British Columbia home to 18 of Canada’s top 100 most powerful women

Eighteen influential B.C. women made the cut in the tenth annual Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards, announce yesterday by the Women’s Executive Network ...

Eighteen influential B.C. women made the cut in the tenth annual Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards, announce yesterday by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN).

The criteria for inclusion on the list are varied and differ for each of its 10 categories, which include groupings for corporate directors, corporate entrepreneurs, future leaders and professionals.

In alphabetical order (winners for the top 100 list were not ranked in any particular order), B.C.’s 18 winners are:

  • Shelley Brown, partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP;
  • Dr. Aimee Chan, president and chief executive officer, Norsat International Inc.;
  • Yael Cohen, founder and president, F*** Cancer;
  • Gail Edwards, president, JH Investments Inc.;
  • Connie Fair, president and chief executive officer, BC Assessment;
  • Karen Flavelle, chief executive officer, Purdy’s Chocolates;
  • Kim Henderson, deputy minister, labour citizens’ services and open government, Province of British Columbia;
  • Debra Hewson, president and chief executive officer, Odlum Brown Ltd.;
  • Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia, chief executive officer, Century Plaza Hotel & Absolute Spa Group, and governor, Vancouver Board of Trade;
  • Fiona Macfarlane, chief inclusiveness officer and Vancouver office managing partner, Ernst & Young LLP;
  • Monique Mercier, senior vice-president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary, Telus;
  • Cybele Negris, president and co-founder, Inc.;
  • Sue Paish, chief executive officer, Lifelabs, and governor, Vancouver Board of Trade;
  • Dr. Barbara Paterson, dean, School of Nursing, Thompson Rivers University;
  • Geri Prior, chief financial officer, ICBC;
  • Launi Skinner, chief executive officer, First West Credit Union;
  • Elizabeth Watson, president and founder, Watson; and
  • Susan Yurkovich, executive vice-president, Site C Clean Energy Project, BC Hydro.
  • “When I started the awards in 2003, it was really to shine a light on the leadership success that women were enjoying across the economy,” said WXN founder Pamela Jeffery.
  • Jeffery said that women have come a long way in the past decade, quoting statistics that explain that in the year 2000, 20.8% of senior management positions were held by women and that by 2011, that number had risen to 28.7%, an increase of almost 40%.

“There’s great progress being made, but there is more that needs to be done, clearly, because we still have too few women on executive teams, in CEO roles and in boardrooms,” said Jeffery.

The complete list can be found at


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