Tracey Scarlett

Medical Laboratory Technology ’87

Published on January 31, 2019

Nine to five? No thanks, says Tracey Scarlett, who prefers to control her own destiny – and loves to help others do the same.

The CEO of Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, a non-profit organization that assists women with business ventures, Scarlett cut her entrepreneurial teeth raising 4-H calves on the family farm near Sexsmith, Alta., an environment she credits for teaching her to blaze her own trail.

“Growing up on a farm teaches you a lot of independence and self-sufficiency, and how to handle things you can’t anticipate.”

After graduating from NAIT, she went from managing labs for small companies, to running an electrical contracting business, to starting a consulting practice working with scientists on market research.

KMT Hepatech, which had developed a technology involved with Hepatitis C testing, became a huge industry success in two years with Scarlett as its chief operating officer.

When the opportunity came along to head Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, Scarlett jumped at the chance to help other women work for themselves, which contributes $117 billion a year to the Canadian economy.

“Seeing businesses come to life on a daily basis, creating jobs, creating wealth – these are tangible outcomes that I find really rewarding.”

Many women who come to her are dealing with young families or aging parents, but the need for flexibility isn’t what’s driving them from the corporate world, says Scarlett. “They don’t want to be passive about their lot in life. They want to create their futures.”

Just as Scarlett continues to create her own.

— Eliza Barlow