This award is for an individual who is a sponsor of diversity and equality at an organizational level. The award recipient promotes systemic change within their organization, field or industry and leverages gender diversity to help advance their business strategy. Nominees from anywhere on or outside the gender spectrum are accepted for this award.
Senior Vice President, Operations
Synthia has been instrumental in formalizing the roadmap for Colliers International's North American Diversity & Inclusion program. She recruited volunteer executive sponsors and D&I champions and allies for the program by developing engagement, compliance and training programs to promote equality and accelerate success for all professionals. She has accomplished this in a male-dominated industry.
L. Scott Thomson
President and CEO
Finning International Inc.
As President and CEO of Finning International, Scott collaborated with Finning's Board to commit to and increase female representation to greater than 30%. He created and rolled out global training to reinforce respectful workforce practices and how to identify unconscious bias. Scott not only implemented changes to Finning's hiring practices to reduce systemic bias in attracting and promoting females but also eliminated gender differences in compensation across Finning, globally.
Indigenous Initiatives & Partnerships
As executive director of Indigenous Initiatives and partnerships at BCIT, Kory Wilson has expanded learning of Indigenous issues across both campus and the community through the creation of "Indigenous Awareness Modules." Similarly, to increase awareness of Indigenous challenges and opportunities, Kory created, leads and teaches "Indigenous 101" a 3-hour seminar that, to date, has been attended by more than 500 BCIT employees and has been offered externally at various other organizations. A writer, speaker and educator, Kory has helped develop Indigenization and Reconciliation initiatives at UBC and the Banff Centre, and has instructed at Langara, VCC, the Justice Institute of BC, and the Institute of Indigenous Government. She is the Chair of the National Indigenous Education Committee of Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) and sits on more than 10 not-for-profit organizations.
Dr. Lesley Shannon
Simon Fraser University
Chair for Women in Science and Engineering
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada — B.C./Yukon
Dr. Lesley Shannon P.Eng is an Associate Professor and Chair for the Computer Engineering Option in the School of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University. Dr. Shannon studies computer systems design. She works in a rapidly growing field that combines custom computing hardware and software to design and implement application-specific computer systems for applications in a wide range of areas including robotics, machine learning, aerospace and biomedical systems, multimedia applications, and cloud computing. She teaches both undergraduate and graduate students in the area of Computer Engineering; she received the 2014 APEGBC Teaching Award of Excellence in recognition of her classroom and out-of-class mentoring activities and her contributions in leading a redesign of the School's undergraduate curriculum at SFU. Dr. Shannon has long been an advocate of increasing the diversity of students and workers in science- and engineering-related fields and was instrumental in developing programs to support a successful transition from high school into university.
Dr. Elizabeth Anne Croft
Education and Professional Development
University of British Columbia
Dr. Croft is recognized across Canada as a leader among her peers, in her research, in service to the university, and among advocates for women in engineering. Dr. Croft brings together academics, non-profits, and companies to study which human resources policies best predict the retention of women engineers. During Dr. Croft's tenure as NSERC Chair, UBC saw a 60% percent increase in the number of women enrolled in first year engineering, from 18% to 30%, and province wide, the number of women pursuing engineering has also increased. Dr. Croft believes, to benefit from diversity, organization leaders and members must first understand why diversity is valuable to their organization, and how they will utilize increased diversity in their everyday business practices; specifically, how diversity will be part of their workplace culture.
President and CEO
HUB International Insurance Brokers
Tina started with HUB in a sales role, moving her way her to CEO and has worked hard to provide the same opportunities to other women in the organization. Currently, the organization's management team is made up of 21 women and 11 men. Tina's push for diversity within the company extends beyond gender in order to build a team of employees and senior leadership that reflect the cultural diversity of the Greater Vancouver communities. Tina is seen as a champion of employee empowerment, customer service, and community investment who inspires both men and women alike.