Media Announcements

Catalyst Announces The Catalyst Canada Honours 2011 Champions of Women in Business

TORONTO– Catalyst Canada announced today that it will honour Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and CEO, Desjardins Group; Jennifer Tory, Regional President, Greater Toronto, RBC; and Michael Bach, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, KPMG LLP, with The Catalyst Canada Honours. The Catalyst Canada Honours recognizes three exceptional individuals who have demonstrated commitment, passion and results through their championship of women’s advancement in Canadian business.

"This year’s champions are extraordinarily committed to advancing women in the Canadian corporate world. Catalyst research shows that companies gain when they have a greater number of women on their boards and in senior leadership roles—and that highly placed sponsors like this year’s champions are the key to women’s advancement,” said Deborah Gillis, Senior Vice President, Membership & Global Operations, Catalyst. “Advancing women to leadership strengthens companies and promotes the sustainability and well-being of corporate Canada as a whole. By recognizing these outstanding leaders with The Catalyst Canada Honours, Catalyst hopes to inspire a robust pipeline of women and men who will follow in their footsteps.”

With a mission to create visible role models for Canada’s current and future leaders, The Catalyst Canada Honours recognizes a Company/Firm Leader, a Business Leader and a Human Resources/Diversity Leader who champion progress by advancing women in their organizations, industries and communities. The three categories reflect the unique and critical roles played by those who champion inclusion. The Catalyst Canada Honours celebrates leaders who have made a critical difference to women’s advancement, while inspiring men and women leaders to step up, demonstrate foresight and leadership and become champions themselves.
 
"Being in business carries with it responsibilities to the people who choose to work with us. BMO became one of Catalyst’s earliest members not only because of a shared conviction that workplaces must provide opportunities for everyone but also to serve as a constant reminder of the standard to which we hold ourselves as a company,” said Bill Downe, President and CEO of BMO Financial Group and Chair of The Catalyst Canada Honours dinner. "The Catalyst Canada Honours is all about recognizing individuals who are setting the bar higher and understand that it's the strength of Canada's workforce that will define corporate Canada's success and, in turn, our customers' success in a rapidly changing world.”
 
This year’s exceptional recipients of The Catalyst Canada Honours have demonstrated a commitment to advancing women that extended beyond their businesses and into their communities.

As the first woman elected Chair of the Board, President and CEO of Desjardins Group and the first woman to lead a Top 10 financial institution in Canada, Monique F. Leroux has taken giant steps to increase diversity at Canada’s largest financial cooperative group. Ms. Leroux implemented an unprecedented organizational restructuring, establishing ten multidisciplinary taskforces with equal numbers of men and women on each, sending a clear message about gender equality at Desjardins. While focused on creating fair and transparent talent management processes, Ms. Leroux is also a passionate mentor and sponsor to many women, speaks regularly to the various Desjardins women’s networks and has established several programs to build a strong pipeline of women in banking. Ms. Leroux is also active with many boards and organizations across Canada that support the development and advancement of women.
 
A champion and sponsor of diversity throughout her 30-plus year career, and Regional President of Greater Toronto at RBC for the past five years, Jennifer Tory has worked tirelessly to advance women and visible minorities both at RBC—where diversity is a long-standing core value—and in her community. Ms. Tory’s innovative approaches have created development opportunities for the advancement of high-potential women and visible minorities, and are fundamental to her overall strategy of cultivating talent for results. Her commitment to advancing women and diversity extends beyond her role at RBC into the community, with her work on the Boards of the Toronto International Film Festival and the Toronto Board of Trade, and as the Chair of the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation’s Capital Campaign.
 
In his four years as Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Michael Bach has championed diversity at KPMG, both within Canada and on a global level. He authored the business case for dedicated resources for diversity and inclusion at KPMG and was instrumental in creating and implementing targets for women becoming partners at the firm, which has resulted in an increase in the proportion of women and visible minorities in new partner classes at KPMG from 40 percent in 2009 to 51 percent in 2010. Mr. Bach’s commitment to diversity stretches beyond KPMG and into his work with several community organizations. He is the Founder and Board Chair of Pride at Work Canada, and he is heavily involved with the Canadian Board Diversity Council and the Rotman School of Management’s Back to Work Program.
 
The selection process for The Canada Catalyst Honours is extremely rigorous. Champions are nominated and, once their applications are received, Catalyst looks for clear indications of leadership behaviours that have had a visible impact on the advancement of women both inside and outside their organizations. The nomination process is supported by interviews with the nominated individual and references.
 
This year's champions will be celebrated at The Catalyst Canada Honours dinner on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, at The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto.
 
ABOUT CATALYST
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit membership organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and more than 400 preeminent corporations as members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women’s advancement with the Catalyst Award.
 
ABOUT THE CATALYST CANADA HONOURS
The Catalyst Canada Honours celebrates champions of women in Canadian business. Recognizing that what’s good for women is good for business, these exceptional individuals are personally and visibly committed to the advancement of women and serve as powerful role models for Canadian corporate leaders.