UWomen Magazine™ - Women - Seen, Heard, Valued

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Why Recognition Matters!

Breaking the bias across industries. If you can see it, you can be it!

Patricia Gagic

Monica Dauenhauer

Kimberly Reeves

Haley Daniels

Tara Slone

A Message to a Younger Self

Kendra Scurfield

Behind the Scenes –Equity, Leadership, SupportHER INSPIRE ACTION FOR EQUITY

End the Pay Gap

Breaking the Bias in the Workplace


Equality and Invisibility

Hypocrisy of Boss Babe

VOLUME 2 | ISSUE 1 | April 2022 universalwomensnetwork.com

End the Pay Gap

Equal Pay Day is celebrated on April 9 representing on average a woman must work an extra three-and-a-half months to earn what a man does in a year for equal value.

The pandemic magnified the value that women bring to the table as teachers, caregivers, and leaders. Women kept businesses and homes together. Our society, government and economies on a whole benefit from women.

According to Statistics Canada (2022), as of 2021, the gender pay gap for part-time employees is 0.89, which means women make 89 cents of every dollar men make. The gap for full-time employees is 90 cents which means women make 90 cents for every dollar that men make.

The page gap refers to the difference in average earnings of people based by gender. The gap exists across industries and wider based on multiple barriers including multinational women, Indigenous women and women with disabilities.

Why is ending the gap critical?

- Women are more vulnerable to low income.

- It effects all ages. Young girls (12 – 18) to post-secondary students, to the gap that exists as women reach retirement earning less money over her career.

- Implications on a global scale and economic participation.

How to end the pay gap?

- Being fair and transparent about pay.

- Analysis of all jobs/skills/experiences.

- Reassess existing and future talent.

- Ensure equity at all levels.

- Inspire action in your organization.

- Understand who is most impacted.

- Look at systemic causes.

- Lean into holistic and authentic solutions.

- Understand the impact on wellness.

- Invite men to the conversation as our allies and SupportHERs.

- Commit to the process to drive change.

The pay gap is not a women’s issue, it is an societal issue. Everyone needs to be part of the solution!

Photo credit: Kassey Shier


End the Pay Gap

2 Inspire Action for Equity End the Pay Gap 9 Letter to the Readers 12 UWN Become a Member 14 Tara Slone A Message to a Younger Self 18 Kendra Scurfield Behind the Scenes Equity, Leadership, SupportHER 32 Breaking Barriers Across Industries 50 Women: Seen, Heard, Valued 54 Breaking the Bias in the Workplace Randstad Canada 58 How Unconscious Bias Impacts Women in the Workplace 66 UWN SHop 68 Wellness 70 M-List 72 WOI Alumni 74 Business Directory
PG. 14
66 UWN SHOP – Gifts for you or someone that inspires you! 4 | UWOMEN APRIL 2022 THE
Tara Slone –A Message to a Younger Self PG.
PG. 18
Kendar Scurfield –Behind the Scenes
Equity, Leadership, SupportHER


Women: Seen, Heard, Valued: Contributors Share Why Recognition Matters

Impacts Women in the Workplace 59 Hypocrisy of Boss Babe – Sarah Hawco 60 Ageism – Tina Powell 61 The Lens Toward Equity – Donna Dahl 62 The Disrespectful Question – Yvonne E. Silver 64 Equity & Invisibility – Kyla Lee
PG. 50
Reeves 38
Walker 44 Unstoppable Tracy 46 Siobhan Calderbank 48 Kaiya Gamble
34 Patricia
36 Kimberly
40 Haley Daniels 42 Shelley
54 Breaking the Bias in the Workplace 5 | UWOMEN
LIST – Monica’s Favourite Things!


Now Available in Hardcover! universalwomensnetwork.com TRIBUTE TO ALL WOMEN!! “You want to be inspired –that’s what this book is. Story after story of inspirational women and SupportHER allies. Transformational and something that everyone should read. Women are driving change!“
– Lindsay Harle Hataz

Dear Readers

Inspire Action for Equity

As we wrap up Women’s History Month are you fueled to inspire action to break the bias?

Imagine a world wherein gender equity exists at all levels. Imagine that a pay gap doesn’t exist, that women have access to capital and funding opportunities just as our male counter parts, that women are at the table where all decisions are being made, and that responsibilities caring for our families are shared. Imagine a world where we as women feel the freedom to choose what is right for our bodies—period. Imagine a world where stereotyping, discrimination, sexism, microaggression and ageism does not exist.

I am what Gloria Steinem describes as a Hope-a-holic. I see opportunities and solutions instead of challenges and barriers. When the world stopped, women kept going. Throughout the pandemic women have been the anchor at home, in the workplace and in our communities.

It is true we have made progress, but it is not enough. We need lasting change; we need everyone to play a role to SupportHER. We need to inspire action and not just talk about it. We need to make plans and hold our governments, workplaces and communities accountable to carry out those plans. It will take critical mass.

At the Universal Womens Network™ we celebrate women 365 days a year. We inspired action where every woman’s voice belongs, welcoming men to the conversation as our allies and SupportHER’s, recognizing the achievements of women in diverse industries, elevating ChangemakeHERs in our Women of Inspiration™ Book and UWomen Magazine™, and strategically partnering with organizations committed to be visible leaders of the inclusion, diversity, and equity workplace landscape. We advocate for women to be mindfully included in that landscape with belonging and purpose.

In this issue of UWomen Magazine™, we feature leaders from diverse industries. We believe women need to be visible in leadership roles, If You Can See It, You Can Be It. Check out our article Break the Bias in the Workplace from Randstad Canada, contributors share why celebrating the achievements of women in so important to them, and a Message to A Younger Self by Tara Slone (on the cover).

We encourage action to follow the conversation. Building awareness about the opportunities that exist for women are one small way we can inspire our peers and educate our youth and build our economy.

If you are interested in becoming a contributor, featuring the leaders within your organization or have a company committed to be a visible SupportHER of equity, diversity and inclusion. We would love to hear from you and share your mission, goals and stories.

Together we can inspire action to break the biases!

Are you with us? Become a ChangeMakeHER to be apart of the UWN and to connect, learn, inspire and empower the next generation of leaders!

PS. Nominate a woman who inspires you!

If you can see it, you can be it!

Monica Kretschmer Founder and CEO, Universal Womens Network™, Women of Inspiration™ Awards, SupportHER™ Photo: Kenneth Fung
LEADH R VIRTUAL SERIES May 11, 2022 In conversation with Koleya Karringten ! 4:00 pm PST | 5:00 pm MST | 7:00 pm EST Connect monthly with women from diverse industries! Commit to your success. Build your circle of influence. Participate. Belong! REGISTER and DETAILS Become a Member and access ALL 2022 LeadHER Series events! universalwomensnetwork.com 10 | UWOMEN

As we honour women across Canada for their successes and potential, we are excited to partner with Universal Womens Network‡ to celebrate and support trailblazers, entrepreneurs and women of inspiration. Learn more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion at speakupforinclusion.com.

® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. ‡All other trademarks are the property of their respective owner(s) VPS109087 127755 (02/2022)



The Universal Womens Network™ is a global platform committed to advance equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), by raising the bar to advance women in their network, community, and workplaces. We recognize the achievements of women through the Women of Inspiration™ Awards. We are advocates of women-owned and women-led businesses, and champion female entrepreneurs along with allies who SupportHER™!

Our global network promotes the advancement of women. We recognize and celebrate thought leaders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, executives, and professionals from diverse industries and backgrounds and work with like-minded organizations committed to inclusivity and moving the needle to close the gender gap!

We are Stewards of Diversity™ and dedicated to the unity of humanity by acknowledging our differences, asking questions, and valuing voices at all levels. We do not tolerate bullying, hatred, or racism at any level.

Universal Womens Network™ offers an online platform to include membership, directories, certifications, speakers bureau, coaching, programs, live and in-person experiences, masterminds, conferences, and Corporate Diversity Program. Initiatives of Universal Womens Network™ include Women of Inspiration™ Awards, SupportHER™, Universal Women-Owned™ Certification, Universal Women-Led™ Certification, and Universal Coach Masters™.

–2022–MEMBER 12 | UWOMEN
Become a Member
Photo credit: Jordan Stothers


Growing up a hockey fan, Tara Slone first professionally pursued her passion for music, becoming the lead singer of the Juno-nominated rock group Joydrop and as a finalist on the hit CBS series Rockstar: INXS.

Tara also has a lengthy acting resume, having appeared in dozens of films and television shows. When looking for the next step in her career, Tara jumped at the opportunity to work at a small TV station in Toronto. It became clear that moving into the position of interviewer gave Slone a unique perspective with her interview subjects. Tara’s next stop was as the host of Breakfast Television Calgary where she spent five years. It was there that she was given the opportunity to work in the world of sports, acting as a regular contributor to Sportsnet, covering the WHL and CIS hockey, curling, soccer and bobsleigh. Slone currently co-hosts the groundbreaking NHL broadcast Rogers Hometown Hockey alongside Ron MacLean and helms the weekly Sportsnet series Top of [HER] Game, focusing on stories of empowered women in the world of sports. Tara is also a 2020 Canadian Screen Award nominee for her work on the CityTV music program Budweiser Stage at Home.

Co-Host, Rogers Hometown Hockey
Host, Top of {HER} Game on Sportsnet
I am proudest of being a mother but, businesswise, I am proudest of being able to change careers at 35 and be at a high level in both.

When you were 12 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? What one piece of wisdom would you share with young women today? When I was 12, I wanted to be an opera singer. My career has taken many twists and turns, so I would urge young women to take chances and appreciate the journey. Too often we are so goal-oriented that we forget to enjoy what we are doing in the moment.

What are you most proud of regarding your business success? I am proudest of being a mother but, businesswise, I am proudest of being able to change careers at 35 and be at a high level in both.

What is one favorite thing you do for self-care?

I am a lifelong practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism and have meditated since I was a child. Meditation and yoga are musts for my mental health.

If we could magically create a day eight, how would you spend it? I’d write another album.

What is your definition of success? If I can lie on my deathbed knowing I’ve been of service to the world, that would be success.

What do you admire most about other female leaders? Female leaders have often had to overcome many more barriers to entry than their male counterparts. So the ascent is fraught with fewer opportunities and a myriad of misogyny and microaggressions. To get to the top despite these obstacles requires patience and resolve.

What is your personal or professional motto? Never let anyone say you didn’t work hard enough.

Tell us about your SupportHERs™ and how male champions have supported you. We all need allies and I’ve had many male champions. But I’d rather save this space for celebrating women!

What is one thing that you can say has been the single biggest thing to help you achieve success? I think my willingness to try new things has helped me find success in a second career.

take chances and appreciate the journey


Message to a Younger Self...

March 8, 2022

I wish I could tell you that things were going to be entirely different by the time you get to be my age... but they aren't. We HAVE come a long way. I mean, when you were born, the Canadian Human Rights Act didn't exist yet.

But we have a long way to go... so here are just a few words of advice to help navigate your path. First and foremost... you don't have to be anything or anyone other than who YOU are. Be unapologetically yourself. What sets you apart is what makes you special. Your authenticity is your superpower.


There will be voices that say "this isn't a place for you" or "women don't belong here"or "women don't do this". Women DO do this... women DO belong here. That table has a place for you at it.

Or if it doesn't, shove another chair in there.

And when they tell you you can't do something... you're not good enough... you're not strong enough... you deserve less... don't believe them.

One day... I promise you... you will start to see yourself reflected. On the ice, on the court, on the field. On small screens and on big screens. In board rooms... in front offices and behind benches. You won't have to use your imagination anymore... you will SEE what you can be. And being a woman is not one thing, there is not one way to be a woman... to act like a woman... or to look like a woman. You can be a mother, a sister, a daughter, and an auntie... a god mother or a dog mother. And younger self? You can love whoever the hell you want, get it???

be kind

Vulnerability IS strength

You can be gentle AND you can be tough... You can laugh... you can cry. You don't have to be ladylike or dainty. But you can be.

You deserve more than the crumbs. You deserve the whole goddam cake, you deserve the icing, and the cherry on top too.

You can ask for help and still lead. Support others and they will support you. Vulnerability IS strength.

Being who you are will always serve you better than being one of the boys.

Please try always to remember that journey IS the goal. You can't appreciate the victories without tasting defeat. We can only get up after falling down. Mistakes... as painful as they are... are crucial.

Here is the most important thing, at least in my mind. USE your voice. When you see injustice, speak truth to power. Take up space. Take. Up. Space.

Oh... and always, always... be kind.

Younger self, please know this. There is one reason you were put on this earth, And that's to break the bias.

You deserve to be celebrated.





I grew up in the Canadian Rocky Mountains with parents who taught me to believe in myself and my potential. In my family, gender was never an excuse. Both my grandmas were university educated. On my mom’s side, my grandma was one of four women in her med school class. To this day, my grandma inspires me to be unapologetically myself.

As a child, I thought I wanted to be an actress. Mistakenly I thought that a career in the arts was the only way to be fulfilled creatively. While studying acting, I had a revelation and realized that a career in business is one of the most creative professions you can have. Through business, you create value for community, customers, employees and greater stakeholders. My change of perspective fueled my interest in pursuing marketing and drove me to get my MBA at Haskayne Business School. I joined my family’s business, Banff Sunshine Village, full time in 2013 and have worked my way up from social media coordinator to the executive committee by growing our marketing initiatives, developing an in-house creative agency and increasing our overall revenues.

What do you admire most about other female leaders? I admire the kindness with which other female leaders lead. As women, we can bring our femininity to the corner office with us. I admire women who are unapologetically themselves. This is our world and we write our own rules on how women should lead.

What makes recognizing the achievements of women critical? Recognizing the achievements of women is critical because the more we recognize women and their contributions. the less taboo it becomes. In the future we won’t be known as “female leaders,” we’ll be known as leaders.

Tell us about the opportunities for women in your industry? Women make up close to 50% of our guests and represent a larger share of the family wallet. At Sunshine, we pride ourselves on listening to the feedback of our guests. As women we are natural listeners. Through active listening to our guests, we as a team are able to help curate our service offering to better match with the needs and wants of our female clientele.

As a business we are proud to have women in all areas of our operation. From frontline to the executive table. We at Sunshine believe that for our company to operate best, we need diverse voices in all areas of our operation. At Sunshine, there are opportunities for women in each of our departments. Today, while we still have more men than women working at our resort - about 40% off our 800 team members are women.

We at Sunshine are committed to continuing to offer growth and leadership opportunities for women and female identifying individuals.

Mistakenly I thought that a career in the arts was the only way to be fulfilled creatively.

How are you driving change for equality in your industry? The ski and snowboard industry, like many other industries, has long been dominated by men - as the make up of Canada evolves so do our guest demographics. At Banff Sunshine, over the past decade we have seen a shift in who skis or snowboards at Banff Sunshine. Today, our cliental is diverse as we welcome guest from around the world.

As a marketer, an initiative I’ve led with my team is investing in more diverse avenues. As part of our marketing mix, we now are advertising directly to the Spanish speaking market. We are working with key stakeholders who are also new Canadians to help make skiing and snowboarding more accessible.

One of my goals at Banff Sunshine, is to be the leading ski and snowboard resort for women and families. At Sunshine we are fortunate to have three mountains of diverse terrain that offers runs that are suitable for skiers of all abilities form gentle greens to the extreme. As a mom, I find the terrain at Sunshine invites a lifetime love affair with outdoor recreation in the Canadian Rockies as our mountain terrain can grow up with you.

At Sunshine, I am driving change through our marketing, and our product offerings. As a woman I am advocating for more women, families, and diversity in our marketing. To make the resort more accessible for women and families I have helped rethink and innovate some of our products. We were noticing it was hard for single moms to get to the slopes before noon. In 2020/21, we launched an afternoon only season pass product to make our resort more accessible for families. I am advocating for more animation and family friendly events at our resort, and as a guest representative I am working to advocate for more healthy food options at our resort. Attracting a more diverse clientele requires us to step back and look at our industry as a whole so that we can better identify underserved markets within our business.

As a leader, I am working with my teams to address issues in the moment. It’s my belief that the greatest change occurs when we’re present and when we work together to solve issues. The sooner we address the little issues together the better we’ll be at solving bigger issues and working collaboratively on a long-term strategy.

Sunshine Village Banff is a family-owned business. Tell us about the SupportHERs who inspire you. I am very fortunate to have grown up in a home where I was told over and over again that I could be anything I wanted - so long as I put my mind to it. Both my grandmas were university educated. My maternal grandma practiced medicine for 50 years and was one of 5 women in her med school class.

Throughout my life, I have had an incredible network of SupportHERS help shape and coach me - from my father, who made it crystal clear that women can do anything and can be anything. Back when Kim Campbell was prime minister, I remember his pride at having a women represent Canada at a G7 conference.

My dad is always there for me! When I snowboarded competitively my dad would show up to the half pipe. When I afraid to go to university my dad drove me down and helped me get settled, when I failed to believe in myself, he would play Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song,” on repeat.

Scholastically, two of my biggest SupportHERS are Daniel Stewart (my capstone class professor for Gonzaga) and Peter Sheerer, an amazing lecturer and friend who teaches at Haskayne School of business.

Dr. Stewart encouraged me to look at opportunities differently and helped me craft an effective way to present my creative ideas. As someone who thinks creatively, I often found my messages and ideas were getting lost in the presentation. Dr. Stewart coaching allowed me to identify the proper path for my ideas to be heard.

Dr. Sheerer, is a true “edutainer,” and someone I’m lucky to have as a mentor. When I first met Dr. Sheerer I wanted everything done fast and right. Which isn’t always possible- surprise. Dr. Sheerer has helped me slow down my thought process allowing me to better focus on building a cohesive team that works together.

Professionally, Irfhan Rawji has been and incredible SupportHER, mentor and friend. No matter how busy Irfan is he makes himself available to talk through any business or leadership challenge I may face.

My son, Theo while he’s only 10 months old - the way he looks at me and reaches for me reminds me that I am more than enough. The look of admiration my son showers me with is proof that I don’t need to have all the answers or be perfect. He reminds me that it’s okay to learn as you go. While he’s not yet mastered the art of walking, I look forward to watching him grow into a SupportHER.

It took me a long time to learn to shut up the naysayers.

What are some of the barriers you have faced as a leader carving your career path? My career path has been ripe with strife. As the “Owners Daughter,” I’ve battled the stigma that the only reason I am where I am is because of my last name. It took me a long time to learn to shut up the naysayers. When I stopped caring what people said about me - I found many of my barriers lifted. The drama of allowing myself to care or responding to unsolicited criticism, jealousy, negativity only held me back.

I’m clever, I’m witty, I’m athletic, I know the business. I know winter. As I’ve grown into my role I’ve realized that I am my own pass scanner (gate keeper). When I believe in my abilities and CHOSE to work as a team, without any side of drama, the barriers magically lift.

Take us behind the scenes at the hill! Can you share a typical day and many 800 hands it takes to welcome guests from around the world? What I love about working at Sunshine, is that there is no “typical day.” As a business we are so dependent on weather, our team, the economy, and of course tourists from around the globe.

While our hours of operation are 8 am to 5 pm daily, each days operations can look entirely different based on weather and the guests who travel to ski us. Each winter, to bring the magic of Sunshine to life, our year operation swells from 220 year-round team members to 800. At Sunshine it’s our mission to turn every guest into a raving fan of our resort and of Banff National Park.

On a typical day, our team members work around the clock to ensure we are maintaining a quality experience for our guests. Before we open for a day, our Bourgeau Base area team will plow our access road and our parking lot for guests, and our warehouse team will work to get goods up to our resort. Everything that is on mountain has to get up by either gondola or snow cat. Our transit team prepares our busses and gets on the road to pick up our team members. For our employees we offer free Transportation to and from work.

As we prepare to open, our team members will arrive. On a typical day, we’ll open our gondola at 7:30 am for our staff so that they can be where they need so we can open on time. Each morning our gondola opens to the public at 8 am, and as guests come to the resort, they’ll be greeted by our friendly snow hosts and by our bourgeau team.

Once on the mountain, our lifts open at 9 am. As safety (and fun) our top priorities our snow safety team will head up each lift prior to it opening for public. They’ll do a risk and snow analysis. After a big storm, terrain may be slower to open as we want to ensure that open terrain poses no risk to our guests.

During the ski day, our trail crew, ski patrol, and park crew will be on the slopes helping maintain our terrain.

At Banff Sunshine, we’ve invested back into our resort and the investment can be seen in our lift infrastructure We’re proud to be home to modern high-speed lifts. With our high-speed lift system, lift line at Banff Sunshine are non-existent. With an average chairlift time of 3 minutes 30 second it’s easy to get 5 runs in per hour.

All that skiing works up an appetite. We’ve partnered with Canadian food service provider Marek to help run our food and beverage program. At Sunshine, we have 4 sit down service restaurants and a plethora of quick serve options. Après ski, guest of Banff Sunshine can choose to stay at our Sunshine Mountain Lodge - the only ski in accommodation in Banff National Park. Team members who work at our hotel and in some essential services live on mountain.

After the lifts. close, our grooming department will get out to manicure our slopes for another day. Our cat crew works overnight to imprint perfect corduroy on our famous all natural snow.

Behind the scenes, our administrative teams are working to enable communications, purchasing, human resource, sales, marketing and events. Marketing and events are my world - with restrictions in our province now lifted my team is working to return animation to our slopes. My team and I work to add the fun. Whether that’s putting on a ski/snowboard contest, facilitating a movie shoot, or hosting our legendary Slush Cup event (which will be back on May 23rd).

At Sunshine, we pride ourselves on being an equal opportunity employer and we’re proud to have strong female leaders in all areas of our business operations.

At Sunshine, we pride ourselves on being an equal opportunity employer and we’re proud to have strong female leaders in all areas of our business operations.


Inspiring stories extra-ordinary women who lead, inspire and motivate others to greatness!

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Nominations Open! Nominations Open! Women of Inspiration™ Awards | 365 days a year | Celebrating women making an impact! Nominate a Woman of Inspiration™ 24 | UWOMEN


So why is it so important to celebrate the achievements of women?

When we celebrate the achievements of one woman, we celebrate the achievements of all women. We pave the path for our future leaders and inspire hope as we emerge from the pandemic.

Women don’t fit onto one box.

The tapestry of talent, wisdom and experience that women bring to the table contribute to a powerful united voice. Women contribute a diversity of skills and accomplishments and…we as women, foster innovation and embrace inclusion.

The Women of Inspiration™ Awards program shines the spotlight on extraordinary women on their uniqueness….their differences and their similarities. They do all have one thing in common. They are leaders. They are mentors and they contribute significantly to the economy.

Study after study has shown that Canada has up to $150 billion in GDP to gain by advancing gender equality and women’s participation in the economy. $150 billion!

We all play a role to break the “concrete ceiling”. It is the collective voices of people in our networks, our families, and our teams who all play a critical role to advance women personally and professionally. Nominate a woman who inspires you. Let her know she is seen, heard and valued!

Nominate 365 days.


When you nominate a woman the ripple effect if far reaching.

• Recognition for her hard work and achievements

• Validate her worth and impact she is making in her network, workplace or community

• Help her build credibility in industry

• Paves the path for others to follow

• Elevate your business, cause or organization

• Know your impact and worth

• Encourage women in leadership roles

• Bring awareness to industries underrepresented by women

• Inspire future generations of young women

• Share your knowledge and wisdom

• Connect with other change makers, visionaries, leaders at all levels

• Local, national and global visibility

• Empower others to dream big

• Elevate the diversity of culture, backgrounds and industries

• Share the stories, wisdom and career paths

• Be a part of a collective voice for change




Recognizing the achievements of women from diverse industries who lead, inspire and motivate!

Women of Inspiration™ led by example ignore the naysayers and take the road less traveled. They are the role models and the everyday heroes making an impact in our local, national, and global communities.

Nominate or Apply NOW!



Advocate & Catalyst for change Award

Authentic Leader Award

Black Women Leader Award

Cultural Ambassador Award

Customer Experience Award

Difference Maker Award

Diversity & Inclusiveness Award

Presented by Randstad Canada

Dream Builder Award

Presented by AMJ Campbell

Become a Visible SupportHER.

Become a Sponsor! Contact us today!

Economic Empowerment Award

Game Changer Award

Global Impact Award

Health and Wellness Award

Heidi Stevenson Unsung Hero Award

Presented by Canada's Valour Games

Immigrant Leader Award

Influencer Award

Innovation Award

Inspire Award

Integrity Award

Lifetime Achievement Award

Mentorship Award

Millennial Leader Award

Raising the Bar Award

Rising Leader Award

Rural Leader Award

Social Impact Award

SupportHER Award

Nest Award

Presented by Banff Sunshine Village

Trailblazer (STEM) Award

Presented by Mitacs

Transformational Leader Award

Vision Builder Award

Women in Media Award

Women-Led Award

Youth Excellence Award

Presented by RBC




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Get Certified! Get Visible!

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Certifying your business opens opportunities for you to position your company. Certification allows businesswomen to increase visibility and connect to opportunities that otherwise may not be available to them — such as access to key supplier diversity and procurement executives.

Approximately 97% of Fortune 500 companies have a supplier diversity program where they attribute a percentage of their annual spending to sourcing from under-represented diverse suppliers (including women-owned, women-led businesses). With these contracts available to diverse suppliers, it provides an invaluable opportunity for women to grow and internationalize their business.

Gain the advantage of submitting RFP as many municipalities have mandates to support women-owned/ led businesses. While it is not a guarantee, it separates you from the rest!

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• 51% owned by one or more women,

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• Controlled or operated by women in crucial business making decisions (dealing with the company’s finances, operations, personnel, or strategy)

Women-Owned Certification

Proudly market your business publicly as WomenOwned/Led

• Opportunities for your business to increase revenue

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• Connect with buyers who have mandates to work with Women-Owned/led businesses

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• Be visible to the consumer, shareholders, partners as Women-Owned/Led

• Provide the consumer the benefit to show they support Women-Owned with your certification

• Logo for your website, email signature, service, or packaging on your products

Universal Women-Owned Certification


Universal Women-Led™

• Female-founder, co-founder, or in an executive position as the visionary or driving the direction of the business with long-term control and management of the business

• Active role in strategic decision making – involved in elements related to the establishment of priorities, objectives, and goals for the business, along with overall day-to-day operations and decision making of the business

• She must have an equity stake in the company to demonstrate ownership in the company


Universal Women-Led Certification https://universalwomensnetwork.com/universalwomen-led-certification/


Everyone can play a role to promote gender equality. The Universal Womens Network™ works with likeminded individuals and companies committed to moving the needle to advance women! Become a visible SupportHER™. Contact us to learn about Sponsorship opportunities for the National Women of Inspiration™ Awards. Become a Corporate Member. Become SupportHER™ Certified!

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If you can see it, you can be it!

When we see women in leadership roles, leading organizations, building companies, raising families, making an impact in the community it’s a win-win for all women.

When you shine the spotlight on women you:

- Increase influence and credibility in your industry.

- Build thought leadership.

- Bring awareness to industries underrepresented by women.

- Transfer the knowledge.

- Empower other leaders.

Send the elevator down to Raise the Bar for other women to rise!



For me, life is an epic, cosmic, biological miracle… a roller coaster experience punctuated with profound moments of exhilaration and deep crevices of darkness. When I realized my life was my own to create, I knew I owned the stage. I claimed it as my own. I was not emotionally mature enough to recognize that the suffering I endured was something I chose. My realizations about life, however, evolved and after losing several important people at an early age, I persevered because I had stamina. I took the initiative to believe in myself. No matter what happened in the future, these were simply lessons on my path.

I love stretching my mind and playing to the edge of limits. As an Abstract Artist I create happy accidents with Divine Discontent. I have always felt art is daring, transparent and should jolt us into consciousness. I believe in synchronicity and karma. Life is a paradise of possibilities and is not a drive by experience. We are incalculably unique. I love business, finance, all things organized and the idea of creating. I became an entrepreneur after a decade of climbing the ivory tower. All the while driven by this insatiable thirst for expression. It took many forms…from poetry to drawing, writing, and then painting. I am a Libra with a Virgo rising. For anyone who knows a little bit about astrology, I am a perfectionist and analyze or rather over analyze everything to find balance!

International Artist

I think about life as an art. I ask what would life be like without Art? There would be noise and tones... but no music. There would be letters and words but no stories or novels. There would be pictures but no movies. There would be colors, dots and lines but no drawing. There would be shapes and materials. There would be no way to express human ideas, emotions, imagination, memories or thoughts. We wouldn’t know what the past looked like. Whatever is difficult to find in life is possible in ART.

From the moment I became aware, I always felt this deep longing to find the answer to the cosmic conscious world we live in. I use the wisdom of my hard-earned karma to reveal answers. What I hold is a reverence for applying these grounding lessons to help create a kind of spiritual roadmap on “how to transform your life experiences into manifesting the life of your dreams, while reducing your suffering and increasing your positive outcomes”.

What did you dream of becoming when you grew up? Throughout my entire life I have loved and dreamt of being an artist…a creator…a visionary. I held a great respect for women who were unique and followed their own path. I was curious about their world. The kindest gesture or decision you can make about your life is to realize “you are the creator of your own life and story”. Whatever your passion in your life, follow it madly.

How has your work as an artist been celebrated? There have been several moments in my career that halted me and took my breath away. Winning the 2018 Gold Medal in Photography at the Salon Nationale Beaux Arts in Paris at the Carrousel du Louvre is one of those highlights. What’s your formula for self-care? Stress is always going to haunt us when we are not making the best use of our skills. Even if you find it difficult to start a daily meditation time slot, it is useful to learn breathing techniques which can support your desire to relinquish stress. Mindfulness meditations are based on focus, breathing. and becoming calm. I think learning to detach from everyday existence creates an ability for people to balance their lives with purpose. Meditation is purifying and vital to my everyday living.

Is recognizing the achievements of women important to you? Manifesting is important and so are the steps to realization. In the world of karma, as women continue to succeed in unique roles and positions, there is a shifting of intention and motivation. However, as the world has shown, not all people use fairness in their negotiations and actions. If we consider becoming mindful in our business, we open the door for equanimity and higher returns for women to be seen and appreciated. By choosing to recognize the achievements of women we recalibrate the status quo.



Growing up in Nova Scotia around the summer drag racing circuit with my father who frequently participated in local street legal racing events on the mainland of Nova Scotia and in PEI, I became a motorsport enthusiast at a very early age. The Cape Breton local Oval Dirt Track known as “Bud’s Speedway” was a favorite hotspot to hang-out with cousins. In the early days of VHS rentals, my dad also made an effort to grab movies with cars and car racing in them for the weekend.

Throughout high school I focused on the sciences, particularly physics; I wanted to be an automotive engineer and designer. After graduating however, I decided to pull up roots and choose travel and economy over post graduate education. I moved to Alberta in 1996. Upon arriving in Edmonton, I was thrilled to visit the ‘big city track’ (the former Capitol Raceway) as a fan. It didn’t take long to get integrated into the local racing scene; I knew my way around a track and absolutely loved the atmosphere. To my great disappointment, at the end of 1997, the local racing facility went into receivership with the expectation never to open its doors again. A longtime friend approached me with the exciting news that a group of 10 business leaders and motorsport enthusiasts were coming together to rescue the facility from the bank and negotiate a long-term lease with the Edmonton Airport Authority. Knowing I was an avid fan and well versed in racing, I was asked

Owner and Operator Castrol Raceway

to join as the very first employee of the Labatt Raceway Team. The Track opened to the public on June 12, 1998. My first race season was a whirlwind—an opportunity to work in an industry and environment that I loved at the preliminary stages of development. In our first operating season, we held approximately 50 events with an attendance of 40,000.

Today, our facility annually holds a comprehensive schedule of over 260 internationally recognized events like the Mopar Rocky Mountain Nationals, Monster Truck Throwdown, Magic of Lights and our incredible Safety Through Education programs. We are proud to be Canada’s most comprehensive motorsport facility boasting over 245,000 visitors annually. We are also blessed to have the privilege of connecting with our community, raising over $2.2 Million in partnership with the Leduc/Nisku Rotary Club, over $230,000 for the Nitro Ratz Junior Dragster program and over $125,000 annually Product in Kind & Cash Community Donations.

The desire for competitiveness, drama and excitement does not get in the way of respect for tradition, honor and friendship. Throughout the years we’ve built our business with a lot of determination, a huge learning curve both on and off the track and a lot of hands-on commitment. We were inspired to make it fun and to create an exceptional facility that is welcoming for all ages and all types of motorsports. As it turned out, our racing business quickly became a way of life for both our boys and we happily extended that life’s passion to our family and friends; the place where lifelong friends are gained and a family is raised.

When you were 12, what did you want to be when you grew up? What one piece of wisdom would you share with young women today? When I was a kid, I wanted to be a race car driver. I was eight years old when I first saw a movie made about the Shirley Muldowney story. I was instantly captivated. The one piece of advice I would give to my 12-yearold self is trust the people who tell you that you can do anything you set your mind to and have as much confidence in yourself as others do!

What drives you? Motorsports and Passion! The Passion for the growth of the motorsport industry, living life in the ‘Driver’s Seat’ experiences, commitment to our community and a longtime love of racing are the defining factors for all of my decisions. When I find myself in need of inspiration, I do my best to remember what brought me here in the first place, a Passion for Motorsports.

What makes recognizing the achievements of women critical?

In an industry historically considered male dominated, it’s critical to recognize the “powerful” women who make motorsports possible every day. In our industry the ladies are fierce competitors and strong leaders. As our regional impact continues to grow, so will the recognition at the national level

In an industry historically considered male dominated, it’s critical to recognize the “powerful” women who make motorsports possible every day. In our industry the ladies are fierce competitors and strong leaders.


My Bio says that I’m a bush pilot. Technically, I am typically nowhere near bushes, trees or even grass. I am, however, more accustomed to walrus, polar bears, narwhal, muskox, penguins and some of the most breathtaking scenery you may ever see. People often ask me how I got into flying. When I was fourteen, my cousin, Rob, flew into Edmonton for a visit in his single engine aircraft and took me for a flight. The excitement of taking off, being up in the air with those views of the city and the river system and then setting up for final to land is something I will never forget. The seed to fly was planted.

At that time, I had no idea where it would take me. In my international travels as a young adult, I met Pippa, a young British woman, while sitting on a catamaran in the Great Barrier Reef. She had just received a telegram from her parents about a pilot position for her with a regional airline called British Midlands. Her news really inspired me. My travelling was over. I was on a plane home to start my training.

Pilot, Kenn Norek Air

I decided that knowing how to maintain aircraft would be an invaluable asset. I enrolled at SAIT to become an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME). After I graduated, I worked for Field Aviation, a large aircraft overhaul company, to start gaining my skills as an engineer. One of the contracts Field had was to maintain four Twin Otters and a DHC-7 belonging to The British Antarctic Survey (BAS). They needed an apprentice to work in Antarctica for the next season. The idea of working in Antarctica REALLY piqued my interest. I signed up for the opportunity right away. Unfortunately, there was another apprentice who signed up and he got the position. Who would have thought seven years later, instead of working as an apprentice in Antarctica, I would be flying there! I carried on working for Field Aviation with a view to achieve my AME license. This job also allowed me to build flight hours for my commercial licence by gaining well-rounded experience to be a capable pilot in the bush. During this time, I befriended a group of aviators in High River, Alberta, and volunteered with the Nanton museum helping to rebuild their WWII Bristol Blenheim Bomber.

In my first year with Kenn Borek Air Ltd., I was not only advancing my flying skills but I was also becoming expert at loading aircraft with items such as drill rods, seismic equipment, camp equipment, snow mobiles, Kubota tractors, 400lb fuel drums, frozen caribou, inmates for the RCMP, medevac patients and boxes of apples to name a few. I spent another two years learning the many skills needed to land the Twin Otter safely in all sorts of conditions. These skills include reading the sea ice for thickness, reading the glaciers to avoid sastrugi and crevassing and reading the tundra to avoid sharp rocks, marshy ground and permafrost cracks. Most importantly, the experience I gained is vital to taking on the responsibility of being in command.

Why is celebrating the achievements of women critical?

When women are focused and driven to accomplish their goals it is difficult for them to notice or recognize that they are making a difference in people’s lives. To have the possibility to be recognized allows women to know they are on the right track and have accomplished more than they realize. It also gives them an opportunity to be part of a community of like-minded women.

At 14 I started working part-time jobs and became determined to not ever have to rely on anybody in the future. Having earned my own money taught me that it was a tool to expand my knowledge of people and the world.


Haley started paddling at the age of 6 and competing at the age of 12 in both canoe and kayak. Family has always been very important to her. Both Haley’s parents were actively involved in all the major decisions and were her biggest SupportHERs. Her father became a certified international official so that he could be with her at international events including Rio 2016 where her father was selected to be a judge for Tokyo 2020.

Haley won a historic bronze medal at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. In the first Pan Am Games feature Womens canoe events Haley earned a spot on the podium in the Womens C-1 slalom event. Her path was not an easy one. Even through women’s canoeing was added to the World Cup circuit , there was a long wait for the Olympic program to become gender equable.

Haley was a vocal advocate for gender equality in her sport and among the female paddlers who lobbied for women’s canoe events to be added to the 2020 Olympic program in Tokyo. She was one of the first women to complete in the Olympic canoe slalom program.

Olympic Athlete, Canoe Slalom, Advocate for Gender Equality

During the pandemic, Haley and her dad broke down barriers and biases in sport and LGBTI+ community as they came out together, herself as a trans ally and her dad as a transgender woman and the first transgender judge to officiate in the world.

What is your definition of success? Loving your job and finding purpose in your daily vocation while being determined to continue to grow and become better.

What is your definition of a woman of Inspiration? Women of Inspiration are pioneers in their field who are breaking down barriers of adversity. They have had struggles with success along their given path and they always take time to give back to their community.

What have been some of the barriers and biases you faced on your journey? Funding for female athletes and women not taken seriously in this sport. Until the sport was official for women, female athletes would have to come up with funding ($50,000 - $90,000) where men were fully funded. There was no support for women and the men made it hard for women to complete.

What words of wisdom would you tell your 14-year-old self? Keep it simple. Over complicating things make it harder. List three thigs and then focus on these three things. Show up every day be present.

What does the future hold for you? I have decided to retire from sport. It is bittersweet as I love the sport and the people in it and my body is strong. I have decided to transition to a new career as a firefighter in Calgary. This is another industry underrepresented by women I look forward to breaking down the biases and rising others up.



Shelley Uvanile-Hesch is the CEO of a non-profit organization, Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada, with the mission to bridge barriers, empower women and provide a positive platform for education, mentorship, networking and development within the trucking and transportation industry. She is considered a pioneer in her industry with a demonstrated history of supporting the transportation/ trucking industry as a reputable and respected leader, spokesperson, keynote and professional driver. Well-versed in the undertaking of several charitable initiatives, community campaigns and public outreach. Skilled in management, speaking, leadership, safety and training. Strong interest in philanthropy, promoting women within the industry and empowering teams and individuals.

CEO, Womens Trucking Federation of Canada

In late 2014, the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada (WTFC) was born. This was a real struggle as our industry is an “old boys club” and very much male-dominated. At one point I almost gave up but my father reminded me whose daughter I was and that we aren’t quitters. Shortly before my father passed way in March of 2015, I promised him I wouldn’t give up! In March 2016 I took the leap of faith and incorporated WTFC.

In 2020, I came out of retirement to haul a beautifully wrapped trailer to spread awareness of the #FlattenTheCurve message and promote our health care workers. Then in May came another blow. This time it was the loss of my mother. As I struggle to reevaluate my life and see where my future will lead, my dedication and support to those around me remains unchanged. Whether it is a driver in distress at two in the morning or a company seeking input and advice, I believe women are stronger together regardless of the industry they are in.

I believe in surrounding yourself in positivity and walking away from the negative. Many will tell you I believed in them even when they did not believe in themselves. I love to help others and see them succeed in all avenues of their lives. I have learned life truly is too short for regrets. I now have more than 30 years of experience in the transportation industry. I have been behind the wheel of a variety of transport options including the school bus, the coach and the sixwheeler. Now I drive a big rig. At five feet tall, people often marvel that a short person like me can handle a semi that measures 75 feet in total length.

What is your definition of a Woman of Inspiration? For me, an inspiring woman is simply a woman who can fill someone with the desire or urge to be all they can be. Someone who creates a better world, simply by being in it. She is a woman who appreciates life with everything it has to offer, with all of life’s highs and lows. The most appealing aspect of an inspiring woman is her uniqueness and sense of keeping it real. Her genuine desire to see other’s grow and be there cheering them on.



In my 20s: I climbed the world’s largest Himalayan Mountains, captained a 110-foot-tall pirate ship and worked in numerous developing countries. I earned my honors degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a specialty in Outdoor Experiential Leadership followed by a Bachelor of Education in the Integrated Arts.

In my 30s: I won a national bronze medal in alpine skiing while consulting and crushing breakthroughs for Air Canada during the pilot strike, the bankruptcy and then the merger with Canadian Airlines. I spent my evenings earning my MBA in Organizational Development. My success depends on perseverance. I am humbled and proud to say I am an award-winning leader in business and in sport.

In my early 40s: When Shoppers Drug Mart was told no more government pharmacy funding, I provided training and development as a corporate consultant. I was a laser-focused and hard-hitting business coach. My skill set includes building teams that are outperforming stock markets in times of crisis! I don’t just talk about high performance in business… I live it!

In the last 24 months I became a TV Show Host of The Today Show and the podcast Unstop the Story. After becoming the bestselling author of Unstoppable You: Cracking the Limitless Secret, I became a #1 international award-winning speaker and have spoken in over 40 countries.

International Motivational Speaker, Unstoppable Tracy Inc.

Did I mention I’m a four-way amputee? Audiences say they are pushed beyond their limitation boundaries as a result of hearing my mind-blowing story. My stories like “Let’s Get Started” on bullying and “Nobody Left Behind” dealing with resilience have gone viral on the internet with over 100 million viral views.

Tell us about breaking down barriers. I recall a particularly painful day. A career I absolutely loved had just ended. What scared me most was being so intensely sad. As a firm believer in “what you focus on grows,” I was afraid this intense sadness was going to attract more sadness. In order to make it home that day, I needed to know what was going to pick me up no matter what. With the question, came the answer. Sailing. It was October; there was no sailing in Toronto in October. So I Googled where I might go to sail. San Diego had a regatta. The same day I finished work at 11:30 am, I found myself spontaneously on a plane at 5:30 pm going to San Diego. I did surprisingly well, getting a bullet (a first) in one of the races. During the flight home, Hurricane Sandy hit. During the flight I had a scary life-and-death moment. While thinking I was dying, life’s purpose came to me––if I lived, I knew I had to pursue my dream of being in the Paralympic trials! I called folk from my sailing world. They told me I would need 10,000 hours training, $10,000, a boat and a coach just to get to the trials. In fact, they said it was impossible unless I was an Olympic gold medal winner. I asked, “Do you know any?” They said, “There’s only Magnus Liljedahl and he’s in Miami.”

Let’s dial this back. While learning to sail, my first summer I failed. I kept falling out of the boat. Because I swam with my legs off, I sailed with my legs off. When the boat would heel, I would fall overboard. At the end of that summer, all the other kids got a White Sail Level One. I failed. It turns out you must be able to stay in the boat to pass. They awarded me a

fish because I spent more time with the fish than I did in the boat. Choose to sink or choose to swim? Swim, of course. So the next summer I went back and mastered balancing in the boat. I caught up and got my White Sail Level 1 just like all of the students last summer. I also got my White Sail Level II along with my peers that same summer. In addition, unlike my peers, I also earned my White Sail Level III and IV. I learned to get my head out of my boat, to look ahead and read the wind to be able to predict what was coming and keep my balance. So back to being told there was no way. Impossible unless it happened with gold medal Olympian Magnus Liljedahl. I did an internet search for Magnus. I phoned, Facebooked, Tweeted and LinkedIn messaged Magnus. I got nothing. I made one of these 5-4-3-2-1 decisions. I’m going! I decided I would drive down there to get face-to-face with Magnus. My family and friends all love me dearly yet were not supportive of my journey, probably out of fear for me. In fact, they were quite resistant, even angry, that I was leaving. I arrived in Miami. Guess who wasn’t there! MAGNUS. So I hid in my car among two-million dollar boats… (I was thinking who you surround yourself with is who you become so million-dollar surroundings is a great plan)…and I slept in my car. I was exactly where I needed to be. I woke up with the sun. Guess who was washing boats at 5:30am? Magnus! Right in front of me! I jumped out excitedly saying at a million miles per minute, “Magnus, Magnus, Magnus, I’m Tracy from Toronto. I’m so sorry. I phoned you, emailed you, Facebooked you, Tweeted you, LinkedIn you, Myspaced you, unspaced you, all around spaced you, Magnus. I’M TRACY from Toronto AND I’M GONNA PURSUE MY PARALYMPIC DREAM!”

Long silence followed. I got nothing. He was busy washing his boat. Finally, he said, “That’s nice.” I was all about me. He had other concerns and really who was I? A girl in a maledominated sport? A person with a

disability next to an able-bodied giant gold-medal Olympian. So I picked up a sponge and I started washing a boat with him. For the next three months, I was washing his boats. On the dock one day, a boat was coming in out of control. Everyone was screaming and shouting at him in the impending chaos, “STOP”. Well, clearly this guy didn’t know what to do so, instead, I gave him focus. I said, “Let go of your mainsail. It’s the line in the middle. Push your hand on the boom to back the wind. Head to me. The wind was coming from my direction and that would stop the boat. I tied his boat off knowing Magnus had seen the whole thing. He said, “Tracy, you can sail?”! I said, “Yes, Mags!!!!!”

We started sailing together and he loaned me boats from then on in exchange for working for him. Magnus moved me into the back room of his girlfriend’s yoga studio; he even built a boat for me. By this time, he was like the brother I never had. I will love him for life. My competitive spirit is strong. I embarked on an aspiring Paralympic Sailing Campaign for the trials to be considered for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio! My competitors in the para world are missing a foot or a thumb or even paralyzed waist down. I call those paper cuts! I’m not fearless. I do it in spite of fear. Feeling uncertain is no excuse for inaction. Exceed uncertainty. Embrace possibility even if you don’t know how. Don’t avoid failure. Just get started and earn independence. I can’t begin to imagine what you are all facing in your lives. I do know if I live a life of ‘No Excuses’, I get to live a life of ‘No Limits.’ As an unstoppable coach, I support your peak performance by disarming your limiting beliefs to reveal the best version of you. Many positive thoughts your way.





Senior Director, Talent Management, LCBO | 2019 Woman of Inspiration™ Diversity and Inclusiveness Award | Toronto, Ontario | Canada

What advice would you give to an emerging business leader? Make sure that you have a mentor, a coach and a sponsor. A mentor will provide you with guidance as you move up in your career. A coach will offer suggestions to adjust your leadership approach and build critical skills. A sponsor, however, will advocate for you in the boardroom and highlight your achievements to ensure you get noticed. All three play a pivotal role in your career development and advancement.

Knowing what you now know, what would you have changed about your career path? I would have found a mentor earlier. A mentor can help you avoid big mistakes and guide you along the way. Learn from others that can help you advance your career/ business faster.

Share with us a big lesson you learned about advancing in your career. I learned you cannot do everything even if you want to. Learn to delegate and surround yourself with others who are experts. Listen to them and allow them to make things easier for you. This gives you more time to focus on what is important while giving others an opportunity to learn.


What do you admire most about female leaders? I admire a female leader’s ability to multitask and be adaptable. Women often take on so much professionally at work and still give their families priority. They are effective communicators with their teams, demonstrate empathy to others and still remain determined to get things done. That’s powerful!

What leadership traits are you most proud of? Having the courage to be authentic and showing vulnerability are leadership traits that I particularly value. As a leader, it is important to show empathy, compassion and respect to others, especially during uncertain times when people are looking to leaders for direction and understanding.

What do you hope to achieve in the next five years? I would like to personally mentor 100 women professionally to achieve new levels in their career and business.

Capturing my journey through much of the last decade, I am pleased to say my career has grown. So has my confidence. I met, and later married, my new husband, Chris, who has become one of my greatest supporters. And, furthermore, he has continued to fuel my passion for learning. His influence has made a difference in shaping my approach to leadership.

In my journey, I will continue to champion for women—ALL women and be proud to serve as the UWN National Ambassador for Black Women.

What was the defining moment that launched you in the direction of your career path? When I was pregnant with my daughter and I felt like my world was falling apart, the “ah-ha moment” was knowing I had a choice. I could be a victim or I could be resilient. I chose the latter. I continued with my education. I began writing, mentoring and speaking. While helping others to be better, I developed my footprint in a leadership role and advanced in my career.

Starting a business can come with sacrifice. What was the biggest sacrifice you made starting yours? The biggest sacrifice I made when I started my career path was finding the time and getting sleep. I spent a lot of time studying, taking on additional assignments and volunteering my time to help others. This resulted in less time to sleep but I am thankful for the rewards professionally and personally helping others succeed.

How do you define success? Success to me is being able to look in the mirror and be proud of who I am, what I do and how I do it. Success is knowing that the people I impact are motivated. Success is not about how much money I have but rather that I am inspired by the person that is looking back at me.

Success is not so much a destination as it is a journey. What has helped you achieve success? Support from family and friends is the single biggest thing to help me achieve my success. Without the help of my mom and husband, I would not have been able to accomplish as much as I have. My kids, my family and my friends have also been supporters and champions of everything I do.

Of what are you most proud with respect to arriving at this point in your journey? I am most proud of completing my Master of Arts degree in Leadership while being a single mom with a newborn baby. I am grateful that I was able to leverage my learning to enhance my leadership skills, develop other leaders and advance my career with promotions into my dream job today.

Recognizing the achievements of women is critical. Why?

Recognizing the achievements of women helps to elevate their confidence by acknowledging their accomplishments and providing them with a platform to inspire other women to succeed. This is needed now more than ever when women have been subjected to marginalization, biases, and gender inequality.




With a deeply soulful voice and wisdom far beyond her years, Kaiya is an international, award-winning pop singer, songwriter and multiinstrumentalist. Her music has been described as a beacon of light containing an undeniable message of empowerment, positivity and hope. Kaiya has been described in the music industry as one of the greatest new vocalists in Canada. She released her first single in December 2020 entitled “Speak Out”.

Hey! I am Kaiya Gamble and this is my story. I started music when my music teacher came up to me and my parents after school one day and asked: “Did you know Kaiya has perfect pitch?” She offered to teach me piano. That gave me my amazing start and a solid technical foundation. Music is my passion, and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. I later met my current vocal coach. When his contagious positive energy, his incredible musicianship, and his ongoing mentorship was combined with my deep love for music, what manifested was my passion solidified. I’ve been invested in my craft ever since. I love to perform, write songs, sing and connect with people using the universal language of music. That’s what I do every day. Music is my passion, and I couldn’t imagine me doing anything else.


What one piece of wisdom would you share with your 12-year-old self? I would say, “Don’t be so hard on yourself. This journey is going to be challenging with ups and downs and all kinds of twists. I would add, first, you have to believe in yourself and then you have to believe in the music you create.

What was the inspiration behind your song, “Speak Out”? I wrote “Speak Out” a couple of years back. I was inspired by a dream I had about two people who felt something for each other but were afraid to speak out. They were afraid because of the answer they might get back. It’s really a story of courage. It was this message in the song that motivated my producers and me to record it. I have been most humbled by all the incredible feedback I have received.

What do you admire most about other female leaders? Why? I admire how they embrace their femininity while remaining strong, confident and kind. They are who they are and that is so powerful!

What is your definition of a Woman of Inspiration? A Woman of Inspiration is someone who makes a difference both inside and outside her craft. She is someone who is always learning and improving while staying positive and uplifting the people around her. Tell us about a Woman of Inspiration™ who inspires you. I really do look up to my mom because she is the best in her craft as an ER Doctor. She is also a teacher and an incredible mom. She’s always thinking of everyone else and how she can help. She works so hard and she still stays connected to the things that matter.

Recognizing the achievements of women is critical. Why? Women work hard in their respective fields. Everyone who puts that time into something they love to make the world a better place deserves to be acknowledged.



Contributors share what it means to be recognized. How recognizing the achievements of women moves the needs to break the bias and highlight women in leadership roles at all levels.

Celebrating the achievements of women raises the bar for all women. When we see women represented in the board room, at all levels of business, in leadership roles, in industries underrepresented by women, in sport, the arts and politics, we inspire other women. If we can she can see it, she can be it.

Now more than ever it is important to value the contribution that women make in our homes, communities, workplaces the economy and society.

We asked our Women of Inspiration – Women Driving Change Book Contributors why recognition and celebrating the achievements if women is important now more than ever for women to courageously step into the spotlight and own their worth.

Contributors share what it means to be recognized. How recognizing the achievements of women moves the needs to break the bias and highlight women in leadership roles at all levels.


Highlighting the successes of women builds self-confidence, increases one's willingness to lead especially in male-dominated industries and creates role models who are trailblazers for our next generation and growing visible minority women in Canada. Recognition inspires hope for achievements borne of intentional effort and not luck.”

“ Women need to be heralded for their achievements at all times. The need to break through the glass ceiling is a conquest that is ongoing. It has been said "a woman alone has power, collectively we have impact'. Celebrating our success. helps bring attention to our collective community and is how we will see meaningful change for our generation of women and those women who follow.”

“ We make up half of the population! It seems ridiculous that we still have to fight for simple basic rights. Men are automatically seen, heard and valued. Why shouldn't women be? If we want this world to progress, we need to stop judging people on their gender, sexuality, religion and the colour of their skin, and judge them solely on the person they are and what they can bring to the table.”

“ We are an untapped resource that can change the world. We often downplay our own achievements, or attribute them to luck, but luck is only there if you have worked hard to be there when the opportunity arises. Recognizing the achievement of women inspires other young women - letting them know that it is possible to do what they want – and that will only make the world a better place.”

Many women lack confidence in communicating their achievements. Women entrepreneurs have so much untapped potential and should not hesitate to share their accomplishments and wins We must encourage them to be confident, , be fearless, and collectively, we must continue to support their efforts to start and scale up great businesses. We can help them by telling others about their products and services, promoting them online, buying from them and providing our advice and encouragement. This is win-win for business owners and the Canadian economy that benefits from women€™s economic participation and business success.”


“ Change builds like a wave. The more women are recognized for their essential contributions to our world, the more other women will have the bravery and self-belief to follow their own dreams of starting businesses, inventing new technologies or changing the status quo. Momentum is the key to greater equity, and inspiring role models are the best way to build it.”

“ Women are very much the unsung heroes of the world. Women are helping keep us going through COVID with their hard work in healthcare, hospitals, food services and retail. There are also thousands of women executives and professionals that do not get the recognition they deserve. I think as women, we tend to wait for others to notice. I say, women, stand up and shout about what you do as you do amazing things and you need to be recognized. This is where networking and books like these will help get us there.”

“1. Huge impact on the development of self-respect and new opportunities for other women.

2. Encourages others to step up, and go for that goal, and utilize their leadership skills

3. Creates opportunities and helps those in underrepresented groups identify and go after those opportunities.

4. Continues to motive the individual who is being recognized to continue to succeed and make continuing positive impacts.”

“ Recognizing the achievements of remarkable women is incredibly important, especially those whose accomplishments are unfamiliar to many, because these women are role models for the next generation – to my daughters! It’s important to create conditions under which women can feel confident in taking risks that allow them to thrive and succeed in both their passion and visions.”

“ Because our voices are often silenced, we don't have pay equity or gender equity. We need to raise each other up and recognize that other intersections do not make us all equal as women. Black, Indigenous, racialized, queer, or women with disabilities struggle more and we must think about how we are uplifting all women - which doesn't necessarily mean doing everything equal, rather it means doing things equitably, recognizing our differences.”


As women, we can be taken for granted and live a life full of expectations from others. We don't receive the validation and recognition that we deserve. We need to create spaces that celebrate our work and contributions, where we can recognize that as women, we never wear just one hat. We are mothers, daughters, wives, friends, community members, as well as professionals and leaders.”

“ Being acknowledged is very important. Working hard on your projects and events takes blood, sweat and tears not to mention sacrifice. Having that acknowledgement lets you know you are on the right path and knowing others have been effected positively is a great reward.”

“ Historically, Indigenous women have been severely underrepresented in a leadership capacity. It’s important to highlight success and achievements to encourage the next generation of Indigenous women and girls that they too can be successful. It is important for my daughters to see me in a leadership position so they see it’s possible and strive to go further than I have gone.”

“ For too long we defined success on a competitive model where the feminine was stifled, tipping the world out of balance. Celebrating women's achievements inspires next generations. If they see it, they can be it. The rise of the feminine restores balanced perspective, as feminine traits (empathy, rapport-building, flexibility, intuition, compassion, creativity, trust-building) are recognized as valuable attributes to allow all to be all they can be.”

“ There isn’t enough of it. For too long woman have gone overlooked, underappreciated and certainly uncredited for so much of the work they do. Recognizing these outstanding achievements—which could be as simple as being a Badass mom, all stand for something. There is no life without us.”

“ The achievements of women are worth recognizing, as simple as that. If they aren’t recognized, men will continue to believe that they are the only ones succeeding.”

Kween CEO, The Kween Company

breaking the bias in the workplace

how unconscious bias impacts women in the workplace

According to researchers, the average human brain can unconsciously process up to 11 million pieces of information per second. While collecting this data is vital for proper brain functioning and allows you to plan and execute actions, it also works to form unconscious biases that are then stored in the brain.

what are unconscious biases?

Biases are described as positive or negative beliefs, attitudes and prejudices one holds against a group of people based on misinformation, experiences and learned stereotypes.

In many cases, these prejudices lead to unfair treatment, whether positive or negative, of the people within these groups. In the case of unconscious bias, people are typically unaware that they hold these beliefs and attitudes. Nonetheless, unconscious bias can still lead to unfair treatment of a particular group of people.

Since individuals themselves are often unaware of this type of bias, it can be difficult to spot in the workplace. However, there’s ample evidence to show that unconscious bias and unfair treatment are commonly experienced in the workplace.

In fact, according to a recent survey we conducted of 1,000 Canadian working women, two-thirds of these women have either been a victim of or have witnessed some form of unfair treatment by coworkers or managers.

There is still much work to be done to remove unfair treatment caused by unconscious biases from the workplace. Employers and employees must start by better understanding how these biases impact workers and how to recognize this unfair treatment in the workplace.


the impact of unconscious bias on women in the workplace

Unconscious biases in the workplace may be impacting workers more than employers realize. As mentioned above, two-thirds of employed Canadian women have seen or experienced unfair treatment in the workplace.

Of these women, one in five states that they have personally experienced unfair treatment by coworkers and management. Even more alarming, however, is the fact that nearly one in four women were actual victims of microaggressions in the workplace.

That’s not all. According to our survey, 33% of Canadian working women recognize systematic biases in the workplace. These unconscious biases undoubtedly contribute to other challenges women perceive in the workplace. For example:

* 32% of Canadian working women have experienced or seen a coworker receiving less pay for the same role

* 16% of Canadian working women have experienced a lack of growth compared to others working in the same role

* 14% of Canadian working women have not received flexibility to deal with parenting issues

With one half of the working women we surveyed admitting that they’ve personally experienced some form of unfair treatment due to unconscious biases, employers must start communicating with their workers to better understand these issues.

After all, if employers hope to provide women the support they need to grow within the organization, they must first understand the specific challenges and biases that female workers face.

are workplace policies helping?

The good news is that 7 out of 10 women agree that advancement opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds are available. This high percentage shows that employers are bringing awareness to the problem of unconscious bias in the workplace and setting policies to build equality throughout the company.

Fortunately, some policies may be showing real results. For example, two-thirds of the women surveyed feel that their unique contributions to the company are recognized by their peers, and they feel safe to be authentic in the workplace.

Additionally, 62% of Canadian working women believe that their employer provides a safe space to express concerns regarding topics that impact their lives, such as parenting, discrimination and mental health. While these signs indicate that change is taking place, other survey results show that there’s still plenty of work to do towards overcoming unconscious biases in the workplace. For example, despite nearly 70% of working women in Canada believing that there are equal advancement opportunities available for people of diverse backgrounds and varying identities, 47% admit that they’ve been passed over for a promotion they wanted.

Unfortunately, creating policies isn’t going to be enough to overcome decades of unfair treatment. Nearly half of the women we surveyed reveal that they’ve been passed over for promotions they requested shows that adherence to these policies may be another issue altogether.


While 10% of these women admit that they weren’t as qualified as the person who received the promotion, another 10% believe they weren’t promoted due to favoritism. In comparison, 8% feel nepotism and discrimination played a role.

It’s clear that employers must do more than just set policies to curb biases in the workplace. Instead, they must go one step further to ensure these policies are being adhered to at all levels within the organization. Only when meaningful policies are set in combination with accountability can employers hope to see real change in the workplace.

extraordinary bias towards women of colour

There’s a long history of discrimination against women of colour, both in and out of the workplace. While most employers are quick to stop blatant discrimination against workers, the unfair treatment caused by unconscious biases is more difficult to detect and, therefore, harder to stop. This factor doesn’t mean that employers shouldn’t do their part to curb any unfair treatment in the workplace, whether done consciously or unconsciously. It does mean, however, that employers must fully understand the extraordinary challenges women of colour face in the workplace.

Our survey results show that women of colour definitely feel this unfair treatment:

* 65% of the women of colour we surveyed have been personally affected by biases and unfair treatment in the workplace

* 6 in 10 women of colour report that they have been passed over for a promotion they wanted, compared to just 4 in 10 women not of colour

* over half of the women of colour (58%) surveyed feel a sense of belonging in the workplace, compared to 67% of their counterparts

* only 62% of women of colour feel safe to be their authentic selves at work, compared to 71% of women not of colour

Women of colour are also less likely to believe that equal opportunities exist for people of diverse backgrounds than women not of colour, and they are less likely to believe that their peers recognize them for the contributions they bring to the company.

Understanding how unconscious biases profoundly affect women of Colour’s ability to feel safe, valued and recognized in the workplace can help employers build policies that help women overcome these challenges and minimize unfair biases at work.

looking for more information on gender equality at work?

Check out the Empowering Women section of our website for additional resources pertaining to women in the workplace.

Go to: randstad.ca/women





Boss babe. God I hate that term. I cringe anytime it is used, be it in reference to me, or doled out as a compliment to another woman. It seems to have been coined by women themselves, maybe a take ownership thing? A celebration, a collaboration, a unifying roar. And yet to me it seems like an asterisk, a pat on the head. I work really hard; I have earned the title boss. Just boss. Lose the patronizing sexualizing babe part thank you very much.

I had a spirited discussion about this recently with my friend Almin. He is a marketing guru. I trust him implicitly in this foreign (to me) space. He was advising me to use #bossbabe in my posts. Indignantly, I refused, explaining that I don’t need to diminish my Boss-ness with babe. But social media, tracking, content, branding, presence, reach he said. #bossbabe means something, it matters, he strongly recommended I change my stance. I heard what he was saying. And yet, it felt out of alignment. Isn’t that my brand? Isn’t alignment my goal, every damn day? With the choices I make, the words I speak, the steps I take, I want to ensure that they are in alignment with my values, with who I say I am and want to be. Something about #bossbase was out of alignment. For me. So, what to do?

Almin countered that the use of #bossbabe was in fact in alignment with my goals which include expanding my reach to others and helping them find their own alignment. My goals of seeing women succeed are very much captured in the spirit of this #bossbabe phenomena. There is no offense to be taken by the term, rather I should embrace it for the power it is intended to promote.

With that, begrudgingly I agreed to use the hashtag, while asking that my strong dissent be noted. Weeks later it is still under my skin and I realize I can’t get onboard. I take it back. Why are women asked how it feels to be a “female” CEO, coach, president, partner…? We know nothing else other than how it feels to be in our own bodies. Enough of the qualifiers, we just ARE. I just AM. Full stop. Buffering my title, my role, my taking up space, with gender makes it an exception, not the norm. It feeds into the very misogyny I am fighting against, it is saying that I am doing great, for a girl. I support the spirit of #bossbabe if it is in fact meant to lift women up and support those efforts. However, words matter. Patronizing, sexualizing, demeaning words desensitize all of us.

Sorry Almin, I will not be a #bossbabe. But I like the sound of #badass.

About Sarah

Sarah is the founding partner at Hawco Peters and Associates Inc. which focuses on financial advisory work in the areas of distress and growth in addition to forensic accounting and litigation support. She is a CPA CA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Qualified Arbitrator and holds a Master of Laws in banking and finance from Osgoode Hall. In addition to her financial and accounting work, Sarah teaches aerobics and barre several times per week and coaches individuals to meet their health and lifestyle goals.

CPA, LLM, CIRP, CFE, Q. Arb. Co-Founding Partner, Hawco Peters and Associates Inc. 2019 Women of Inspiration Nest Award
#badass 59 | UWOMEN



At first you don’t even realize it’s there -- much like that first grey hair to appear on your scalp. But slowly ageism starts to rear its ugly head.

I first noticed it when a young colleague asked if I liked crafts. Apparently, her mother liked to do crafts. I was not old enough to be this person’s mother.

Next came the offers of seniors’ discounts, inquiries about my nonexistent grandchildren, and incorrect assumptions regarding my retirement status. The backhanded compliments added insult to injury, such as, “I hope when I’m your age, I’m as active as you are.” And when I went back to school in my fifties to earn a master’s degree, I was repeatedly asked what purpose it would serve.

Unfortunately, it’s even worse when the questions, assumptions, and ill-conceived compliments stop. It’s as if you no longer exist. Poof! You become INVISIBLE. You’ll go to social gatherings and no one talks to you. Salesclerks and waiters ignore you. Others talk over you. It’s an endless number of rejections from potential employers, academic institutions, and prospective clients. That is, of course, if they bother to respond at all.

Here's the good news. We have the power to fight back. Here are some effective techniques to combat ageism:

1. Be vibrant. If you like working, keep your job. If you want to work, get a job, or start a business. Continue to contribute to society whether that’s through your work, your hobby, or as a volunteer.

2. Don’t be a Luddite. Embrace new technology and use it. There are a plethora of computer and digital literacy courses available.

3. Keep healthy and active. Doing so will give you the energy you need to reach other goals.

4. Feed your mind with credible news sources, books, blogs, and podcasts. Stay current with what’s happening in the world and in your community.

5. Broaden your circle. Your world does not have to shrink as you age. Join clubs, professional organizations, and community groups. Find your crew.

6. Live in the now. Keep up with pop culture, current music, and the latest trends.

7. Never give up. If you aren’t getting the job, the opportunity, or the acceptance letter you want, don’t let the bastards grind you down. Keep searching till someone says YES.

8. You are the company you keep. Hang out with people younger than you or become a mentor.

9. Surprise people. Overcome age bias with blue nail polish, spiked hair, and a badass leather jacket.

10.Be real. You don’t have to colour your hair or use fillers or Botox. Injecting your life with meaning will add so much more to your vitality.

Age truly is just a number. Don’t let anyone else define you or limit you. At 58, I started my own social media movement to celebrate women who inspire, achieve, and empower.

Why? Because I damn well felt like it.

Tina Powell is Founder & Chief Content Curator of GLORIOUS IS SHE, a bestselling author, a nationally published journalist, and an awardwinning communicator. Tina also is a Universal Womens Network™ InfluenceHER and a regular contributor to UWomen Magazine™.

Chief Content Curator of GLORIOUS IS SHE


It is simply not possible to examine workplace equity without putting diversity under the microscope. One might guardedly assume that if diversity is not present, equity must be and, therefore, is not an issue. Said another way, if everyone on staff believes they have an equal opportunity to achieve equal pay, equal pay raises and equal chances at advancement in the company, equity must be present. But is equal opportunity enough?

Equity in the workplace covers a myriad of options. Pay equity is only one. While equity may be an issue all on its own, it may play out differently when diversity of practice is added into the mix. For instance, is your work culture in the habit of allotting men and women equal time for parenting leave? Are women typically hired for certain positions and men for others? Are their levels of responsibility similar? Is their pay the same? Why or why not? Would you be able to attract a member of the opposite sex to a certain position based on the salary for the position?

When I think of diversity, I think of a marriage of a variety of options with respect to the workplace. For instance, diversity could be practiced by seeking an employee base with a variety of skill sets. Also, diversity may come clothed in a variety of perspectives that contribute to lively discussion when approaching solutions to problems. Diversity may be included in a company policy to hire a diverse gender mix and to offer pay raises and promotions equitably.

How should a company examine issues related to gender differences? Racial differences? Age differences? How may an employee address bias? Should a company be required to make its equity policies public record?

What are your beliefs about equal pay for equal work? What if you wrote your job description and placed an hourly monetary value beside each of the tasks you perform? What if equity was not only thought of in terms of the size of the paycheque but also in terms of the number of hours worked? In other words, this many dollars buys this much of your time.

Our workforce situation is in a state of flux. Workstations have become a moveable feast. Trips to the water fountain are being replaced with multiple episodes of online meetings. Workflow is being tracked on online software built for teams. Minimum wage is no guarantee for pay equity. Taking a serious look under the covers at unconscious biases that impact hiring habits, pay equity and work culture will shape the integrity of the practices within the workplace going forward.

It is simply not possible to examine workplace equity without putting diversity under the microscope.


“What are your salary expectations?”

Ladies - have you ever had a female friend confide in you that they cannot leave a relationship (whether it is an unhappy marriage or an abusive scenario) because they “can’t afford to leave”? This is often the situation I hear being shared from colleagues and friends (or sometimes Clients). That not having their own high earned income, causes them to stay longer when they know the relationship has soured. Knowing you can support yourself matters, especially for women who are raising conscious children and role modeling strength and independence for their children.

This was my Mum’s fate... Growing up in London in England, with a father who returned from World War 2 with PTSD, I watched him drain the dignity right out of my Mum, until she became a fragile shell of the professional woman she once was. She became a stay-at-home Mum without her own earnings, relying on a meagre housekeeping allowance from my Father, she lost her personal power. She also lost her voice and her will to speak up as he was constantly angry and criticizing her, or us, and even took the car keys and would not let her drive the car (that she taught him how to drive). He took away her power and her freedom.

After watching my Mum suffering from his abuse, and losing her dignity, I swore I was never going to let that happen to me. I chose jobs in sales early in my career, then in human resources, so I could help women learn how to make a great income and retain their financial freedom and power. I rose up from adversity (he turned on me when I was age 11 too, and I lost my voice in fright) to help women to stand up, to be heard and use powerful language to succeed in life and business. Today as an Executive Coach for Women, I teach women to flourish in business so they can have a high income as entrepreneurs or as professional women, to retain our freedom of choice.

In the mid-1980’s, I joined a rapidly expanding IT consulting firm. As an HR Professional hosting interviews for a cash-conscious start-up, I asked one particular question frequently as I interviewed IT professionals. “What are your salary expectations?” At the time, it seemed like an innocent question, and yet, as research has shown us many years later, that question is irrelevant –even damaging to ask, especially for women.

As an Executive Coach, I am often asked “how can I have more confidence, or be more confident?”

After watching my Mum suffering from his abuse, and losing her dignity, I swore I was never going to let that happen to me.

Knowing you can support yourself and your children grounds your confidence as you are confident that you can look after yourself and not rely on a spouse or partner.

When going for a job interview, how can you respond if you are asked this question? Each employer has different base salary bands or classifications, has varied health and benefit programs, and has different short and long-term incentive programs (such as RRSP matching or paid tuition, which may be linked to revenue or profit goals). Comparing salaries is like comparing apples and oranges – they are simply different. Here are three tips:

1. Do your own research first to learn the market trends and the average salary range for the role being applied for.

2. At the interview when asked about previous salary, reply that “I am sure that your firm pays competitive wage. My research has shown the market data for this role is between X and Y (state the salary range data). As a progressive employer who values diversity, based on my years of industry experience, I would anticipate being closer to the top of that range as a starting salary, and am open to exploring your total compensation package at a final interview.” If the salary offered is lower than desirable, inquire if you can have a salary review at 3 or 6-months after joining the organization.

3. Be clear about what the specific responsibilities, and the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are by inquiring “after my initial 3-months of employment, what success measures will be evaluated?” Often the interviewer is not clear on how the role will be measured, which can be an indicator of short-term thinking vs. a great place to build a career.

In the United States, 21 States have banned this previous or current salary question. (https:// www.hrdive.com/news/salary-history-banstates-list/516662/)

Using these approaches, I have helped Clients secure new more responsible roles with a significant salary increase. Asking for at least $10K more than your current role pays is recommended, although a 50% higher salary has been achieved through confidence coaching.

When you can clearly state your value, your results, your Unique Value Proposition based on clear metrics (increased revenue, decreased costs, reduced employee attrition, increased client referrals) you can demonstrate your value more easily. Track your results throughout the year, include team comments, supervisor praise and customer testimonials, adding all these supporting evidence factors to your “impact file”. Employers often base a starting salary on someone’s previous earnings, so at each job, the gender pay gap continues, and it becomes seemingly impossible for women to catch up.

According to an article in The New York Times (The Upshot - How a Common Interview Question Hurts Women) women continue to earn less than men, for a variety of reasons including work force interruptions (pregnancy leave) and working shorter hours. It also stated that women are also likelier than men to work in lower-paying jobs like those in public service, care-giving and the non-profit sector.

How can you earn your worth? Know your value and be prepared to respond to the salary question using the approaches above, and set yourself up for success in your next role.

About Yvonne

Yvonne E.L. Silver is a sought-after Speaker, Bestselling Author, Radio Show/podcast Host, women's Certified Executive Coach, and Mentorship Chair, who was recognized with a "2019 Women of Inspiration" Award. She is the author of the bestselling book: “Words, Women & Wisdom: The Modern Art of Confident Conversations”

...women continue to earn less than men, for a variety of reasons...


Indigenous Leader Award

Women of Inspiration –Women Driving Change Book Contributor

When we talk about diverse representation, one important aspect of that is being able to see diversity in how individuals are represented. Lately, society has had a shift toward more diverse representation, including in women’s fashion and beauty campaigns. Starting with the Dove campaign, we saw body size diversity, skin colour diversity, and diversity from the traditional depictions of “beauty.”

This led to a trickle effect in other types of advertising, such that now it is normal to see a mix of ethnicities, sexualities, body types, and hair types in advertising.

The move toward representation of a diverse range of talent has also impacted business. There were calls - many of them successful – for more women and people of colour to be represented in the C-Suites or on corporate or volunteer boards. Newsrooms began to diversify on-air presenters. Television channels depicted more diverse content including shows that did not cater to white, male audiences.

But the shift toward diversity in representation has had its backswings.

Take, for example, the high profile case of Rachel Dolezal. She built a career on pretending to be a member of the Black community, tanning her skin and perming her hair in order to “look” like a Black woman. Problem is, she was not Black at all.

Dolezal used her fabricated connections to Black heritage and Black culture to take advantage of the shift toward diversity, taking spots from diverse individuals and claiming them as her own.

That may be an American example but Canada has its own. Two notable examples come to mind.

The first is Carrie Bourassa, an “Indigenous” health expert who was later revealed to have no connection to any Indigenous community. The second, Michele Latimer. The latter used her falsified Indigenous credentials to gain notoriety as a filmmaker and take advantage of government and private funding given to Indigenous arts initiatives.

Some have criticized the push towards equity and representation as creating an environment wherein actors like Dolezal, Bourassa, and Laitmer can thrive. It is considered “impolite” to ask for someone’s proof of a connection to a diverse community. And by looking the part, with darkened skin and altered hair, these actors can play the role without much scrutiny.

I certainly do not think that equity and diversity initiatives are to blame for the proliferation of people like these three. They existed for decades, nay, centuries. The idea of “playing Indian” in order to achieve a professional or artistic advantage dates back in North American history all the way to people like Grey Owl. He was a famous Indigenous writer who was, well, not Indigenous at all.

Famed Canadian poet E. Pauline Johnson poked fun at the issue through her performative explorations of what it meant to be mixed-race, dressing for the first half of her poetry readings in European garb, and for the second half in what was believed to be “traditional” Indigenous attire. The stereotypical depiction of what an Indigenous person looked like at or around contact itself was a myth – created by white settlers collecting clothing and dressing up subjects.

Criminal Lawyer - Barrister and Solicitor, Acumen Law Corporation 2019 Women of Inspiration

But that myth – and others like it related to other diverse cultures – has permeated our modern understanding of what it means to be diverse.

There is absolutely merit in the sentiment that people want to see people who look like them represented in popular culture but some equity initiatives make “looking the part” more of a priority than actually being of a certain community.

Why do I say this?

I am a Métis person. Some of my relatives live on the Cold Lake Métis settlement in Alberta. I am descended from the Lépine family. One of my ancestors, Ambroise Lépine, was responsible for the execution of Thomas Scott - you know, that thing that ultimately resulted in Louis Riel being hanged for treason. Ambroise was also sentenced to death alongside Riel. They were close friends. When Riel was hanged, Ambroise had his sentence commuted in exchange for a giving up all his civil liberties.

But if you were to look at me, you would not see any of this. You would see blue-green eyes and light skin, light brown hair. My mother is Métis while my father is white, mostly Scottish and Irish.

People like Latimer and Bourassa have made it harder for people like me to celebrate our diversity. I have been told to my face by award selection committees that while I would otherwise qualify for an award, because I do not “look Indigenous” I am not a candidate, that “we don’t give awards to Métis people” and that I am, simply, not Indigenous.

Lateral violence in the Indigenous community contributes to this. But that lateral violence is a byproduct of colonialism, white supremacy, and a necessary sense of distrust against people who are not readily identifiable as “one of us.”

None of this is not to say that I have not and do not continue to benefit enormously from being white-coded. My white-passing privilege has inevitably allowed me entry into spaces without questions about whether I am there because of equity, because of diversity initiatives, because of quotas. Ironically, I probably would not have gotten into law school but for those initiatives. But no one ever questioned my right to be there based on how I looked.

For that I am lucky.

But white-passing is a blessing and a curse. There is little representation of mixed-race individuals even now. Equity initiatives want to be seen to be equitable, so mixed-race individuals who do not “look the part” are in a complex position. And mixed-race people like me live our lives simultaneously in two worlds, neither of which we fully belong in and neither of which we are fully accepted in.

An excellent book about this experience is Passing, by Nella Larsen. It tells the story of a mixed-race Black woman living in America shortly after emancipation. Segregation policies in place at the time leave the main character feeling a sense of not belonging in either community, but being able, by virtue of her ethnically ambiguous features, to exist in both. In the end, the character’s internal struggle with a mixed identity leads to her death. It is symbolic, mysterious, and the truth is never wholly clear.

Equity initiatives will never be fully realized until the complex experiences of people who exist in both worlds are represented and understood. But explain that to a public that is still asking questions like “what percentage are you?” Or, “but you’re not fully Métis right?” And explain that to communities that have and continue to face theft from those like Dolezal, Latimer, and Bourassa, and which have, by necessity, developed a sense of distrust towards those who do not look like they belong.

Ultimately, we have a long way to go toward diversity, equity, and inclusion. But having these conversations is how we get there.

About Kyla

Kyla Lee is a prominent criminal defence lawyer and impaired driving lawyer in Vancouver BC. She is highly-regarded in the realm of impaired driving thanks to her unparalleled string of successes in courts and tribunals. Kyla is renowned for her knowledge of the Immediate Roadside Prohibitions. She has appeared as counsel in all levels of Court in BC and at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Ultimately, we have a long way to go toward diversity, equity, and inclusion. But having these conversations is how we get there.


A dose of inspiration! Gifts for you or someone that inspires you!

A Best Seller Book on Amazon! This book is for anyone leading a team, leading a family, leading a community. It’s for anyone committed to diversity and inclusion. It’s a tribute to ALL women. past, present, and future. Over 100 stories. Discover your voice within their voice.

Be a Visible SupportHER™.You will be ready to rock those morning zoom meetings and let them know you're an ally!

Empowering everyone to play a role to SupportHER and champion for women!

Use this sticker for Bumpers, Vision Boards, Windows, Desks, Office Doors and more!


Daily Inspiration Mug

Universal Women-Owned

Certified. Professionally and locally printed, large 15 oz. capacity

Set Your Intentions and Dream Big! Start the year with intention, clarity, and focus. What will your guiding One Word for the year ahead?

A Badass Key Ring! Start a conversation to move the needle to break that brick ceiling! Great for gifts for the team, stocking stuffers, or our favorite... just because you ROCK!


As we near the end of our first quarter of the year, it’s time to revisit your vision for 2022! BUT - every badass woman knows that vision boards are not merely cutting and pasting pictures of wishes and things. A vision board is a visual representation of the individual you want to become through experiences, challenges, lessons, and achieving specific goals. It should be kept somewhere in your room / office / home so you can see it daily. This will help you when you need to make decisions, determine which habits you need to continue / begin / eliminate, and even the individuals you should surround yourself with. It is time to revisit your vision board for 2022. Has anything changed or altered? Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Who do you want to be?

2. What do you want to manifest for the year ahead?

3. What experiences do you want to have to support you in becoming who you want to be?

4. What goals are you willing to go after and achieve?

5. What is missing in your life currently that will help you become the individual you said you want to be in question 1?

Once answered, begin to make any adjustments using your answers as a guide. If you are just getting started on building your vision board for the year, today is a great day to start. The “how to build” is varied and depends on who you are. You can build one digitally, or manually. You can use cutout magazine pictures, hand-drawn images, words only. The key is doing whatever feels right for you and will keep you inspired every time you look at it, 365 days of the year.


Spring is here and it’s time to get active...with your brain! By challenging your brain by learning something new, you keep your brain active, which helps to keep you mentally sharp and ready to take on any challenge! Cognitive activity is all about creating enriching environments to stimulate the your brain’s growth (super simple...there are synapses and dendrites, axons and myelin, neurotransmitters and neurons involved). How can you exercise your brain on a daily basis?

• Play brain games

• Practice mindfulness

• Listen to music

• Have a conversation

• Read books about a new topic

• Travel (now that the world is opening up)

• Become a beginner

• Complete a puzzle

There are literally thousands of ways to exercise your brain. So, find the thing that makes you curious and start learning away! Your mental health will thank you.

Do you take the time to grow yourself love? To invest in...being grateful for who you are, on purpose? Self-compassion can be one of the most badass things you can ever do for yourself. Not sure how to even start? Try one, or even a few of the following:

1. Create a self-love list! Write out 100 things about yourself that you love. Keep it and pull it out on days to remind yourself of just how awesome you are.

2. Write Mirror Messages. Now, write some of those awesome things about yourself on your mirror. A couple that fit nicely on the mirror and still allow you to see your beautiful soul, “I am enough.” or “I love you.”

3. Gratitude journal. We’ve talked about this before! Journal 10 things you’re grateful for at the end of each day just before you go to sleep. Fall asleep focusing on the good things that happened in the day (including those lessons).

4. Breathe deeply and slowly. So simple - 15 deep, slow inhales and exhales to slow down, to refocus, to go inward. You deserve it!






These “faux” leather pants are washable, super soft and easily transition from the office to happy hour. We love that Ariza is a Canadian women-led company and their transparency www.aritzia.com

Read Aritzia’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion –Inclusion means all sizes matter, all people matter. “Evaluating every aspect of our business to ensure we‘re inclusive, diverse and representative of the communities where we work — from entry-level positions to executive-level positions. Aritzia should always be a place where all people, no matter their colour, creed, race, age or sexual orientation can enjoy successful careers.”

https://www.aritzia.com/en/ aritzia/real-change-startsfrom-within.html


Dolly is a living legend and Woman of Inspiration. An award-winning musician, songwriter, actress and storyteller. Growing up from humble beginnings to being one of the world most wellknown and respected female artists. I would be dating myself by telling you that I remember the movie 9 to 5! After all these years. This is still one of my favorites and brings me back to my youth thinking Dolly was the best! Here’s to you Dolly!

https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=UbxUSsFXYo4

As a single mom, my mom would take my son out shopping birthday and Christmas gifts so my son could choose something special. Pandora was the “go-too” store for all occasions. He was adamant it was Pandora. This past Valentines Day, my (birthday) we had a date. He arrived with a bouquet of flowers and a bag from Pandora with the matching earrings and delicate bracelet to the necklace from Christmas. I wear it every day to remind me what a thoughtful young man I have raised. www.pandora.net | https://ca.pandora.net



Does she inspire you? Let her know you see her, you hear her and she is worth it! I am a fan of handwritten note cards. We designed our blank note cards that are perfect to inspire your team, say thank you, or congratulate. Recognition goes a long way. Handwritten cards are cherished and never forgotten.

UWN SHOP –https://universal-womens-network.myshopify.com

Investing in women is good for the economy!
Yes, there is a theme…. love these brands led by women, committed to equity and inspiring action!
@UWomensNetwork | universalwomensnetwork.com @UWomensNetwork | universalwomensnetwork.com WOMEN OF INSPIRATION™ DON’T WAIT FOR OPPORTUNITIES, THEY CREATE THEM. Monica Kretschmer @UWomensNetwork | universalwomensnetwork.com WHEN WE CELEBRATE ONE WOMAN, WE CELEBRATE ALL WOMEN. Monica Kretschmer @UWomensNetwork | universalwomensnetwork.com Inspire others! Badass! @UWomensNetwork | universalwomensnetwork.com
Monica’s Kretchmer: Photo by Kenneth Fung VEGAN


The collective voices in this book range in age from 12 - 100. The strength of the stories gathered during the Covid-19 pandemic shows resilience, innovation, grit and determination. Discover your voice within their voice.

UWN SHOP – https:// universal-womensnetwork.myshopify.com


Rukhsana’s Wellness & Heavenly Retreat - Jose del Cabo, Mexico Spring might be here, but summer is still two months away! There is never not a good time to sneak away for a holistic getaway to the Ayurvedic Retreat is nestled between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas overlooking the sea of Cortez. The “Out of Office” is a must to enjoy the stunning gardens, saltwater pool , daily mediation, yoga and the labyrinth.



Self-care is self-love. Lilies are associated with fresh life and rebirth. They are long lasting, fragrant, and symbolize love, devotion, purity and fertility.

Callia is a female-founded company that started in Manitoba on a mission to add more special moments in everyday lives in Canada and USA.

Ongoing subscriptions available!



Each of the SUSTAIN Lipstick shades is named after the earth or land in one of the 7,000 Indigenous languages. SUSTAIN Lipstick is handcrafted using rich and nourishing ingredients such as shea butter for a hydrating, long-lasting wear. Cheekbone is women-led, donates 2% back to partner charities and for every Sustain Lipstick one is gifted to Indigenous Youth.

Cheekbone Beauty –https://www.cheekbonebeauty.com/


High heels? Is it just me or is hard to get back to heels after wearing house slippers? These classic sandals have a sturdy block heel just intime for patio season to begin. They are a wardrobe staple you can dress up or down.

P.S. Did I mention, female founder rock! Learn about Tory Burch and the Tory Burch Foundation supporting female entrepreneurs.



Spring is here! There is no better time to get organized. The Home Edit is a great story about two moms who launched an organizing company.

Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin go beyond the pantry and bookshelf to show you how to contain the chaos in all aspects of your life, from office space and holiday storage to luggage and pet supplies. They built their business on social media and have attracted 6 million followers on Instagram, launched a storage line, a Netflix TV Series, edit homes of across the USA including a A-List celebrities and inspire women around the world to do “the edit”. Who cannot be addicted to

The Home Edit! –www.TheHomeEdit.com

treat yourself!

2015 Woman of Inspiration Legacy Award: Diane Harms

2016 Advocate & Catalyst for Change Award: Tamara Jones

2016 Game Changer Award: Teresa de Grosbois

2016 Boss Chick Award: Kim Deep

2016 Difference Maker Award: Elizabeth Lewis

2016 Millennial Leader Award: Mackenzie Murphy

2016 Lifetime Achievement Award: Donna Dahl

2016 Cultural Ambassador Award: Aretha Greatrix

2016 Health & Wellness Award: Jacqualine Cameron

2016 Mentorship Award: Lana Wright

2017 Trailblazer (STEM) Award: Deanna Burghart

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award: Lea Romanowski

2017 Game Changer Award: Karen Klassen

2017 Mompreneur Award: Lisa Mundell

2017 Advocate & Catalyst for Change Award: Marija Pavkovic-Tovissi

2017 Boss Chick Award: Michelle Andrishak

2017 Cultural Ambassador Award: Sophie Armstrong

2017 Millennial Leader Award: Sophia Fairweather

2017 Difference Maker Award: Raman Kapoor

2017 Boss Chick Award: Nora Molina

2018 Global Impact Award: Audrey Mascarenhas

2018 The Nest Award: Cindy Luffer

2018 Unsung Hero Award: Debora Bergeson

2018 Difference Maker Award: Dr. Jody Carrington

2018 Global Influencer Award: Dr. Laura Hambley-Lovett

2018 Boss Chick Award: Filomena Abdi

2018 Power Partner Award: Heather Erlen

2018 Millennial Leader Award: Jessica Tsang

2018 Advocate & Catalyst for Change Award: Karen Stewart

2018 Game Changer Award: Kimberley Van Vliet

2018 Authentic Leader Award: Marsha Laine-Dungog

2018 Cultural Ambassador Award: Michelle Minke

2018 Trailblazer (STEM) Award: Rena Tabata

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award: Vera Goodman

2018 Mentorship Award: Yvonne E.L. Silver

2018 SupportHER Award: Tara Wilson

2018 Innovative Leader Award: Maria Martinello

2018 Mompreneur Award: Shannon Collins

2019 Indigenous Leader Award: Anaida Deti

2019 The Nest Award: Andrea Twizell

2019 Cultural Ambassador Award: Armineh Keshishian

2019 Youth Advocate Award: Brenda McWilson-Okorogba

2019 Game Changer Award: Cassandra Nordell

2019 Global Executive Leader Award: Catherine Yuile

2019 Diversity & Inclusiveness Award: Chantel Soumis

2019 Global Achievement Award: Christine Nielsen

2019 Trailblazer (STEM) Award: Dana Tessier

2019 Authentic Leader Award: Debbie Burke-Benn

2019 Rural Leader Award: Denise Alison

2019 Inspire Award: Faten Alshazly

2019 Millennial Leader Award: Jamie Kramer

2019 Mompreneur Award: Jennifer Ladouceur

2019 Global Impact Award: Joan Kelley Walker

2019 Authentic Leader Award: Jocelyn Flanagan

2019 Global Influencer Award: Johanne Belanger

2019 SupportHER Award: Julian Smit

2019 Humanitarian Award: Kavita Dogra

2019 Health & Wellness Advocate Kim Fitzpatrick

2019 Inspire Award: Lindsey Penrose

2019 Innovator Award: Dr. Liza Egbogah

2019 Cultural Ambassador Award: Luma Qusus

2019 Mentorship Award: Maria Sofia

2019 Advocate & Catalyst for Change Award: Marnie Grundman

2019 Mompreneur Award: Sandra Challenger

2019 Power Partner Award: Michael Hyatt

2019 SupportHER Award: Mike Giannoumis

2019 Rising Star Award: Mylene Tu

2019 Rising Star Award: Nadine Abdallah

2019 Rising Star Award: Prajwala Dixit

2019 SupportHER Award: Rebecca McKillican

2019 Indigenous Leader Award: Rochelle Laflamme

2019 Cultural Ambassador Award: Sappho Smythe

2019 Innovative Leader Award: Shelly Elsliger

2019 Diversity & Inclusiveness Award: Siobhan Calderbank

2019 SupportHER Award: Tim Alison

2019 Impact Award: Trish Ronan

2019 Inspire Award: Trudy Trinh

2019 Vision Builder Award: Vanessa Vakharia

2019 Mentorship Award: Theresa Rowsell

2019 Millennial Leader Award: Katie Schaffers

2019 Change Agent Award: Tracy Schmitt

2019 Authentic Leader Award: Anila Lee Yeun

2019 Difference Maker Award: Alison Springer

2019 Game Changer Award: Am&a Hamilton

2019 Heath & Wellness Award: Andrea Muir

2019 Difference Maker Award: Andrea Robertson

2019 Cultural Ambassador Award: Angel Guerra

2019 Go-Getter Award: Angie Ostojic

2019 Innovation Award: Anne Sellmer

2019 Power Partner Award: Arjun Channa

2019 Millennial Leader Award: Arlene Seymour

2019 Mentorship Award: Brenda Beckedorf

2019 Trailblazer (STEM) Award: Cara Wolf

2019 Rural Leader Award: Carmen Vetian

2019 Indigenous Leader Award: Carrie Manitopyes

2019 The Nest Award: Christma Nathali

2019 Trailblazer (STEM) Award: Christy Lane

2019 Unsung Hero Award: Cynthia Hamilton Urquhart

2019 SupportHER Award: Deb Milimaka Miles

2019 Global Difference Maker Award: Desiree Bombenon

2019 Advocate & Catalyst for Change Award: Diane Colley-Urquhart

2019 Lifetime Achievement Award: Elfriede Holtkamp

2019 Mentorship Award: Eno Eka

2019 Global Impact Award: Gina Cherkowsk

2019 Inspire Award: Grace Yan

2019 Global Achievement Award: Jennifer Carlson

2019 Rural Leader Award: Julie Boake

2019 Youth Excellence Award: Kaiya Gamble

2019 Inspire Award: Karen Sherbut

2019 Mentorship Award: Kendra Kincade

2019 Indigenous Leader Award: Kyla Lee

2019 SupportHER Award: Larry Goerzen

2019 Customer Experience Award: Layna Segall

2019 Vison Builder Award: Lesley Rigg

2019 Influencer Award: Lindsay Harle-Kadatz

2019 Mompreneur Award: Marlo Brausse

2019 Unsung Hero Award: Mary Fischer

2019 Inspire Award: Rhonda Goldberg

2019 Indigenous Leader Award: Rhonda Head

2019 Trailblazer (STEM) Award: Robyn Woods (Henderson)

2019 Diversity & Inclusiveness Award: Sandy Pound

2019 The Nest Award: Sarah Hawco

2019 Integrity Award: Sarah Leamon

2019 Humanitarian Award: Sharilyn Amy

2019 Impact Award: Sharon A.M. MacLean

2019 Global Influencer Award: Sheila Musgrove

2019 Innovative Leader Award: Shirley Penner

2019 Diversity & Inclusiveness Award: Sydney Cowling

2019 Cultural Ambassador Award: Teresa Spinelli

2019 Change Agent Award: Uyen Nguyen

2020 Advocate & Catalyst for Change Award: Jodeme Goldhar

2020 Advocate & Catalyst for Change Award: Monique Auffrey

2020 Authentic Leader Alma Arzate

2020 Authentic Leader Award: Jenn Lofgren

2020 Black Leader Award: Margaret Adu

2020 Black Leader Award: Nothabo Ncube

2020 Covid-19 Leader Award: Angie Kim

2020 Covid-19 Leader Award: Evelyne Nyairo

2020 Cultural Ambassador Award: Krista Malden

2020 Cultural Ambassador Award: Sabine Weber

2020 Customer Ex[erience Award: Adele Spraggon

2020 Customer Experience Award: Judith Virag

2020 Difference Maker Award: Vanisha Breault

2020 Diversity & Inclusiveness Award: Keshia Holloman-Dawson

2020 Diversity & Inclusiveness Award: Lorin MacDonald

2020 Dream Builder Award: Anuja Sharma-Virani

2020 Dream Builder Award: Monica Dauenhauer

2020 Game Changer Award: Jennifer Commins

2020 Game Changer Award: Karen MacNeill

2020 Global Impact Award: Helle Bank Jorgensen

2020 Global Impact Award: Jeanette Jackson

2020 Health & Wellness Award: Connie Jakab

2020 Health & Wellness Award: Karen Adams

2020 Indigenous Leader Award: Lori Campbell

2020 Indigenous Leader Award: Wendy Lumby

2020 Influencer Award: Blaise Hunter

2020 Influencer Award: Jana Webb

2020 Innovation Award: Laura Grant

2020 Innovation Award: Sharon Vinderine

2020 Inspire Award: Lisa Lisson

2020 Inspire Award: Neeru Schippel

2020 Integrity Award: Karen Fellowes

2020 Integrity Award: Karen Somerville

2020 Jr. Advocate & Catalyst for Change Award: Gurjot Kaur Singh

2020 Lifetime Achievement Award: Karen Fonseth

2020 Lifetime Achievement Award: Patricia Gagic

2020 Mentorship Award: Deborah Rodrigo

2020 Mentorship Award: Susan deRyk

2020 Millennial Leader Award: Lindsay Jones

2020 Millennial Leader Award: Lulu Liang

2020 Nest Award: Maeghen Cotterill

2020 Nest Award: Sibel Coskuner

2020 Rising Leader Award: Geetika Joshi

2020 Rising Leader Award: Jolie Gan

2020 Rural Leader Award: Ejibola Adetokunbo-Taiwo

2020 Rural Leader Award: Shelley Uvanile-Hesch

2020 Social Impact Award: Carlene Donnelly

2020 Social Impact Award: Margot Witz

2020 SupportHER Award: Christina Chow

2020 SupportHER Award: Dominic Vogel

2020 SupportHER Award: Marc Bombenon

2020 SupportHER Award: Paul Doroshenko

2020 SupportHER Award: Victoria Lennox

2020 Trailblazer (STEM) Award: Anu Bidani

2020 Trailblazer (STEM) Award: Sara Badiei

2020 Vision Builder Award: Jessica Jui

2020 Vision Builder Award: Towunmi Coker

2020 Women in Media Award: Angela Sterritt

2020 Women in Media Award: Tracy Lamourie

2020 Youth Excellence Award: Boluwatife Adefemi

2020 Youth Excellence Award: Chloe Shingoose

2021 Advocate & Catalyst for Change Award: Trish Guise

2021 Authentic Leader Award: Andrea Linger

2021 Authentic Leader Award: Fatima Israel

2021 Authentic Leader Award: Heather Lochnan

2021 Authentic Leader Award: Kayla Isabelle

2021 Authentic Leader Award: Laura Didyk

2021 Authentic Leader Award: Marcela Lay

2021 Authentic Leader Award: Payal Puri

2021 Authentic Leader Award: Stephanie Leheta

2021 Authentic Leader Award: Victoria Nguyen

2021 Black Women Leader Award: Evangeline Chima

2021 Cultural Ambassador Award: Patti Jannetta

2021 Customer Experience Award: Eldeen Pozniak

2021 Difference Maker Award: Dr. Smita Pakhale

2021 Diversity & Inclusiveness Award Presented by Randstad Canada: Katherine (Katie) Dudtschak

2021 Dream Builder Award Presented by AMJ: Campbell Jennifer Green

2021 Economic Empowerment Award: Sonya Shorey

2021 Game Changer Award: Suzie Yorke

2021 Global Impact Award: Dr. Suhayya (Sue) Abu-Hakima

2021 Health & Wellness Award: Amber Zenith

2021 Heidi Stevenson Unsung Hero Award: presented by Canada's Valour Games Captain Linda Feuerhelm

2021 Indigenous Leader Award: Presented by Hexo Corp. Jennifer Ménard-Shand

2021 Influencer Award: Vahen King

2021 Innovation Award Presented by Turbo Images: Sarah Jordan

2021 Inspire Award: Dr Sonya Richmond

2021 Integrity Award: Rose Marie Gage

2021 Lifetime Achievement Award: Hazel McCallion

2021 Mentorship Award: Erin Bigney

2021 Millennial Leader Award: Charlie Wall-Andrews

2021 Raising the Bar Award: Helen Filipe

2021 Rising Leader Award: Rebecca McLaren

2021 Rural Leader Award: Kara Alicia Kennish

2021 Social Impact Award: Meseret Haileyesus

2021 SupportHER™ Award Presented by Raymond James: Chantal & Brian Milloy

2021 Nest Award Presented by Banff Sunshine” Village Koleya Karringten

2021 Trailblazer Award Presented by Mitacs: Jaime Leverton

2021 Transformational Leader Award: Theano Evagelou

2021 Transformational Leader Award: Christine Dagenais

2021 Vision Builder Award: Phoebe Wasfy

2021 Women in Media Award: Tracie Gray

2021 Women-Led Award Presented by SureCall: Robin Kovitz

2021 Youth Excellence Award Presented by RBC: Olivia Day

2021 Youth Excellence Award Presented by RBC: Zafina Zaman

2021 Immigrant Leader Award: Ariyike Akinbobola



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a Contributor!
your voice. Become a UWomen Magazine Contributor to share your thought leadership on business and life.
Monica Kretschmer Editor in Chief and Publisher Crystal Pretula Creative Director Jordan Stothers Photographer Donna Dahl Content Editor, The Lens Toward Equity Tina Powell Ageism Kassey Shier Photographer Randstad Canada Breaking the Bias in the workplace Yvonne E. Silver The Disrespectful Question Lindsay Harle Katatz Content Contributor Sarah Hawco Hypocrisy of Boss Babe

Name Title, Company Website

Aimée Foreman Founder and CEO, Silvermark silvermark.ca

Allison Mclauchlan Executive Director, Kelowna Women's Shelter kelownawomensshelter.ca

Ally Stone Founder, The Inspired Leader theinspiredleader.com

Amelie Mongrain Fashion Entrepreneur, AM360 Sphère Inc. makingfashion.co

Andrea Carter CEO and Founder, Building Better Organizations | Neuroscience Based Equity and Inclusion Intelligence Consultant"

Andrea Linger Associate Vice President, Practice Management and Head of the Women Canadian Advisors Network, Raymond James Ltd.

Aretha Greatrix Executive Producer, Miyo Pimatisiwin Productions Inc.| 2016 Women of Inspiration™ Cultural Ambassador Award




Armineh Keshishian Founder and CEO, Wealth and Wellness Global wealthandwellnessglobal.com

Boluwatife (Bolu)

Adefemi Singer and Songwriter, BoluSings | 2020 Woman of Inspiration™ Youth Excellence Award | UWN Youth Ambassador

Carmen Vetian Owner and Partner, Carmen Vetian Professional Corporation | 2019 Women of Inspiration™ Rural Leader Award



Carolyn Levy President Technologies & Chief Diversity Officer, Randstad Canada randstad.ca

Chantal Milloy Co-founder and COO, Levvel Inc. levvel.ca

Chesand S. Gregory Entrepreneur, Jchess chesandgregory.com

Cheryl Cardinal Director of Indigenous Policy and Procurement | Office of the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada

Chloe Shingoose Singer, Athlete | 2020 Woman of Inspiration™ Youth Excellence | UWN Youth Ambassador

Cindy Watson CEO and Founder, Women on Purpose womenonpurpose.ca

Connie Jakab CEO, Brave Tribe | Senior Manager, Wellness Innovate | 2020 Woman of Inspiration™ Award Health and Wellness Award


Crystal Pretula The Head Honcho. Prairie Chick Prints | 2019 Woman of Inspiration™ SupportHER™ Award prairiechickprints.com

Cynthia Hamilton Urquhart Authour, Speaker | Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer (Ret’d) | 2019 Woman of Inspiration™ Unsung Hero Award


Dana Levenson TV Personality danalevenson.ca

Denise Allen President and CEO, Food Producers of Canada(FPC) foodproducersofcanada.ca

Desiree Bombenon CEO and Chief Disruption Officer, SureCall Contact Centers Inc.| 2019 Woman of Inspiration™ Global Difference Maker Award


Devi Rajani Villegas Senior Managing Director, FTI Consulting fticonsulting.com

Di Gallo Digital Marketing Executive Leader

Diane Harms Family Law Lawyer, Daunais McKay + Harms | 2015 Woman of Inspiration™ Advocate & Catalyst for Change - Legacy Award


Dixie Dayka Fund Development Coordinator, The Mustard Seed | UWN National Ambassador theseed.ca


Name Title, Company

Donna P. Dahl Master Empowerment Coach, Editor and Author | 2016 Women of Inspiration™ Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Suhayya (Sue)




Co-Founder and CEO, Alstari Corporation | Member of the Order of Ontario alstari.com

Eldeen Pozniak Owner and Senior Consultant, Pozniak Safety Associates Inc. pozniaksafety.com

Elizabeth BlakeThomas Storyteller and Philanthropist, Mother and Daughter Entertainment | UWN Global Ambassador motheranddaughterent.com

Eni Oszlai Musical Financial Doctor empoweringwomentosucceed.com

Geneviève Cabana-Proulx President, Executive Producer, SOMA PUB | Universal Women-Owned™ soma.ca

Gina Perrault Founder, Restorative Sports Therapy restorativesportstherapy.com

Gloria Steinem Writer, Lecturer, Political Activist and Feminist Organizer gloriasteinem.com

Haley Daniels Olympic Athlete, Canoe Slalom haleydaniels.ca

Hazel McCallion The Former Mayor of The City of Mississauga, Ontario from 1978 until 2014

Jackie Sanz Managing Director, Risk and Compliance, Protiviti protiviti.com

Jaime Leverton Chief Executive Officer, Hut 8 Mining hut8mining.com

Janelle Doyle Operations, T. Doyle Transport Ltd. doyletransport.com

Jenn Lofgren Founder, & Executive Coach, Incito | 2020 Woman of Inspiration™ Authentic Leader incito.ca

Jennifer Ménard-Shand Founder and CEO, Director, Client Happiness, Staff Shop staffshop.ca

Jennifer Jackson President, Universal Geomatics Solutions Corp. ugsc.ca

Jocelyn Flanagan Founder and CEO, e=mc2 Events | 2019 Women of Inspiration™ Authentic Leader Award emc2events.com

Judith Virag Owner, Clean Club Calgary | 2020 Woman of Inspiration™ Customer Experience Award cleanclubcalgary.com

Kaiya Gamble Singer and Songwriter, Kaiya Gamble | 2019 Women of Inspiration™ Youth Excellence Award | UWN Youth Ambassador


Kara Alicia Kennish Owner and Operator, Tim Hortons Franchise timhortons.com

Karen Fonseth Chief Executive Officer, DASCH | 2020 Woman of Inspiration™ Lifetime Achievement Award dasch.mb.ca

Karen Sherbut President and Co-Founder, Safe Haven Foundation of Canada | 2019 Woman of Inspiration™ Inspire Award " safehavenfoundation.ca

Katherine (Katie) Dudtschak Executive Vice President, Regional Banking, RBC Royal Bank rbc.com

Katy Campeau General Manager, Lettrapub turbo-images.com

Kendra Scurfield Director of Brand and Communications, Banff Sunshine Village" skibanff.com

Kim Ruse CEO, Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter (CWES) calgarywomensshelter.com

Kimberly Reeves Owner and Operator, Castrol Raceway castrolraceway.com

Koleya Karringten CEO, Absolute Combustion International absolutecombustion.com

Krista Malden Founder, Community Now! Magazine | 2020 Women of Inspiration™ Cultural Ambassador communitynowmagazine.com


Name Title, Company Website

Kween CEO, The Kween Company thekweencompany.com

Kyla Lee Criminal Lawyer, Barrister and Solicitor, Acumen Law Corporation | 2020 Woman of Inspiration™ Indigenous Leader Award


Laura Didyk Vice President and National Lead Women Entrepreneurs, BDC bdc.ca

Lindsay Harle-Kadatz Brand Strategist, The Write Harle | 2019 Woman of Inspiration™ Influencer Award thewriteharle.com

Lindsay Jones Investment Banker, Scotiabank | 2020 Women of Inspiration™ Millennial Leader Award gbm.scotiabank.com

Lindsay Sill Vice-Chair, Steering Committee, The Nest Foundation™ thenestfoundation.org

Lori Campbell Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Engagement), University of Regina | 2020 Woman of Inspiration™ Indigenous Leader Award


Lorin MacDonald Founder & CEO, HearVue Inc. | 2020 Woman of Inspiration™ Diversity and Inclusiveness Award hearvue.com

Louise H. Reid Founder, LHR, Leadership Development Expert & Author louisehreid.com

Maeghen Cotterill Owner, 5 Elements Martial Arts | 2019 Woman of Inspiration™ Nest Award 5elementscalgary.com

Margaret Adu President, Aomega Group Inc. | 2020 Women of Inspiration™ Black Women Leader Award aomegalodges.com

Manjit Minhas CEO and Co-founder Minhas Breweries and Distilleries minhasbrewery.com

Maria Sofia Corporate Leader, Health and Life Coach, Trauma Practitioner | 2019 Women of Inspiration™ Mentorship Award


Marija Pavkovic Tovissi CEO, MaKami College | 2017 Woman of inspiration™ Advocate & Catalyst for Change Award makamicollege.com

Merren McArthur President and CEO, Lynx Air

Michelle Cameron Coulter CEO and Founder, Inspiring Possibilities/Gold Medal Inspirations michellecameroncoulter.com

Michelle Minke Owner and Medium, Michelle Minke Health and Wellness | 2018 Woman of Inspiration™ Cultural Ambassador Award


Monica Dauenhauer Pilot, Kenn Borek Air Ltd. | 2020 Woman of Inspiration™ Dream Builder Award borekair.com

Monica Kretschmer Founder and CEO, Universal Womens Network™ Inc. | Women of Inspiration™Awards | SupportHER™ universalwomensnetwork.com

Monique Auffrey CEO, Author, Board Member of COSW | 2020 Woman of Inspiration™ Advocate and Catalyst for Change Award

Nadiya Manji CEO and Founder, Profound Wellness profoundwellness.ca

Nancy E. Klensch Creator and Innovator, Summit Kids summitkids.ca

Patricia Gagic International Artist | 2020 Woman of Inspiration™ Lifetime Achievement Award patriciakarengagic.com

Patti Jannetta Founder and President, JANTA Entertainment Group pattijannetta.com


Name Title, Company


Phoebe A. Wasfy Principal, Philopateer Christian College pccnet.ca

Rhonda Goldberg Founder, Oh! Naturals Flavoured Snacks Inc. | 2019 Woman of Inspiration™ Inspire Award | Universal Women-Owned™

Rhonda Head Singer, Songwriter and Show Host, Indigenous Superstars | 2019 Woman of Inspiration™ Indigenous Leader Award | Opaskwayak Cree Nation 21



Roberta Battaglia Singer robertab.official.com

Rose Marie (Rose) Gage Founder and Principal of Great Governance Matters and MPOWRU, Board Member (Public, Private, N4P) greatgovernancematters.com

Ruth Vachon President and CEO, Réseau des femmes d'affaires du Québec (RFAQ) rfaq.ca

Sandrine Leroy President, ExpertMed Solutions Inc. expertmed.ca

Sarah Hawco Co- Founding Partner, Hawco Peters and Associates Inc. | 2019 Woman of Inspiration™ Nest Award | Universal Women-Led™


Sharlene Massie Founder and CEO, About Staffing aboutstaffing.com

Shelley UvanileHesch CEO, Women's Trucking Federation of Canada | 2020 Women of Inspiration™ Rural Leader Award wtfc.ca

Shirley Der President and Owner, Foam Works Inc. foamworksinc.com

Siobhan Calderbank Director, Talent Management, LCBO | 2019 Woman of Inspiration™ Diversity and Inclusiveness Award siobhancalderbank.com

Sonya Richmond PhD Royal Canada Geographic Society Expedition Leader, Come Walk With Us | Sechelt, British Columbia | Canada

Sophia Fairweather Founder, StartUpBySophia | 2017 Woman of Inspiration™ Millennial Leader Award | UWN Youth Ambassador


Suzie Yorke CEO and Founder, The Good Fat Co. Ltd lovegoodfats.com

Tara Slone TV Host, Singer, Loudmouth, Sportsnet sportsnet.ca

Teresa Spinelli President, Italian Centre Shop Ltd. | 2019 Woman of Inspiration™ Cultural Ambassador Award italiancentre.ca

Theano Evagelou Certified Authentic Tantra Practitioner and Relationship Coach thetheano.com

Tina Powell Founder and Chief Content Curator, Canadian Women Glorious is She tinapowell.com

Trish Guise High Conflict Divorce Strategist trishguise.com

Unstoppable Tracy Schmitt BEd, MBA Motivational Speaker, TV Host, Decorated Paralympic Trialist | 2019 Women of Inspiration™ Change Agent Award


Victoria Nguyen Vice President, Delivery, Capital Markets cibc.com

Marc Bombenon Chairman, Founder, Surecall Contact Centres Inc.| 2020 Woman of Inspiration™ SupportHER™ Award surecallcc.com

Dominic Vogel Founder & Chief Strategist, CyberSC | 2020 Woman of Inspiration™ SupportHER™ Award | UWN National Ambassador


Brian Milloy Co-founder, President and CEO, Levvel Inc. levvel.ca

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