.

“Over the last ten years I have continued to grow my career at Irving Shipbuilding. It’s been really exciting to work in this industry for such a large private Canadian organization that has undergone so much change and growth that is also an important strategic partner with the Canadian Forces.”

When considering what drew her to a leadership path, Sarah is quick to focus on the opportunity for greater impact when leading a team.

“What continues to propel me forward is the ability to drive more change by making things better than the way I found them. There is only so much impact you can do alone, but with a team, your reach becomes much greater.”

Sarah offers valuable advice to young women in her field looking to pursue a leadership position.

“Don’t be afraid to share your failures as these are learning opportunities for everyone or ask for help, these are not weaknesses. Always trust yourself and stand up for what you believe is right. You need to be able to relate to those around you to build trust. You need to rely on the people around you to help move your career forward as you can’t do it all yourself. You don’t have to be the subject matter expert to be a great leader, rely on the people around you to help drive change forward. Embrace the silence to allow room for others to share their ideas and thoughts.”


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