Life is a Team Sport

To be honest, I was surprised, and completely honoured to hear I was nominated and selected as a WXN Top 100 Winner for 2018.

It seems that life is always so busy with work, volunteer and family commitments. It’s rare to actually have the time to sit down and think about where you started, what you’ve done, and how far you’ve come.

To me, this achievement is both rewarding and significant. It is a privilege to be in the company of such fantastic, accomplished Canadian women. Each of us has taken our own unique path to get where we are today. Now, here in 2018, one hundred different life paths converge to celebrate this special achievement together. How cool is that?

While I know I have worked many hours, months and years to get where I am today, I am also acutely aware that nobody (no man or woman) achieves success completely on their own. Life is a team sport. I have had so many great mentors, colleagues, family and friends who have cheered me on, taken down barriers, and offered help and support throughout my journey.

While I still feel I have so much more to give, I also recognize there are many youth following behind me that have great potential, who also require support and encouragement along the way. As a proud mother of two teenagers, both a son and daughter, I want to be a positive role model for them, and encourage them to be the best they can be. Ultimately, their challenge will be to apply their gifts and talents towards making their families, businesses, communities, and world a better place. As a bonus, if they can get paid to do that work, what an unbelievable calling and blessing!

I feel I am just starting to bring all of my experience, skills and talents to bear in order to make a significant impact. When a disaster hits, usually those most vulnerable are those most impacted. This doesn’t have to happen. There are resources, best practices, and solutions that can help. After all these years, I now know that my inherent passion is to help individuals, businesses and communities become more disaster-resilient. There is still so much more work to do in this regard. It’s also one of the things that continue to motivate me every day. I am actually looking forward to taking on even bigger challenges and seizing even greater opportunities in the future.

Finally, I am both curious and excited to think about the many men, women and children I still need to meet along my life path. My hope is that through our mutual convergence, we will all be able to leave this world a better place than when we arrived.

Leann Hackman-Carty, Principal for HackmanCarty & Associates, is a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in the CIBC Trailblazers & Trendsetters category for 2018. She has been recognized as a woman who has made a major impact in her field, in turn making a great contribution to Canadian society.

Do you know a female trailblazer who deserves to be recognized for her contribution to Canadian society? Are you a trendsetter that’s made an impact on Canada? Click here to nominate today! It’s free! Deadline to nominate is June 17.

Looking for more information about Top 100? Visit our website to learn all about the awards!


About Leann:

Leann Hackman-Carty is Principal for Hackman-Carty & Associates.

Hackman-Carty, Leann portrait

2018 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
CIBC Trailblazers & Trendsetters

For almost thirty years Leann has lead public, private and non-profit organizations through eras of change to new levels of growth and stability. Her specialties are community economic development, business and economic recovery and entrepreneurship. She served as the Mayor of Calgary’s Executive Assistant, Community & Economic Development for over a decade; was VP of Calgary’s economic development group; managed several political election campaigns; provided business development services to the States of Mississippi and Georgia; provided leadership for the Organization of Women in International Trade; offered innovative community business and economic recovery services; hosted numerous high level international trade delegations; built peer advisory boards for women entrepreneurs; and initiated greater working relationships with provincial and international economic development groups. Since 2009, she has provided CEO consulting services to Economic Developers Alberta which is Alberta’s economic development network. Its 300+ members are involved in economic development activities including industry cluster development, tech-led economic development, business retention, expansion, and attraction, workforce development and business and economic recovery. Leann has a BA (Political Science/Sociology), BSW (Community Development), Professional Management Certificate (Marketing) and a Certificate in Economic Development.

Key Accomplishments:

  • In December 2017, Leann released her Master Your Disaster series of readiness, response and recovery guides for families, business and communities which are now available on com both in print, and in Kindle format, audio and Spanish.
  • Completed an Economic Disaster Recovery Project with 10 Alberta communities and Treaty 7 Community Futures (Siksika/Stoney); in partnership with BCEDA and IEDC, The Government of Alberta (Innovation & Advanced Education), Shell, RBC Foundation, the Canadian Red Cross and the US Consulate in Calgary. As part of this project, Leann spearheaded the production of a community toolkit to help them prepare and respond to future economic disruptions.
  • Worked with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo on their business and economic recovery efforts, including setting up and running the Wood Buffalo Business Recovery Hotline; validating businesses for Red Cross emergency relief; and leading a 10- member economic development team to complete an economic recovery assessment.
  • Worked with the International Economic Development Council to bring their community resiliency training to bring their community resiliency training to Canada.
  • Established a partnership with the University of Calgary, Continuing Education to launch and develop a Professional Management Certificate with a specialization in Economic Development.
  • Developed strategic plans and annual work plans for various non-profit, and quasi-government organizations.
  • Organized ten very successful annual community economic development conferences, including significant outreach to elected officials. This brings together approximately 400+ attendees, 50 speakers, 5 concurrent streams, 15 sponsors.
  • Spearheaded the “Canadianized” version of IEDC’s Recovery and Resiliency Roadmap: A Toolkit for Economic Preparedness which helps communities prepare for and recover from economic disruptions, whether natural or manmade. Updated the Community Toolkit for Economic Recovery and Resiliency (2017 Canadian Version) with new links, content and case studies.
  • Lead the development of a strategic business plan for a U.S.-based, women’s non-profit with global membership.
  • Crafted a community economic development strategy that provided the framework for future promotional activities, including a major regional cluster development initiative.
  • Completed comprehensive research into federal, provincial and municipal programs and services related to trade and investment
    Organized several focus groups and community forum to obtain input on specific projects and topics.
  • Organized a US-Canada, “Save Our Kids” forum and youth rally to bring attention to the growing issue of designer and prescription drug abuse in youth.
  • Conceptualized and implemented a CIDA-funded project in partnership with the Trade Facilitation Office of Canada, OWIT, and the APEC Women Leaders Network to bring 15 women delegates from CIDA-priority countries to participate in a Miami conference.

Being Your Authentic Self

I’m very honoured to have been selected as one of WXN’s Top 100 Winners for 2018 — and with such illustrious company! To my fellow winners, a heartfelt congratulations. To members of WXN and beyond, a sincere thank you for your support and encouragement throughout the years. While I accept this award graciously, I recognize that we all contribute to each other’s success.

There are ample stories I could share of my professional journey, some funny, some not so humorous, and certainly a boatload of advice. But the one piece of guidance I would like to share is the notion of being your authentic self and finding the passion that drives you.

For me, my passion has always been technology. As a young girl, my mother encouraged me to enter what was then a male-dominated field of study, because I had a genuine curiosity and spark about how things connected in our world, how technology worked to make our lives simpler and faster. Now, with over 35 years of technology and management experience behind me, I recognize that that was the pivotal moment in my life – when someone saw my passion and encouraged me to move forward regardless of what obstacles were present.

As a senior executive, I now have a responsibility to provide the same level of encouragement, inspiration and support to young people looking to own their passion — hopefully in the cyber security space! Having said that, I encourage young people who have a flair for technology to get into cyber security, right now. Companies worldwide are facing a serious talent shortage when it comes to cyber professionals, with more than 1.5 million people needed in this industry by 2020, according to the Information and Communication Technology Council. Currently, women represent only 20 percent of that statistic, so I believe that there is tremendous opportunity for young women in this industry.

I do believe that following your passion and living your authentic self leads to success. We have 100 women [in 2018] who are living proof of that.

Thank you again for this incredible recognition.

Laurie Pezzente, Senior Vice President & Chief Security Officer, Global Cyber Security for Royal Bank of Canada, is a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in the HSBC Corporate Executives Category for 2018. She has been recognized for her senior position in a Canadian public company.

Do you know a woman in a senior position in Canada in a publicly-traded or privately owned company who deserves to be recognized for her achievements? Are you a female corporate executive? Click here to nominate today! It’s free! Deadline to nominate is June 17.

Looking for more information about Top 100? Visit our website to learn all about the awards!

 


About Laurie:

Laurie Pezzente is Senior Vice President & Chief Security Officer, Global Cyber Security for Royal Bank of Canada.

Pezzente, Laurie portrait

2018 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
HSBC Corporate Executives

Laurie Pezzente leads the Global Cyber Security team as SVP and CSO. In partnership with the organization’s executive leadership teams, she directs the development of effective cyber strategies to assess and mitigate risk globally, manage crises and incidents, maintain continuity of operations, and safeguard the organization. She is responsible for deploying state-of-the-art technology solutions and innovative security management techniques to protect RBC, employee and client data, while ensuring appropriate protections are in place to maintain compliance with regulatory and policy requirements.

Laurie represents the bank’s position on cyber security and risk management to the Board, senior executives, customers, external partners, and government agencies. She is accountable for information security risk and global security operations, including incident response, and operational risk management across the technology & operations portfolio, and ultimately, for building RBC’s resiliency and protection against cyber-attacks.

Laurie Pezzente is an IT professional with over 25 years of IT experience, managing budgets in excess of $500 MM, with a solid track record of building strong relationships, encouraging creativity and excellence. Laurie has extensive experience in IT application development, Information Security, IT GRC and process improvement.

As a former CISO at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Laurie was responsible for IT risk, policy and standard design, implementation and governance for Enterprise IT security. As a senior executive, Laurie represented the banks security position to the Board, senior executive leaders and external government agencies on issues regarding IT security and overall IT risk management. She was responsible for assessing overall security risk, developing strategies and leading programs to mitigate specific areas of vulnerability, and providing risk assessment of 3rd party activities with significant IT components. Laurie is recognized as a thought leader in IT GRC with execution expertise in Information Security, SOX, Disaster Recovery, IT Governance and Technology standards.

Laurie lives in Oakville with her husband and two sons.

On being named a Top 100 winner – Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia’s thoughts on leadership, her family and her supportive team

Ulrike Bahr-GedaliaWhen I heard there was an opportunity to share our thoughts with the WXN community through a blog post, I (literally) jumped (from happiness) at the chance. For four consecutive years, I’ve been honoured as a Top 100 Winner, and every time my first thought is… wow – really? Wunderbar – mazal tov!

Being recognized on a national stage for my leadership is truly humbling. When we heard the news of my Hall of Fame acceptance, my family (who are my biggest supporter and greatest accomplishment in life) and I were full of joy and gratitude. Having a strong support network has been something I am eternally grateful for, and I am thrilled to say this network does not end with my family. My awesome team and Board Chair, who have supported me throughout this entire adventure, were equally thrilled. At the time of writing this, I cannot share the news with many others as I wholeheartedly respect the embargo, so it does feel like a second birthday when the news is made public and official!

This award goes far beyond something that happens once a year – being a part of WXN means being a part of a diverse community that is committed to making Canada a better place – and their CEO certainly leads by example. I’m honoured and proud to be associated with such inspiring leaders from all walks of life and look forward seeing this community of leaders grow into an even more diverse representation as it relates to ethnicity, race, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, regional representation, and more.

This award provides a platform to recognize and profile some of the most influential and inspiring female (and male!) leaders nationally, but as I sit and really reflect on what it means to me, I believe it acts as an anchor and reminds me to stay true to myself. Authenticity is a core value of mine, and having won this award is not a status, nor status symbol for me, but it’s a nod from my peers, acknowledging the impact of leading with consistency, positivity, and authenticity. My path is clear and I will do what I’ve always done: continue to drive positive change, be impactful and influential, and remain humble, approachable and authentic – with a lot of grace, gratitude and greatness!

Thank you again to the WXN Top 100 Committee not only for the award but the chance to share my thoughts!

We’re very proud that Ulrike is a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Hall of Fame Inductee. Her work in tech and her continuous contributions to the WXN community make her a true ambassador for women in Canada.

Ulrike will be part of our Speaker Series panel on April 9 in Halifax, speaking on Empathetic Leadership. For more information, visit the event page.

Do you know a woman breaking down barriers in the science or technology industry? Click here to learn more about the Top 100 Manulife Science and Technology Award Category, recognizing female leaders in STEM roles who are challenging the status quo for knowledge and female empowerment.

 


About Ulrike:

Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, President & CEO, Digital Nova Scotia

Bahr-Gedalia, Ulrike portrait

2018 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Hall of Fame Inductee

With a career spanning five geographic regions, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia is a multilingual, award-winning innovator, entrepreneur and TEDx speaker with over 20 years of global experience in the private, public, non-profit and academic sectors. Originally from Germany, she has held senior executive roles at prominent multinational high-tech corporations, SMEs, and start-ups and is currently the President and CEO of Digital Nova Scotia (DNS).

In recognition of her unprecedented leadership with DNS and lifelong advocacy for equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility, Ulrike has received numerous awards and features, including the WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame, highlighting her as an inspiring role model for youth, women, immigrants, and under-represented groups in STEAM. Ulrike volunteers with multiple academic, non-profit and industry organizations on a local and national level, speaks six languages and moved from Israel to Nova Scotia in 2002. Ulrike is married with a son and daughter. Her mantra is “The biggest risk is not taking any risk”.

 

On being named a Top 100 winner – the two women who inspired Caroline Riseboro

When I was told that I’d been selected as one of WXN’s Most Powerful Women last year my first thought was of my mother and grandmother —  two women who always serve as my original and continual inspiration, who were trailblazers in their own rights.

My grandmother came from a working-class family in England, and during the War she had to leave school at 14 to work. When she married at only 19, she was told she couldn’t work anymore. But she always knew she wanted a better life for herself, so with a tiny bit of money she started a business in the late 1950s and it became quite successful.

My mother was also a strong and brave business owner and always took chances. She was willing to constantly change and evolve to advance her career.

Both always pushed against the grain – and every day I try to channel that defiant spirit. Whenever I face barriers or feel deflated by the sheer amount of discrimination women and girls face around the world, I try to tap into that spirit and remember how far we have come. And how much we owe to women like my grandmother and mother, who were willing to defy normal and demand a fair shake.

I felt the award belonged to them.

This year, after receiving the honour once again (joining the Top 100 Alumni, made up of a stellar group of women) my first thought was of all the women I have had the pleasure of both mentoring and learning from throughout my career, particularly the incredible Plan International Canada girl ambassadors and advocates I have worked with over the last three years in my role as CEO & President.

Women and girls, who just like my mother and grandmother, continue to face barriers, hurdles, and glass ceilings when pursuing their dreams – despite it being the 21st century.

Women who dream of defying.

I read a quote by Steve Jobs recently that really resonated with me. “If you want to make everyone happy don’t be a leader, sell ice cream.”. Women and girls are always conditioned to be nice – to be liked above all else. This is something I have personally struggled with. At the same time, men and boys are taught that to change the world they should be prepared to ruffle feathers.

The women and girls I work with are constantly and unapologetically ruffling feathers. When normal is girls denied equality, they refuse to accept this status quo, they choose instead to defy normal.

But this can be lonely, often punishing work. That is why groups like WXN play a critical role in the advancement of women’s rights. Through my membership in WXN I have witnessed first-hand the incredible power of solidarity and sisterhood. It provides a space where us fellow feather-rufflers and defiant woman can come together and grow our strength and resilience.

As the inimitable Maya Angelou once said, “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” Imagine the power women exercise when we knowingly stand up and stand together for our collective rights.

With my mother and grandmother behind me, I feel powerful. With a sisterhood behind me, I know I am unstoppable.

Join Caroline and become a WXN Member today. Witness the power and solidarity of the Women’s Executive Network to grow your career and expand your horizons.


About Caroline:

Caroline Riseboro, President and CEO, PLAN International Canada

2018 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
CIBC Trailblazers & Trendsetters

Caroline Riseboro is the President & CEO of Plan International Canada – the leading NGO in Canada advancing the rights of children and equality for girls. As the youngest person to ever lead a major Canadian charity, Caroline is a passionate advocate for gender equality and is well-respected for her commitment to tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues.

She has a proven track record of leading organizations to new heights by challenging the status quo. In 2017, she was recognized as a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner and was awarded the Bronze medal in the Woman of the Year – Government or Non-Profit category at the Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Caroline regularly writes and speaks on the topic of gender equality and under her leadership, Plan International Canada has delivered record- breaking results.

Prior to joining Plan International Canada, Caroline was Senior Vice-President, Marketing & Development at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation, and held many senior roles at World Vision Canada, more recently as Senior Vice-President of Marketing and Engagement at World Vision Canada. She was the first and youngest woman in the agency’s history to serve in this senior role. Before joining the non-profit sector, Caroline began her career in advertising and communications.

Caroline’s influence in the sector extends through her voluntary leadership roles. She sits on the Board of the Humanitarian Coalition and CAN-WaCH, is the President-elect for the Association of Fundraising Professionals GTA chapter, and has sat on numerous task forces including with Imagine Canada and the Canadian Marketing Association’s Not-For-Profit Council. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from McGill University and is pursuing a Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership from Carleton University.

You can reach Caroline on Twitter at:
@criseboro
@PlanCanada