Blog

November 5, 2012The annual Catalyst Canada Honours recognizes champions who advance women in their organizations, industries, and communities. Catalyst Canada's new Executive Director, Alex Johnston, shares her impressions of her first Catalyst Canada Honours in the guest post below. Congrats again to this year's recipients! -Ilene H. Lang

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Catalyst Canada is humming with excitement on the day of The Catalyst Canada Honours, so my excitement at starting a new job fits in well with the general tone around the office. The last-minute preparations are complete, and we’re looking forward to dinner with 600 of our closest friends.

The Catalyst Canada Honours recognizes true champions and sponsors of women in business. Congratulations to this year’s champions, Gord Nixon, President and CEO of RBC; Anne-Marie Hubert, Managing Partner, Advisory Services, Ernst & Young; Jane Allen, Partner & Chief Diversity Officer, Deloitte Canada; and Claude Dussault, Chairman of the Board, Intact Financial Corporation, who are people whose record of supporting and advancing women is an inspiration to all of us. Each of them has acted on principle, and demonstrated commitment to the advancement of women consistently, creatively, and courageously. I thank them for leading the way.

This evening is a celebration of leadership, and an opportunity to come together with colleagues from all parts of the country to reflect on how, working together, we can do better. We’ve come a long way… but the cold hard facts and numbers related to women in senior leadership positions tell us we’re not anywhere near where we need to be.

Building on the success of The Catalyst Canada Honours, this year we’re hosting the inaugural Catalyst Canada Honours Conference to bring together diversity and inclusion leaders and deepen the conversation around sponsorship. During the Conference, the Champions will speak about the importance of sponsorship, and share ways in which both being sponsored and being a sponsor have affected their careers. Conference attendees will also hear from Beth Horowitz, Director, HSBC Bank Canada, and Glenn A. Ives, Chair, Deloitte Canada, on the risks and rewards associated with sponsorship.

As the newest member of Catalyst Canada, I’m impressed by the energy, sense of purpose, and spirit of celebration circulating around these two events. I’m delighted to have joined Catalyst Canada. I’m looking forward to building on the positive energy from The Catalyst Canada Honours and the Conference to generate more support and, most importantly, leadership around the advancement of women in Canadian business… leadership like that shown by our Champions.