Media Announcements

Catalyst Canada Celebrates Tenth Anniversary and Women’s Progress in Corporate Canada

Catalyst Canada opens the Toronto Stock Exchange; gala recognizes three champions of advancing women to leadership

TORONTO– In honour of Catalyst Canada’s tenth anniversary and in celebration of women in Canadian business, Deborah Gillis, Vice President, North America, Catalyst, today opened the Toronto Stock Exchange, kicking off a day of recognition that will culminate in a sold-out gala dinner at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. Catalyst Canada is hosting the dinner in tribute to the leaders recognized by The Catalyst Canada Honours, a unique celebration of individual champions of women in Canadian business.
 
“Catalyst Canada is the leading advocate for advancement of women to business leadership in corporate Canada. When it was founded ten years ago, Catalyst Canada had seven member organizations. Today, that number has grown to 106 major organizations, and our influence has expanded along with our membership,” said Ms. Gillis. “Tonight, as we celebrate Catalyst Canada’s incredible decade of success and the outstanding dedication of this year’s recipients of The Catalyst Canada Honours to our mission, we hope they will inspire future champions and create recognition of the benefits of women’s leadership to the Canadian and global economy.”
 
Bill Downe, President & CEO, BMO Financial Group, will chair the dinner. “As one of Catalyst's earliest members, it’s been rewarding for us at BMO to see the influence of Catalyst Canada's work rise continuously over the past decade,” said Mr. Downe. "Catalyst is without equal when it comes to rigorous benchmarking and ensuring we are deliberate in our thinking about the advancement of women—and as a consequence, the Canadian workplace is increasingly barrier-free."
 
Catalyst Canada created The Catalyst Canada Honours to inspire a robust pipeline of women and men leaders who mentor, champion, and promote the advancement of Canadian businesswomen.
 
"We continue to see a very positive trend as strong women leaders come forward, not only in banking but across all industries, and Catalyst has played an important role over the last decade in maintaining the ongoing dialogue on the importance of the advancement of women in the workplace," said Rick Waugh, President and CEO, Scotiabank, and Chair, Catalyst Canada Advisory Board. "At Scotiabank, our senior team is comprised of 40 percent women and we are committed to continuing our emphasis in this area because greater diversification in business leadership produces stronger results. I'm very proud that my colleague, Sylvia Chrominska, has been recognized by Catalyst Canada for her work in supporting women in her personal and professional activities."
 
When Catalyst Canada was founded ten years ago, visible champions of women in the Canadian corporate world were rare. In 2002, women held only 14.0 percent of corporate officer positions and, in 2001, they held 9.8 percent of corporate board seats, according to Catalyst research on corporate leadership in the Financial Post 500. Today, women hold 16.9 percent and 14.0 percent of corporate officer and corporate board positions, respectively. According to Catalyst, this represents hard-won progress, but women are still far from achieving equal representation in the corporate world.
 
The Catalyst Canada Honours recognizes a Company/Firm Leader, a Business Leader, and a Human Resources/Diversity Leader who have been integral in promoting the advancement of women in their organizations, industries, and communities while inspiring other leaders to step up, demonstrate foresight and leadership, and become champions themselves. The inaugural recipients of The Catalyst Canada Honours are Ed Clark, President & CEO, TD Bank Financial Group; Colleen Sidford, Vice President & Treasurer, Ontario Power Generation Inc.; and Sylvia Chrominska, Group Head, Global Human Resources & Communications, Scotiabank.
 
ABOUT CATALYST
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit membership organization working globally with businesses and the professions to build inclusive workplaces and expand 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.
 
ABOUT THE CATALYST CANADA HONOURS
The Catalyst Canada Honours shares the rigour and prestige of the Catalyst Award, which Catalyst has presented since 1987 to business initiatives dedicated to advancing women’s progress in the corporate world. The Catalyst Canada Honours celebrates individual champions of women in 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.
 
Catalyst Canada looks for nominations of individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership that has had a visible impact on women’s advancement both within and outside of their organizations. The nomination process is supported by interviews with the nominee and letters of reference. The dinner celebrating the inaugural winners marks the tenth anniversary of Catalyst Canada and will be held on October 6, 2010.