Individuals at all levels and roles have opportunities to create impact by building inclusive environments where all employees can bring their authentic selves to work. Catalyst Canada Honours Champions exemplify what it means to be inclusive leaders whose intentional actions result in accelerated progress for women through workplace inclusion. 

The 2017 Catalyst Canada Honours theme was Leadership Redefined. The conference session and speakers carried this theme, showing that we need to redefine leadership in how we drive inclusion and equal representation at all levels, how we “show up” on gender-related issues with consumers and stakeholders, and how we collaborate across organizations to progress toward gender equality.

Special thanks to the 2017 Catalyst Canada Honours Conference Session Sponsors:

American Express Canada



The 2017 Catalyst Canada Honours conference featured the 2017 Catalyst Canada Honours Champions, and speakers from across the spectrum of Canadian business and Government who discussed what it means to be an inclusive leader, and how to drive change in your organization. 

8:00 AM–8:45AM
Registration & Breakfast

8:45 AM–9:00 AM
Opening Remarks and The Second City Works 

9:00 AM–10:00 AM
Leaders Redefined: The Catalyst Canada Honours Champions
Discover what motivates this year’s Catalyst Canada Honours Champions to be advocates and change agents to create inclusive workplaces and advance diverse talent. Learn about how they lead and leverage their influence to propel essential dialogues that foster inclusion.



10:00 AM–10:15 AM
Networking Break

10:15 AM– 11:15 AM 
Redefining Leadership Across Borders

Sponsored by the Canadian Bankers Association
Join this panel of representatives from the United States-Canada Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders for a discussion of  the most important issues facing women in business on both sides of the border and how the council is working to address those issues. Panelists include Deborah Gillis, President & CEO, Catalyst; Linda Hasenfratz, President & CEO, Linamar Corporation; Tina Lee, CEO, T&T Supermarkets Inc.; and Annette Verschuren, Chair & CEO, NRStor.

11:15 AM–12:00 PM 
Morning Keynote: Redefining Leadership in a High Tech World

Candice Morgan, Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Pinterest, discusses her formative experiences, from growing up in Queens to her time at Catalyst and her journey to Pinterest, where she oversees culture change in the heart of the high-tech sector. 

Lunch: 12:00 PM–1:00 PM

1:00 PM–2:30 PM: Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Session 1:  Negotiate Your Role, Advance Your Career 

Sponsored by American Express
While professionals are often advised to negotiate salaries, successful employees negotiate many aspects of their careers, including more satisfying and challenging roles. In this session, a panel of experts will share insights to empower you confidently negotiate your way to success, including an overview of related Catalyst research relevant and helpful to both women and men.


  • Dr. Ailish Campbell, Chief Trade Commissioner of Canada and Assistant Deputy Minister, International Business Development, Global Affairs Canada

  • Megan McKee, Vice President, Consumer Charge and New Business Development, American Express

  • Sharon Ranson, Founder & President, The Ranson Group

  • Tanya van Biesen, Executive Director, Catalyst Canada

Session 2: Redefining Championship—Men Matter

Sponsored by CIBC
Some men gain certain advantages from being part of the group that holds the majority of positions of power in predominantly male-dominated, male-led workplaces. At the same time, though, many men report feeling excluded due to other core aspects of their identities. We invite all to attend this session to learn more about how diverse men, including men of color and LGBTQI men—are bringing their distinct experiences and perspectives to bear in their efforts to champion inclusion.


  • Michael J. Chamberlain, Vice President, Global Marketing, Catalyst 

  • Alison James, SVP, Technology and Operations, CIBC

  • Andrew Kriegler, President and CEO, Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada

Session 3: Listen, Learn, and Lead—Engaging in Conversations About Race and Ethnicity in the Workplace 

Differences don’t have to create divides. Effectively communicating across ethnicities, races, and other aspects of our identities can potentially be difficult, yet the benefit to inclusion is worth the challenge. Join this session to learn how organizations and individuals set up conversation ground rules and take action to create productive dialogues in this illuminating session.


Networking Break: 2:30 PM–3:00 PM

3:00 PM–3:45 PM
Afternoon Keynote: Redefining Leadership—Women Matter

Sandrine Devillard will share her learning and expertise on the role of women in business as the global leader of McKinsey’s Women Matter research program, which she initiated 10 years ago and has since widely published on. An international board member of the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society and a frequent presenter at a number of international conferences on the subject, she is also a global leader of McKinsey’s internal Women Initiative, dedicated to developing women as leaders.

3:45 PM–4:00 PM: Closing Remarks and The Second City Works

Company/Firm Leaders

Business Leaders

Emerging Leader

Catalyst would like to thank the following organizations for joining us as part of the Exhibit Hall. A group of like-minded mission-based organizations that positively contribute to the lives of women and diverse groups in Canada.






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