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This award is for an individual who is a sponsor of diversity and equality at an organizational level. This person promotes systemic change within their organization, field or industry and leverages gender diversity to help advance their business strategy. Nominees of all gender are accepted for this award.


2017 Winner

Dr. Lesley Shannon

Dr. Lesley Shannon

Associate Professor
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.

Be brave. Try things you've never done before and be open to learning new things throughout your career as they will help you grow and open new opportunities. Furthermore, learning to do something you weren't a natural at in the first place will feel extremely rewarding. Even things that don't have immediate relevancy often are useful in the future.

2016 Winners

Dr. Elizabeth Anne Croft

Dr. Elizabeth Anne Croft

Associate Dean
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.

The ability to communicate a positive vision that will make the world a better place. True concern and interest in others and the ability to draw out their talents. Seeking out and working with people smarter than yourself, and the ability to take risk and to 'fail forward'.
Tina Osen

Tina Osen

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.

It's important to celebrate differing viewpoints and ideas when you don't all have "group think". People with different backgrounds and experiences will approach challenges with unique perspectives, and if you can engage everyone in healthy debate and dialogue it can produce some great outcomes. When looking for leadership on key projects, giving these opportunities to a diverse group of employees strengthens the message of diversity within the organization and community at large. Matching your employees with the communities you operate in also illustrates your dedication to a diverse employee base, and that you support the diverse communities you serve.