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June 25, 2013If there is any group of people who understand that “Women Can,” it’s the Catalyst Canada Honours Champions. The 2013 Champions, like their predecessors in the past three years, have demonstrated the truth of that principle throughout their careers.

The five Champions, in three categories, are: Company/Firm Leader, Marc-André Blanchard, Chair & Chief Executive Officer, McCarthy Tétrault LLP and Lorraine Mitchelmore, President and Country Chair & EVP Heavy Oil, Shell Canada Limited; Business Leader, Susan Allen, Assurance Partner, International Team Leader, Global Assurance Quality Review Group, PwC Canada and Colleen Johnston, Group Head Finance, Sourcing & Corporate Communications & Chief Financial Officer, TD Bank Group; and Human Resources/Diversity Leader, Kate Broer, Partner and Canada Region Co-Chair, Diversity and Inclusion, Dentons Canada LLP.

This year’s Champions come from different professional backgrounds. They work in very different businesses: banking, law, energy. Four of them are women, and one is a man. But they share a conviction that businesses thrive most when they seek out and encourage their most talented employees, and the determination to overcome barriers that discourage women from pursuing leadership positions.

They have used their own influence and risked their own reputations to eradicate unconscious bias in their workplaces. They have given personal time and energy to sponsor and mentor talented women. They have changed the culture in their own businesses, and reached beyond to lead change across their industries. They have been open to new knowledge, and they have welcomed fresh ideas and non-traditional structures.

Their efforts have created opportunities for hundreds of Canadian women to recognize and apply their skills and talent to business leadership, benefiting the individual women, their employers, and the Canadian economy.

They have brought generosity and innovation to their workplaces, using their own success to clear a path for others. And they’ve met and exceeded the expectations for business performance.

The Catalyst Canada Honours Champions are chosen because of their commitment to the principles of equity and inclusion, as well as their powerful leadership in advancing women in business. These are just five of many champions who are actively encouraging, mentoring, and sponsoring women in businesses across Canada. Maybe you are, or could be, one of them.