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Six Corporate Leaders Named Catalyst Honours Champions for 2020: Role Models for Advancing Women and Inclusion in the Workplace

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Honourees to be recognized at “Catalyst Honours 2020,” a special three-day virtual conference experience in October.

TORONTOJuly 9, 2020 /CNW/ — Catalyst announced today that six extraordinary Canadian corporate leaders have been named Catalyst Honours Champions for 2020. Among the honourees are four chief executive officers, the highest number awarded in a single year. All six leaders have made transformational contributions to accelerating progress for women through workplace inclusion and represent the gold standard for inclusive leadership in corporate Canada.

Catalyst will formally recognize its new champions at Catalyst Honours 2020, a dynamic three-day virtual conference and convening experience on October 6-8. The conference theme, “Progress Won’t Pause,” underscores the urgent need for continued progress for workplace inclusion despite the unprecedented disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will feature an exciting array of speakers, research and learnings, networking opportunities, and celebration.

“Leaders at organizations with a solid foundation of inclusion are better able to navigate disruption, and are often more agile and innovative, because they made inclusion a priority,” said Catalyst President and CEO Lorraine Hariton. “As Catalyst continues its mission through this extraordinary time, we are thrilled to recognize Canadian Champions who are advancing women in the workplace, because progress won’t pause.”

Company/Firm Leader:

  • Nicole Bourque Bouchier, CEO and Co-Owner, Bouchier
  • Guy Cormier, President and CEO, Desjardins Group
  • Mark Machin, President & CEO, CPP Investments
  • Gillian Riley, President & CEO, Tangerine Bank, Executive Vice President, Scotiabank

Business Leader:

  • Arlene Dedier, Director, Colliers Project Leaders

Emerging Leader:

  • Miranda McKie, Manager, Digital Business Integration, Accenture

“Now more than ever, as the negative impacts of Covid-19 continue to be felt disproportionately by women in Canada and around the world, we need individuals like these who are committed to championing gender equity and workplace inclusion,” said Tanya van Biesen, Executive Director, Canada, Catalyst. “Our extraordinary 2020 champions are inspiring role models whose actions have helped to accelerate the careers of women across Canada and beyond. As we honour them we also thank them for creating workplaces where inclusion is a priority.”


“Beyond the immediate challenge of overcoming the health crisis, we must also look ahead at our economic recovery and the bold actions that will help get us there,” said Dave McKay, President and CEO, RBC. “The advancement of women into leadership roles across our country is one of those actions–a business imperative for every organization. Canadian organizations have made real progress so far, and post-pandemic we must continue moving forward. The leaders honoured by Catalyst this year all understand that when it comes to our future success, inclusivity is not optional. We need more inclusion champions like them.” RBC is the Presenting Sponsor for the event.

Since 2010, Catalyst has annually celebrated individuals who advance women and advocate for inclusive workplaces in Canadian business. Nominees are evaluated in a rigorous process. The 2020 Champions exemplify Catalyst research findings linking diverse, inclusive workplaces to innovation, team citizenship, productivity, and stronger business results.

About the Catalyst Champions for 2020:

  • Nicole Bourque Bouchier (Company/Firm Leader Champion) is a business leader, philanthropist, and advocate for Indigenous women’s economic empowerment. She is CEO and Co-Owner of Bouchier, one of Alberta’s largest Indigenous-owned companies, with Indigenous individuals accounting for 42% of its workforce. Nicole has built a family culture at Bouchier, with the founding principles of community, safety, respect, leadership, and commitment. There she inspires her team to achieve their full potential and encourages them to be empowered to make decisions, learn, and grow. She is very involved in her community and with organizations such as Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta, and encourages her employees to be as well. Nicole’s success in this male-dominated industry is a signal to young Indigenous women that with hard work and dedication, they can achieve their goals.
  • Guy Cormier (Company/Firm Leader Champion) is a passionate supporter of inclusion at Desjardins, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada. As President and CEO, he has overseen the adoption of Desjardins’ first diversity and inclusion plan, the creation of an accelerated development program for women with strong potential who are now serving as directors and vice presidents, and the appointment of a diversity and inclusion ambassador in every Desjardins executive division. Guy has made gender parity his signature issue, taking steps to set ambitious organizational targets, create a company-wide talent identification process, and mentor and promote women. His visionary and unwavering efforts to foster inclusive workplaces make him a role model for business leaders everywhere.
  • Mark Machin (Company/Firm Leader Champion) is a long-time advocate of inclusion and diversity. He has encouraged Canada’s other institutional investors to join CPP Investments in pushing for accelerated progress. As President & CEO of CPP Investments, he is an exceptional leader who supports targets for the representation of women in leadership positions and holds his leadership team accountable for the results. Mark also drives CPP Investments’ efforts to influence the number of women on the boards of companies in which it invests, believing that companies with gender-diverse boards are more likely to achieve superior financial performance over the long-term.
  • Gillian Riley (Company/Firm Leader Champion) is a force in the championship of women’s advancement in business and in the community. A much-admired leader, she is a key driver for the representation, advancement, and inclusion of women at all levels within Scotiabank, Tangerine Bank, and in communities across Canada. Her intentional focus to drive both awareness and change through action and thoughtful dialogue has had a profound impact. Throughout her time at Scotiabank she has successfully increased women’s representation at the Bank. She founded and championed The Scotiabank Women Initiative to strengthen equality and support for Canada’s women entrepreneurs by providing women-owned, women-led businesses with access to capital, mentorship, and education. In her first year as President & CEO of Tangerine Bank, she has moved the dial on gender parity at Tangerine with an increase in women’s representation from manager level and above and increased women’s participation on the Tangerine Board.
  • Arlene Dedier (Business Leader Champion) is a seasoned project management professional with an extensive background in development, architecture, and construction management. A respected leader and Director at Colliers, she is also an immigrant woman of colour who has risen to the top in a male-dominated field. As a tireless champion of women, Arlene has built an inclusive and diverse team of project managers, including 50% women in the private sector and 40% women as national business leaders. Two of her most recent projects were successfully led by 60% women, and all were delivered on time and on budget. An active proponent of organizational cross-collaboration, Arlene has also helped highlight that employee diversity is an opportunity to present different solutions for clients. Her leadership approach has resulted in new avenues of revenue in three new regional markets: MonctonHalifax, and Ottawa. In her first year, her service line achieved a 150% growth in revenue that has only increased year after year.
  • Miranda McKie (Emerging Leader Champion) is a passionate, open-minded, and empathic leader who continuously strives to break down barriers for women, both within Accenture and in the broader corporate community. As Manager of Digital Business Integration, Miranda is an expert in advanced analytics and artificial intelligence. She has strategically used these technologies to build new ways of addressing inclusion challenges, creating an advanced analytics system to understand gaps in the organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts and bolstering opportunities for women. Miranda’s most recognized strength is her ability to build relationships and rally people for a common cause; over the course of her young career at Accenture she has played a leadership role in pitching new ideas and gaining commitment from colleagues to sponsor new programs related to workplace inclusion. She is a trailblazer on the rise.

About Catalyst
Catalyst is a global nonprofit working with some of the world’s most powerful CEOs and leading companies to help build workplaces that work for women. Founded in 1962, Catalyst drives change with pioneering research, practical tools, and proven solutions to accelerate and advance women into leadership—because progress for women is progress for everyone.

About Catalyst Honours
Catalyst Honours recognizes exceptional role models who are accelerating progress for women in the workplace. Launched in Canada in 2010, Catalyst Honours has recognized 42 outstanding individuals as representing the gold standard for inclusive leadership.

SOURCE Catalyst

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