Media Announcements

The Catalyst Canada Honours Celebrates Four Business Leaders as 2012 Champions of Women’s Advancement in Corporate Canada

TORONTO (November 5, 2012)Catalyst Canada will pay tribute to this year’s recipients of The Catalyst Canada HonoursGordon M. Nixon, President & CEO, 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 of Directors of Intact Financial Corporation—at a gala dinner tonight at The Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto. For the first time, the celebration will also include a luncheon and half-day conference at the Toronto head office of CIBC.

With a mission to create visible role models for Canada’s current and future leaders, The Catalyst Canada Honours recognizes a Company/Firm Leader (Mr. Nixon), a Business Leader (Ms. Hubert), and a Human Resources/Diversity Leader (Ms. Allen) who demonstrate exceptional leadership by advancing women in their organizations, industries, and communities.

Mr. Dussault will receive Special Recognition as Board Diversity Champion for his work advancing women to board leadership. For the first time, The Catalyst Canada Honours is including this special recognition to underscore the significant role of corporate boards in achieving gender diversity in business leadership.

“We salute the extraordinary leadership of this year’s Champions. They remind us that recognizing and advancing talent requires intentional action, and that the discipline and skills required to manage a diverse team are hallmarks of successful leaders,” said Deborah Gillis, Chief Operating Officer, Catalyst. “They understand that when women succeed, men succeed, and so do families, communities, businesses and economies—a remarkable model for growth.”

"As leaders, we have a responsibility to our customers, to our shareholders and to our employees to ensure that talent and ability are the only things that define success in our organizations,” said Bill Downe, President & CEO, BMO Financial Group. "Promoting diversity, working at it, and ensuring that performance is the only predictor of success come from a personal conviction that what is fair is right and what is right is good for business. Thank you to each of this year's champions for getting us one step closer. We celebrate their excellence with the recognition that they and all of us at BMO share a conviction: that success has no limits."

“As leaders, our early support can provide important momentum to the career development of highly talented individuals,” said Rick Waugh, President and CEO of Scotiabank and Chair of the Catalyst Canada Advisory Board. “I can personally attest to the significant contribution and leadership that women have provided to Scotiabank. Great leaders propel us forward and we congratulate tonight’s honourees for the contribution they have made in developing Canada’s future business leaders.”

Important achievements of this year’s Champions include:

  • Shortly after Gordon M. Nixon’s  appointment as  President and Chief Executive Officer of RBC, he established the Diversity Leadership Council, which is responsible for overseeing the bank’s diversity and inclusion strategy, key goals and results, and he has chaired the Council ever since.  Mr. Nixon has personally sponsored the development of many women at RBC, and during his tenure as CEO, many have achieved senior leadership positions.
  • Ms. Hubert has been an energetic, dedicated leader of Ernst & Young’s gender equality initiatives. She established the national gender and minority leadership program Career Watch and has been widely recognized for her contributions to the advancement of women in the Americas.
  • Ms. Allen, Deloitte Canada’s first Chief Diversity Officer, has demonstrated the importance of senior sponsorship in advancing talented women and underrepresented groups. Her work to improve management accountability for achieving diversity goals has led to a significant increase in the proportion of women partners admitted to the firm.
  • Mr. Dussault is an active champion of women’s representation on boards and advancement to leadership roles. Under his leadership as Intact’s Chairman of the Board and, previously, as its President and CEO, Intact has demonstrated its commitment to diversity through the work of its Diversity Council and other workplace diversity initiatives. Mr. Dussault set a new standard when Intact became public by inviting three women to join the Board, and he directly supports women’s advancement through his involvement with the WomenOnBoardTM Mentoring Program.

Catalyst Canada created The Catalyst Canada Honours to inspire a robust pipeline of women and men leaders who will sponsor, champion, and promote the advancement of women in Canadian business, contributing to the overall sustainability and well-being of corporate Canada.

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, Europe, and India, and more than 500 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.

Champions are nominated and once applications are received, Catalyst Canada looks for clear indications of championship through leadership behaviours that have had a visible impact on the advancement of women both inside and outside their organization. The nomination process is supported by interviews with the nominees and references.