Strong Women of The Americas – North II – Canada



Successful women everywhere have been known to defy several odds in their pursuit of success. But those odds are immensely more for the Strong Women. In addition to all the challenges that women already face, the Strong Woman has more to contend with mentally.

Mentally Strong Women though caring and nurturing, are equally enterprising, they do not spend time idly chatting, but use their time wisely and constructively, they exude confidence and character. They are also extremely independent and may often be misconstrued as not needing anyone’s help. They do need help, but send a message that they are not helpless. They value honesty in relationships. Majority of Strong Women embrace professions/careers historically reserved for men.

Unfortunately, regarding careers, women still deal with inequalities in earnings; aka gender pay gaps.

Last year, several celebrities came out to share their experiences.

But celebrities are not the only ones experiencing gender pay gaps. Ordinary people like you and I (if a lady/woman or even a minority) also experience it.

According to Payscale, “In 2020, women make only $0.81 for every dollar a man makes. … This figure represents a 2 percent improvement from 2019 and a 7 percent improvement from 2015, when the median salary for men was roughly 26 percent higher than the median salary for women.”

Canada’s Strong Women

I learned some new things writing this piece about Canada and both its historic and modern Women. One thing that stood out was that the historic women were also activists who fought for one cause or the other. The modern women everywhere are standing on the backs of the historic women; making the historic ceilings their own modern foundations. Unfortunately, lately, being an activist has connoted negativity which ought not to be.

. . .

Whether we publicly acknowledge it or not, each one of us is standing up (or fighting for) something. What are you standing up for (or against) that you will love to be remembered for?

. . .


  • Doris Anderson (1921–2007); Magazine editor and women’s movement champion.
  • Kenojuak Ashevak (1927–2013); An inspiring Inuit artist.
  • Emily Carr (1871–1945); A West Coast artist who has been described as “Canada’s Van Gogh.”
  • Mary Shadd Cary (1823–1893); First black woman newspaper editor in North America; a tireless advocate for universal education, black emancipation, and women’s rights.
  • Thérèse Casgrain (1896–1981); Activist, radio host, and politial leader; founded the Provincial Franchise Committee for Women’s Suffrage in 1921 and later hosted a prominent radio program, called Fémina, for Radio-Canada; the first female leader of a political party in Canada — the left-leaning Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) — in the 1940s.
  • Ga’axstal’as, Jane Constance Cook (1870–1951); Kwakwaka’wakw leader, cultural mediator, and activist.
  • Viola Desmond (1914–1965); Challenged segregation practices in Nova Scotia. Long before the modern civil rights movement in the United States, a black woman from Halifax took a stand for racial equality in a rural Nova Scotia movie theatre.
  • Mary Two–Axe Earley (1911–1996); Challenged law discriminating against First Nations women.
  • Marcelle Ferron (1924–2001); Quebec painter and stained glass artist.
  • Hannah (Annie) Gale (1876–1970); First alderwoman in the British Empire.
  • Anne Hébert (1916–2000); A writer whose work was universally recognized in all francophone countries.
  • Adelaide Hoodless (1857–1910); Educational reformer and founder of the Women’s Institute.
  • Pauline Johnson (1861–1913); Poet and public speaker.
  • Marie Lacoste Gérin-Lajoie (1867–1945); Feminist, social reformer, lecturer, educator, and author.
  • Margaret Laurence (1926–1987);One of the giants of Canadian literature.


The below 100 Canadian Modern Women were “the recipients of the 2011 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards.” Undoubtedly, the Award may have generated a new set of the Too 100 List. We however acknowledge the contributions of these women and all those coming after them

  • Clara Angotti, President, Next Pathway Inc.
  • Monica Channa, Executive Director, Operations, Akran Marketing
  • Eveline Charles, Founder, Eveline Charles Salons, Spas and Beauty
  • Lynne Fafard, President and Chief Executive Officer, Riverbend Group of Companies
  • Samantha Kennedy, Creator and Chief Executive Officer, Booty Camp Fitness
  • Margot Micallef, Founder and President, Oliver Capital Partners Inc.
  • Gloria Rajkumar, President and Chief Executive Officer, SIMAC Canada Inc.
  • Rear Admiral Jennifer Bennett, Commander of the Naval Reserve, Canadian Navy
  • Karen Branscombe, Superintendent, School District 2, New Brunswick
  • Janice Charette, Associate Secretary to the Cabinet and Deputy Minister Intergovernmental Affairs, Privy Council Office of Canada
  • Moya Greene, Chief Executive, Royal Mail
  • Dana Hayden, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, Government of British Columbia
  • The Honourable Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate
  • Dr. Lesley Lovett-Doust, President and Vice Chancellor, Nipissing University
  • Marilyn McLaren, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation
  • Twyla Meredith, President and Chief Executive Officer, Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation
  • Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, McGill University
  • Gail Stephens, City Manager, City of Victoria
  • Jennifer Stoddart, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
  • Marian Zerr, Deputy Minister, Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services
  • Shelby Austin, Founder, ATD Legal Services PC
  • Ashley Hilkewich, Director, Partner Relations and International Operations, Free the Children
  • Lesley Scorgie, Author, Rich by Thirty and Rich By Forty; Owner, Rich By Inc.
  • Rumeet Toor, President, Jobs in Education; Founder, The Toor Centre for Teacher Education; and PhD Candidate, The University of Toronto
  • Dr. Catherine Aczel Boivie, Senior Vice President, Information and Technology Management, Vancity; Chief Executive Officer, Inventure Solutions, Vancity Credit Union
  • Col. Jennie Carignan, Acting Brigade Commander-5th Canadian Brigade- Group, Department of National Defense
  • Eva Carissimi, Sudbury Smelter Director, Xstrata Nickel
  • Dr. Fiona Costello, Associate Professor, Departments of Clinical Neurosciences and Surgery, Clinician Scientist, Hotchkiss Brain Institute
  • Susan Doniz, Former Director and Chief Information Officer Research and Development, Product Supply and Sales, Global Beauty and Grooming, Procter and Gamble; Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Aimia
  • Leslie Gales, President, Midland Group of Companies Inc.
  • Dr. Anne-Claude Gingras, Principal Investigator, Scientist, Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Frieda Granot, Senior Associate Dean, Strategic Development and External Relations, Sauder School Of Business, UBC
  • Dr. Roberta Jamieson, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation
  • Connie Linder, Founder and President, Green Pages Directory Inc.; Co-Founder and Vice President Communications, Polymer Research Technologies
  • Patricia O’Malley, Chair, Accounting Standards Board
  • Dr. Arlene Ponting, Chief Executive Officer, Science Alberta Foundation
  • Vivian Prokop, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Canadian Youth Business Foundation
  • Poonam Puri, Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director, Hennick Centre for Business and Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
  • Dr. Jacqueline Shan, Chief Scientific Officer, Afexa Life Sciences
  • Victoria Sopik, President, Kids & Company Ltd
  • Constance Sugiyama, Partner, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Fraser Milner Casgrain Law
  • Ilse Treurnicht, Chief Executive Officer, MaRS Discovery District
  • Brig. Gen. Christine Whitecross, Deputy for the Communication Directorate, International Security Assistance Force Headquarters, NATO
  • Dr. Wanda Wuttunee, Professor, Native Studies and Director, Aboriginal Business Education Partners, University of Manitoba
  • Kay Blair, Executive Director, Community MicroSkills Development Centre
  • Iris Almeida-Côté, President and CEO, Canada World Youth
  • Fiona Macfarlane, Chief Inclusiveness Officer and Managing Partner, Western Canada, Ernst and Young LLP
  • Cybele Negris, Co-Founder and President,
  • Nancy Chapelle, Managing Director, Content and Programming, TVO
  • Margaret Atwood, Author
  • Christina Jennings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Shaftesbury Films Inc.
  • Michèle Maheux, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Toronto International Film Festival
  • Deepa Mehta, Director, Producer and Screenwriter
  • Mia Pearson, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, North Strategic
  • Heather Shaw, Executive Chair, Corus Entertainment Inc.
  • Nora Anne Aufreiter, Director, McKinsey & Company Canada
  • Cindy Forbes, Executive Vice President and Chief Actuary, Manulife Financial
  • Anne-Marie Hubert, Managing Partner, Advisory Services, Ernst and Young LLP
  • Valerie Mann, Partner, Lawson Lundell LLP
  • Rosemary McCarney, President and Chief Executive Officer, Plan Canada
  • Dale Ponder, Managing Partner and Chief Executive, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
  • Margaret Ross, Partner, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
  • Godyne N.L. Sibay, Partner and member of the McCarthy Board of Partners, McCarthy Tétrault LLP
  • Beth Wilson, Managing Partner, Toronto Office; Canadian Managing Partner, Community Leadership, KPMG
  • Ava Yaskiel, Partner, Norton Rose OR LLP
  • Elyse Allan, President and Chief Executive Officer, GE Canada
  • Joey Berdugo- Adler, Chief Executive Officer, Diesel Canada and Founder, ONEXONE
  • Bonnie Brooks, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hudson’s Bay Company
  • Marie-Claude Boisvert, Chief Operating Officer, Desjardins Venture Capital, Desjardins Group
  • Lisa Colnett, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Services, Kinross Gold Corporation
  • Sarah Davis, Chief Financial Officer, Loblaw Companies Limited
  • Betty DeVita, President, MasterCard Canada
  • Debra Hewson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Odlum Brown Limited
  • Zabeen Hirji, Chief Human Resources Officer, Royal Bank of Canada
  • Janet Holder, President, Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc.
  • Lynn Jeanniot, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs, National Bank
  • Debra Kelly-Ennis, President and Chief Executive Officer, Diageo Canada Inc.
  • Cheryl Longo, Executive Vice President, Card Products and National Collections, CIBC
  • Christine Magee, President, Sleep Country Canada
  • Micheline Martin, Regional President, Quebec Headquarters, RBC
  • Ellen Moore, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chubb Insurance Company of Canada
  • Stacey Mowbray, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Second Cup ltd
  • Janice Odegaard, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Suncor Energy Inc.
  • Leslie O’Donoghue, Executive Vice President, Operations, Agrium Inc.
  • Susan Paish, Chief Executive Officer, Pharmasave Drugs Ltd.
  • Nathalie Pilon, President, Thomas and Betts
  • Susan Riddell Rose, President and Chief Executive Officer, Perpetual Energy
  • Mandy Shapansky, President and Chief Executive Officer, Xerox Canada
  • Launi Skinner, Chief Executive Officer, First West Credit Union
  • Connie Stefankiewicz, President and Chief Executive Officer, BMO InvestorLine
  • Kathleen Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
  • Nancy Tower, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Emera Incorporated
  • Janet Wood, Executive Vice President, Maintenance Go-To-Market, SAP
  • Dr. Gail Cook-Bennett, Chair of the Board, Manulife Financial
  • Carol Hansell, Senior Partner, Davies Ward Phillips and Vineberg LLP
  • Catherine McLeod-Seltzer, Chair, Bear Creek Mining and Pacific Rim Mining and Corporate Director, Kinross Gold Corp, Major Drilling, Troon Resources
  • Mary Mogford, Corporate Director, PotashCorp
  • Guylaine Saucier, Corporate Director, Bank of Montreal, Areva, Danone and Wendel
  • Dr. Carol Stephenson, Dean, Richard Ivey School of Business

. . .

ThinkTalk applauds the contributions of all the historic and Strong Women everywhere and, at a later time, would like to compile a list of all the StrongWomen highlighted in our Series as a collective memoir.

Thanks for reading and folloing tge Series.

One thought on “Strong Women of The Americas – North II – Canada

  1. Pingback: Strong Women of Asia – ThinkTalk

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