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Catalyst Canada Gala Pays Tribute to Champions; Advancement Is Good for Women and Good for Business

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 18, 2011) - In tribute to this year's recipients of The Catalyst Canada Honours—Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and CEO, Desjardins Group; Jennifer Tory, Regional President, Greater Toronto Region, RBC; and Michael Bach, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, KPMG LLP—Catalyst Canada will host a gala dinner tonight at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

The Catalyst Canada Honours is a unique celebration of champions of women in corporate Canada. This year's outstanding Champions demonstrate bold commitment, passion and results in advancing women within their organizations and in society at large. Ms. Leroux has implemented an unprecedented organizational restructuring at Desjardins, establishing ten multidisciplinary taskforces with equal numbers of women and men on each; Ms. Tory has worked continuously throughout her 30-plus year career to advance women and visible minorities at RBC and in her community; and Mr. Bach has, in his four years as Director, championed diversity at KPMG within Canada and on a global level.

"At Catalyst Canada, we believe that every person is in a rare position of influence—and that we can choose to exercise that influence on behalf of women in the Canadian workplace. One person can truly have an impact that changes workplaces and changes lives," said Deborah Gillis, Senior Vice President, Membership & Global Operations, Catalyst. "By celebrating the work of this year's Champions, we hope to inspire future champions to step up and affirm the value of women's leadership in corporate Canada."

Bill Downe, President & CEO, BMO Financial Group, and Chair of this year's gala dinner, said, "We have a responsibility to promote the advancement of women in the workplace. It begins with mentoring, but it doesn't end there. The men and women we are honouring have done and continue to do more. They use their influence to champion and promote equity through their active sponsorship—because it's what's fair. Celebrating their individual contributions makes corporate Canada stronger—and our customers expect nothing less."

Catalyst research has consistently demonstrated that championing women in business is not only good for women but for companies' bottom lines as well. Our research indicates that when women are sponsored by champions who advocate on their behalf, it can lead to their advancement, and that companies with more women in leadership positions, on average, financially outperform those with fewer.

"Great organisations become so with great people. As Canada's most international bank, Scotiabank recognizes the importance of attracting the broadest possible spectrum of talent," said Rick Waugh, President and CEO, Scotiabank, and Chair of the Catalyst Canada Advisory Board. "The evidence is clear: diversity generates more innovative thinking, better decision-making, and stronger business results."

The Catalyst Canada Honours celebrates extraordinary championship and the 2011 Champions specifically. As individuals and within their organizations, champions:

  • Commit themselves to change, using their influence to promote women to positions of leadership
  • Take responsibility for making the advancement of women a reality
  • Recognize women's unique contributions to business leadership and create opportunities for them to fully utilize their talents
  • Understand how women's advancement in business changes workplaces and changes lives

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

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

For more information about The Catalyst Canada Honours, including profiles of this year's Champions, please visit


Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit membership organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, Europe, and India, and more than 500 preeminent corporations as members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work.


The Catalyst Canada Honours shares the rigour and prestige of the Catalyst Award, which Catalyst has presented since 1987 to business initiatives dedicated to advancing women's progress in the corporate world. The Catalyst Canada Honours celebrates individual champions of women in business. Recognizing that what's good for women is good for business, these exceptional individuals are personally and visibly committed to the advancement of women and serve as powerful role models for Canadian corporate leaders.

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

For further information:
For media inquiries:
Susan Nierenberg
(646) 388-7744

For Toronto and English-speaking Canada:
Katherine Clark
(416) 462-8773 ext 55

For Quebec and French-speaking Canada:
Ariane Tremblay
(514) 861-1330 ext 226