At Cossette, Mélanie encourages her team to embrace everyone’s natural leadership style and works hard to advocate for women’s empowerment. As a result, women hold 47% of senior and 45% of management roles in the agency. Mélanie reinforces the importance of D&I at every occasion, from within the executive team to meetings with all staff. She has also made diversity training mandatory for every leader across the country. As a member of the executive team of Vision7 International, a global agency network, and its Diversity, Individuality and Inclusion (D&I2) committee sponsor, Mélanie has championed the roll-out of a D&I2 benchmarking survey that enables network agencies to track the evolution of their team makeup over time. Externally, Mélanie has shared her views on changing the way we understand leadership qualities in Canada’s leading newspapers, on panels, and in a book called ‘Your Turn: Powerful Thoughts from Today’s Women to the Next’ which compiled advice from 150 of Canada’s leading women to those of tomorrow.
As the first female Managing Director, Marlene is making Pearson Canada a welcoming and inclusive place for women. She has ensured female representation is present on her leadership team, with 60% direct reports being women, and that women at Pearson and in the education space are prominently featured at internal and industry events. Marlene has championed opportunities for flexible working and celebrates International Women’s Day by hosting employee engagement events. She also sponsors team members to attend women’s conferences in leadership, and established the first chapter of the ERG for gender at Pearson outside of the US. Beyond Pearson, Marlene champions diversity and inclusion across the industry through her work with the Canadian Publishers Council. She mentors aspiring female leaders at Pearson and on the Pearson Student Advisory Board, and coaches educational female social entrepreneurs in the MaRS Discovery District. Marlene has spoken about her experiences as a woman in leadership at community and school events, and is training for a martial arts black belt, where she is mentored by experienced women and passes that on to younger female students, including her daughter.
Catherine has been with Edelman for 4.5 years, leading the growth of the Insights & Analytics practice and team of 17 research professionals in Canada, and is a member of the Toronto leadership team. Catherine has 25 years of research and analytics experience, is a Canadian Advisory Council Member of the Insights Association, and has been recognized for industry leading insights, winning 4 Research Excellence Awards. Catherine is a member of the global steering committee of Edelman’s Global Women’s Equality Network (GWEN), where she leads and supports global initiatives designed to increase the presence of women leaders at the most senior levels of the firm. She led the development of new global and regional scorecards and KPIs to track corporate progress and insights towards Edelman’s goal of achieving equal female representation at the most senior levels of the firm. Catherine also developed a plan and led the launch of a global Instagram channel on International Women’s Day last year, broadening awareness of the network and profiling Edelman’s women leaders in the market. Catherine is Edelman’s Global Women’s Equality Network (GWEN)’s leader in Toronto, championing a volunteer team of women to drive local initiatives such as Lean in Circles, mentoring sessions, celebrations of International Women’s day, panels, and other community events designed to support a culture that helps women lead and succeed. Catherine mentors numerous women in and outside of Edelman, and supports organisations who help women in business management and women and girls in the wider community.
Lisa has sat on the Steering Committee for Edelman’s Global Women’s Equality Network (GWEN) since its inception, and took on the role of global chair in 2017. GWEN is an internal initiative with a mission to continue to foster an environment where women of all backgrounds can enjoy equal opportunities to grow, lead and succeed in and beyond Edelman. When GWEN began in 2011, women represented 33% of the company’s most senior leaders. As of June 2019, this number has climbed to 47%. Through GWEN, Lisa has championed the introduction of two mentorship programmes, based on group mentoring and peer coaching, a global pay analysis, and the inclusion of male and female candidates for senior roles. Externally, Lisa devotes a significant amount of time to engage in speaking and editorial opportunities to advocate for women in the workplace, on subjects ranging from the importance of diversity on boards, to boosting self-confidence. Recent engagements include participation in a #MeToo debate at Women’s Forum Canada and a panel discussion on sexual harassment in the workplace organised by the Canadian Club, the most preeminent business forum in the country. She continues to support future leaders through mentorship programmes with various women’s organisations. Lisa is also a member of the UN Women’s Empower Advisory Group.