2013 Business Leader Champion

Colleen Johnston
Group Head Finance, Sourcing and Corporate Communications & Chief Financial Officer
TD Bank Group

Colleen Johnston’s advocacy and championship of women and diverse employees at TD Bank Group is a key contributor to the bank’s unique and inclusive culture.

Ms. Johnston is one of the senior leaders that make up TD’s Diversity Leadership Council (DLC), which champions diversity programs across the bank, focusing on six key areas: expanding leadership opportunities for women, members of visible minority groups, employees who identify as LGBTA, persons with disabilities, and Aboriginal Peoples, as well as serving diverse communities.

Ms. Johnston has chaired the Women in Leadership (WIL) executive committee since its inception, and acts as the executive sponsor for WIL across the enterprise. Ms. Johnston’s leadership has been a key factor in driving growth in WIL networks to more than 3,000 members in 17 chapters across the country. In addition to a wide variety of networking opportunities and events, the WIL committee sponsors a group mentoring program that has provided 1,000 women with the tools and support they need to advance their careers. This work has helped TD increase its representation of women at the executive level by 50 percent since 2005.

“At TD, we view diversity and inclusion as strategic priorities. We know that to be successful, we need to attract the very best people and provide them with the opportunity to achieve their full potential. I’m very proud to lead TD’s Women in Leadership Committee, and of all the great work we’re doing to help expand leadership opportunities for women. I’m confident that by partnering with our businesses to increase representation and engagement of women, we can encourage and inspire women from all levels of the bank to achieve their career goals.”
—Colleen Johnston

Ms. Johnston’s contributions to diversity and inclusion at TD extend beyond WIL. She is a trusted advisor to the bank’s senior leadership on issues related to diversity and inclusion. She also uses her influence to create awareness among, and garner support from, other business leaders for creating an environment that provides opportunities to all employees.

Within her world-class finance team, Ms. Johnston is intentional about requiring diverse candidate pools when hiring, and has broadened recruitment criteria to ensure that diverse candidates are put forward. As an advocate for overcoming unconscious bias, she understands that flexibility is not just a women’s issue, and helped expand and increase adoption of flexible work options by everyone on her team and across the organization. 

Outside of TD, Ms. Johnston was a founding member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council. She is also the executive sponsor for TD’s partnership with the Rotman School of Management’s Back to Work Program, and is a highly sought-after speaker on the topic of diversity.

Ms. Johnston joined TD in 2004 as EVP, Finance Operations, after spending 15 years with Scotiabank. She has a BBA from York University and received her Chartered Accountant designation in 1984. In 2006, she was elected a Fellow Chartered Accountant, the highest designation conferred by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. In 2012, she was named Canada’s CFO of the Year.

Ms. Johnston’s commitment, drive, and tireless efforts to empower women and help foster diversity and inclusion at TD,  combined with her stellar reputation as a senior business leader, have made her a role model for women at the bank. She is an exceptional example of inclusive leadership, and a true champion of diversity.