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The Catalyst Canada Honours Celebrates Champions of Women's Advancement

Six Business Leaders Recognized As Exceptional Role Models in Corporate Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 21, 2013) - Today Catalyst Canada awards its highest distinction, the annual Catalyst Canada Honours, to six outstanding Champions who have challenged the status quo and taken concrete action to advance and advocate for women in their organizations, their industries, and their communities. All are true examples of the Catalyst Canada Honours mission to create visible role models for Canada's current and future business leaders.

The 2013 Catalyst Canada Honours Champions will be celebrated at today's full-day conference and gala dinner at The Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto, and include:

- Marc-André Blanchard, Chair & Chief Executive Officer, McCarthy Tétrault LLP (Company/Firm Leader Champion).

- Lorraine Mitchelmore, President and Country Chair & EVP Heavy Oil, Shell Canada Limited (Company/Firm Leader Champion).

- Susan Allen, Assurance Partner, International Team Leader, Global Assurance Quality Review Group, PwC Canada (Business Leader Champion).

- Colleen Johnston, Group Head Finance, Sourcing and Corporate Communications & Chief Financial Officer, TD Bank Group (Business Leader Champion).

- Kate Broer, Partner and Canada Region Co-Chair, Diversity and Inclusion, Dentons Canada LLP (Human Resources/Diversity Leader Champion).

- Purdy Crawford, Counsel, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP (Special Recognition: Board Diversity Champion).

Catalyst Canada Honours recognizes the critical role that company/firm leaders, business leaders, and human resources/diversity leaders together play in advancing women in business. This year's record-breaking number of Champions reflects the growing prestige of the Catalyst Canada Honours, and the profound effect individual efforts can have on corporate Canada and the world.

"You can't make change without champions leading the charge," says Alex Johnston, Executive Director, Catalyst Canada. "It takes real courage to stand up, speak out, and shatter barriers and biases that can block women from leadership roles. These extraordinary Champions have taken bold steps to transform the workplace for women, and inspired others to follow their lead. That's how you create the ripple effect needed to make change stick, for today and future generations."

"Each of these honourees saw the possibility-and acted," says Bill Downe, President & CEO, BMO Financial Group, and Catalyst Canada Honours Dinner Chair. "Their personal commitment to the advancement of women continues to propel their companies forward. The time for debate is long past; it's time to lead, and we thank these Champions for rising to the challenge."

Catalyst research consistently shows that sponsoring women and advocating on their behalf is not only crucial to women's career advancement, but benefits companies, too, by creating a robust pipeline of talent. According to Catalyst research, companies with more women in leadership, on average, financially outperform those with fewer.

All of the six Catalyst Canada Honours Champions have leveraged their influence to help expand opportunities and leadership roles for women in business, and inspired others in corporate Canada to create sustainable change.

Read quotes from the 2013 Catalyst Canada Honours Champions.


Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, and Australia, and more than 600 members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women's advancement with the Catalyst Award.


The Catalyst Canada Honours celebrates champions of women in Canadian 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, please contact:
For English in Canada:
Claire M. Tallarico
+ 1 416 616 9940

En francais au Canada :
Ariane Tremblay
+ 1 514 861 1330

At Catalyst:
Ellen Parlapiano
+1 646 388 7778