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Women of the Year 2021: Canada’s Most Incredible Women Leaders

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Introducing our very first celebration of Canada’s most inspiring women. From Olympic athletes and tech startup founders to social impact champions and business changemakers, meet 37 impressive leaders who are making a difference. Individually, each of these women have navigated incredible obstacles to get to where they are (often on an uneven playing field). Despite this, they’ve summited their industries and are changing Canada—and the world around them—for the better. 

Presented by

Penny Oleksiak (Olympian)

Penny Oleksiak (Olympian)

Following the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, 21-year-old swimmer Penny Oleksiak made history when she returned home to Toronto newly minted as Canada’s most decorated Olympian with three new medals in tow, bringing her total collection to seven—so far.

She also brought with her a well-earned bravado, best shown off when she tweeted about a former high-school teacher who—believe it or not—discouraged her from pursuing her dreams. Oleksiak wrote, “I just googled ‘Canada’s most decorated Olympian’ and my name came up. I want to thank that teacher in high school who told me to stop swimming to focus on school bc [sic] swimming wouldn’t get me anywhere. This is what dreams are made of.”

It’s the kind of f–k you statement we see plenty enough from men at the top (and, let’s be real, mid-way and bottom) of their game, but feels refreshing (invigorating, even) to hear from a young Canadian woman who is only just getting started and clearly has no problem owning her success. Read the full cover story here.

Aurora James (Founder, Brother Vellies, Fifteen Percent Pledge)

Aurora James (Founder, Brother Vellies, Fifteen Percent Pledge)

Aurora James is a force to be reckoned with. Those who are tuned in to the world of fashion will likely recognize her name as the designer behind sustainable accessories brand Brother Vellies, a favourite amongst fashion heavyweights like Beyoncé, Zendaya, and Solange (to name a few.) You may also recognize her as the designer behind US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Tax the Rich’ Met gala gown. But beyond the fold of fashion, she’s also a champion of business equity.

In 2020, the Toronto-native and New York City transplant started her non-profit, the Fifteen Percent Pledge, in direct response to the wave of corporate statements issued during the Black Lives Matter movement. Focused on keeping these businesses accountable to racial equity, Aurora challenged the corporate community to commit at least 15 percent (roughly the proportion of the Black population in America) of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. 

“Black people in America are spending hundreds of millions of dollars at businesses every quarter,” she says. “Major retailers should consider 15 percent of their shelf space if Black people are almost 15 percent of the population. We need to support them in a real way because racial justice can’t exist without economic justice.”

For James, keeping businesses accountable to a higher standard also means empowering consumers to make purchasing decisions that can have an impact. “We need to allow people to really understand how powerful they are,” she says. “We are more empowered than we’ve ever been before. Every time we spend a dollar, that’s a direct exchange of power and we need to be spending on the things that we want to see succeed and the ideas that we want to see thrive and grow.”

Today, the Fifteen Percent Pledge has manifested in a movement that has seen some of the world’s largest retailers sign on to help decrease the racial wealth gap. “For me, it’s really about building Black generational wealth,” says James. “In order to build communities up, you need to make sure that they have access to capital.”

PODCAST: How Can We Create More Shelf Space for BIPOC Brands feat. Fifteen Percent Pledge Founder Aurora James

Treana Peake (Founder, Obakki)

Treana Peake (Founder, Obakki)

Treana Peake’s path for giving back started early: When she was eight, an anonymous envelope of money was slipped under her family’s door—an act of kindness appreciated in a time when she and her mother had nothing and the benchmark for whom Peake wanted to become. So, when she launched her homewares line, Obakki, which supports small-batch artisans around the globe, a philanthropic counterpart was a natural progression. 

Since its launch in 2009, The Obakki Foundation aims to empower people to transform their circumstances where 100 percent of contributions go directly to their programs. As a result, three million have had access to clean water, 20,000 have had access to education, and over 300 people are part of Obakki’s artisan partner program. Peake has learned and taught that impact can be simple: Be kind. Be good. Be generous. – NT

Get to know her better:

Obakki Founder Treana Peake Uses Design to Drive Social Impact

“We have truly found a way to merge design and philanthropy in a genuine, results-driven way.”

Kathy Cheng (President, Redwood Classic Apparel)

Kathy Cheng (President, Redwood Classic Apparel)

Kathy Cheng is the third generation to lead her family’s business, Redwood Classics Apparel. As a full-service apparel provider, the company has vertically integrated every aspect of the production process from cutting and sewing to embroidery, screen printing, and shipping for brands such as J.Crew, Roots, and Hudson’s Bay Company. 

“We are your typical North American immigrant story. We came from very humble beginnings,” says Cheng. “Our family is from Hong Kong, which was, at one point, a textile hub. Many talented, knowledgeable, and skilled textile workers immigrated to Canada in the 1990s. As we settled into our new lives in Canada, we were able to help many immigrants do the same by onboarding them at our Toronto-based factory.”

For many of their signature sweats, upcycled fabrics are used within a 100-mile radius of their factory, truly embodying what it means to be “Made in Canada.”

“Making apparel in Canada is an important economic contributor by ways of employment and fueling monetary benefits back into our local communities. It also has a positive environmental impact, reducing carbon footprints by minimizing the import of consumer goods from overseas.”

During COVID-19, she rose to the challenge: When hospitals suffered a PPE shortage and were looking for 1,000 masks, her employees delivered them in less than three days. Like her father’s dream, her mission has been her way of giving back to her country. As a result, she has shown other domestic manufacturers that they can all make an impact and succeed. – NT

Get to know her better:

Kathy Cheng is Using Her Immigrant Journey to Redefine ‘Made in Canada’

“We have found ourselves at the forefront of the movement to combat offshoring in the apparel industry.”

Carinne Chambers-Saini (CEO, Diva International Inc.)

Carinne Chambers-Saini (CEO, Diva International Inc.)

From shoestring budget to industry innovator, she turned her product DivaCup into a massive global success with over 6.5 million units sold in over 40 countries, all while championing menstrual equity and sustainability.

Get to know her better:

Diva’s Carinne Chambers-Saini is Pioneering the Dialogue Around Menstrual Equity

Our work is centered at the intersection of climate crises, lack of accessibility to safe and sustainable products, and destigmatization of a life-giving bodily process.”

Meghan Roach (CEO, Roots)

Meghan Roach (CEO, Roots)

What do you do when you are appointed the new President and CEO of a beloved Canadian heritage brand and faced with a global pandemic? That was exactly Meghan Roach’s challenge at Roots whilst improving its internal processes. Her three-part strategy was to focus on outcomes, encourage flexibility, and work in comfort. 

Store closures meant an increase in e-commerce sales by 60 percent year-over-year; staff were cross-trained in fulfillment and customer service, and strategic recruitment was implemented. Roots’ C-suite is now made up of 75 percent women and its hiring practices are based on case studies versus cultural fit. Informal mentorship and normalizing work-home life balance is the key to growth and happiness. 

Roach leads by example: Roots’ collaboration for International Women’s Day directly donated proceeds to the Girls E-Mentorship program (GEM), where she is a mentor herself. She also capitalized on the new work-from-home uniform, a seamless fit for Roots’ core product offering, and its expansion to its current One Collection, consisting of a gender-free fit and extended size range in sustainable fibres. With its stock nearly doubling and its focus on leadership, sustainability, and giving back, Roach has Roots well-poised to branch out into the future. – NT

Get to know her better:

Roots CEO Meghan Roach is Leading a Heritage Brand Into the Future

“Brands need a clear purpose and values that align with those of the consumers they seek to engage.”

Noura Sakkijha (CEO, Mejuri)

Noura Sakkijha (CEO, Mejuri)

“Buy yourself the damn diamond.” Such is the gospel of Noura Sakkijha, CEO and co-founder of fine jewelry company Mejuri. In 2015, she started her Toronto-based brand to reframe the conversation around jewelry, mainly around the idea that the industry was built for men gifting women. Instead, she wanted to empower women to celebrate themselves.

“There is something innately empowering about celebrating your own milestones, cultivating a new paradigm for self-celebration,” she says. “We believe in making every day count—fine jewelry should not be reserved only for special occasions which inspires our design aesthetic and approach.

A third-generation jeweler, Sakkijha has proven her business thesis and built Mejuri into a global direct-to-consumer brand that has not only influenced the purchasing behaviour of women but completely turned the industry’s distribution model on its head by pioneering its weekly drops (they release a new style every Monday.) With an added emphasis on community (in 2020 they launched their Empowerment Fund to support women and non-binary people) and sustainability (70 percent of their gold is certified recycled and 100 percent is traceable), it’s no surprise that she’s been able to amass a following of brand evangelists like Oprah, Bella Hadid, and Lizzo—along with thousands of other women—who believe in her mission. 

RELATED: Noura Sakkijha on How to Raise Investment Capital

Vanessa Craft (Head, Content Partnerships, TikTok Canada)

Vanessa Craft (Head, Content Partnerships, TikTok Canada)

Vanessa Craft has made remarkable strides in a short period of time. Joining TikTok Canada in 2020 (after departing her role at ELLE Canada, where she was the first Black editor-in-chief for the global brand), she excelled in overseeing the content strategy, acquisition, growth, and management of the social media giant’s community of creators, media publishers, and public figures in Canada.

“I’ve built my career on helping people tell their stories, and TikTok is all about being your authentic self on the platform and the democratization of content creation,” she says. 

With her team, she’s focused on celebrating diverse content and helping creators (especially underrepresented voices) tell authentic stories that are uniquely Canadian. Since joining, she’s championed diversity and inclusion initiatives, spearheaded TikTok’s partnership with anti-Asian Hate organization This is Home for their non-profit clothing initiative, and, as part of TikTok’s ongoing commitment to Indigenous communities, led the development of year-round support and programming for Indigenous creators.

“I’m investing in communities and storytellers that have not had the opportunity to share their stories with the world, or have the resources needed to do so” – AD

Get to know her better:

TikTok’s Vanessa Craft is Amplifying Diverse Voices

I want people to be moved by the power that a voice can have when given a megaphone to share their unique, diverse Canadian story.”

Joanna Griffiths (CEO, Knixwear)

Joanna Griffiths (CEO, Knixwear)

She pioneered leak-proof underwear that looked and worked great for women of all shapes, sizes, skin tones, and ages. When investors questioned her ability to run her company while pregnant, she told them to leave—and then successfully raised $53M three days before delivering twins. 

RELATED: Why Knix is One of Canada’s Most Impactful Companies

Michele Romanow (Co-founder and President, Clearco)

Michele Romanow (Co-founder and President, Clearco)

Dragons’ Den star Michele Romanow has always believed that entrepreneurship can provide the quickest path to solving today’s greatest problems. It is in this spirit that she started her fintech startup Clearco (formerly Clearbanc) as a resource for entrepreneurs to secure capital, insights and data, as well as a global network of experts. With over $2B investments made to over 5,500 businesses across seven countries, her company has also invested in eight times more women-led companies than traditional venture capital firms. 

Get to know her better:

Michele Romanow is Creating the New Entrepreneurial Playbook

Just start, because the perfect moment doesn’t exist when starting a business.”

Nia and Justice Faith (Co-founders, Révolutionnaire)

Nia and Justice Faith (Co-founders, Révolutionnaire)

Growing up as a young Black ballerina, Nia Faith was forced to confront the lack of access to apparel made for her skin tone. It was this experience that catalyzed the start of Révolutionnaire, an apparel store and social platform she founded in 2019 to make the world of dance more inclusive. Today, Nia, along with her sister Justice, has grown the organization into a digital hub meant to act as a resource for young activists who want to connect, learn, and make a difference. 

Révolutionnaire’s evolution was driven by Nia’s experience and the question of what it would look like if more young changemakers felt empowered to drive meaningful impact in their communities at scale,” says Justice. “Our social network for changemakers was born in the aftermath of last summer when unprecedented waves of online changemaking and youth mobilization served as catalysts of change.”

Through their five-step cycle that encourages everything from learning to collaboration, individuals are provided useful guides to help identify a cause they are passionate about and develop a plan of action. 

“Our mission is to empower individuals to use their dreams to fuel revolutions,” says Nia. “We aspire to incubate a generation of changemakers by equipping them with the tools, information, and community they need to accelerate and amplify their impact.”

Get to know them better:

Nia and Justice Faith Are Igniting Dreams with Révolutionnaire

“With so much going on in the world from racism, to climate change, a pandemic, and more, our generation cannot afford to sit on the sidelines.”

Katherine Homuth (CEO, Sheertex)

Katherine Homuth (CEO, Sheertex)

Ripped hosiery is now a thing of the past. She solved a problem that almost every woman has experienced by making the world’s toughest hosiery using the same foundational material as bulletproof vests. 

Get to know her better:

Sheertex CEO Katherine Homuth Created Unbreakable Hosiery to Tackle Fashion’s Sustainability Problem

“It’s important to solve a real problem, not just produce technology for technology’s sake.”

Dahabo Ahmed-Omer (Executive Director, BlackNorth Initiative)

Dahabo Ahmed-Omer (Executive Director, BlackNorth Initiative)

Dahabo Ahmed-Omer is an award-winning and accomplished policy advisor and human rights advocate as well as the Executive Director of the BlackNorth Initiative, an organization on a mission to end the anti-Black systemic racism negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians. Among the many organizations she’s contributed to, Ahmed-Omer has been the chair of the board for the Federation of Black Canadians and played an instrumental role in Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson’s task force combating anti-Black racism. Now, Ahmed-Omer is continuing her efforts to increase diversity in the business world, particularly in the boardroom and in senior management roles. With Ahmed-Omer’s help, BlackNorth has engaged close to 500 signatories of their CEO pledge since its inception. The pledge calls upon CEOs to commit to ending anti-Black racism within their organizations and give more employment opportunities to Black Canadians. – AD

Get to know her better:

BlackNorth Initiative’s Dahabo Ahmed-Omer is Building a More Inclusive Corporate Canada

There isn’t a deficit in human resources. The deficit was always in human will.”

Jacqueline Ryan (Chief Brand and Commercial Officer, Canadian Olympic Committee)

Jacqueline Ryan (Chief Brand and Commercial Officer, Canadian Olympic Committee)

As Chief Brand and Commercial Officer at the Canadian Olympic Committee, Jacqueline Ryan was instrumental in helping the organization (and Canada’s Olympians) strategically navigate the COVID-19 landscape while the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were postponed. Capturing the country’s attention with the clever “We Are All Team Canada” campaign, Ryan oversaw its development which aimed to unify the country through the leadership of Olympic and Paralympic athletes and inspire Canadians to take ownership of their role in flattening the curve and combat the spread of COVID-19. The socially conscious campaign called for Canadians to unite in a time of division to do the right thing. Ultimately, it produced a powerful 88 percent positive sentiment for Team Canada. During the pandemic, she also implemented a content strategy to amplify diverse athlete voices and engage Team Canada’s fan base in important conversations surrounding social justice. – AD

Get to know her better:

Jacqueline Ryan is Inspiring Canadians to Be Olympic

Believe in people, provide an opportunity, and then stand back and watch them flourish. It’s the biggest gift and responsibility as a leader.”

Shina Novalinga (Content Creator)

Shina Novalinga (Content Creator)

Say what you might about social media platforms but it is undeniable that they’ve given millions of users the agency to tell unique stories and share their own lived experiences. For Shina Novalinga (or @ShinaNova, as she is better known), sharing her culture has resulted in a following that has surpassed 3M on TikTok alone. The Inuk creator is often joined by her mother Caroline in her videos to showcase throat singing (a style of music unique to Inuit culture), further educating viewers of the beauty and diversity of Indigenous culture.

RELATED: Shina Novalinga Makes Bay Street Bull‘s 30X30 List

Isabelle Hudon (President and CEO, BDC)

Isabelle Hudon (President and CEO, BDC)

A longstanding advocate for women’s empowerment, she co-founded The A Effect (an organization over 40,000 strong in over 14 countries) to help women reach their professional potential  As the BDC’s first woman President and CEO, she continues to champion gender equality, diversity, and sustainability across its network of entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Madelyn Chung (Founder, The RepresentASIAN Project)

Madelyn Chung (Founder, The RepresentASIAN Project)

She created a media platform dedicated to “celebrating, advocating, and elevating Asian representation and voices” in culture—something that she didn’t have to look up to growing up. It’s a much-needed resource in light of pandemic-induced anti-Asian rhetoric and violence.

Get to know her better:

RepresentASIAN Project Founder Madelyn Chung is Helping Asians Celebrate Their Racial Identity

“Progress is being able to acknowledge and accept your missteps with grace and humility and to grow and evolve from there.”

 

Amber Mac (Founder, AmberMac Media Inc.)

Amber Mac (Founder, AmberMac Media Inc.)

A champion of Canada’s tech community since its fledgling days, her mission is to “demystify technology so that it’s accessible to anyone who wants to grow their business, build a brand, or change the world.” Her work has since seen her interview the likes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; former FBI Director James Comey, business coach Tony Robbins; and many more.

Get to know her better:

Amber Mac is Helping Canada’s Entrepreneurs Innovate

“We have lost touch with the magic that technology can bring into homes, businesses, and industry. Every day, I want to tell stories about this magic so that we move from a society that is slow to adapt to technology to one that fully embraces it.”

Alyson Walker (Chief Commercial Officer, OverActive Media)

Alyson Walker (Chief Commercial Officer, OverActive Media)

Esports, also known as competitive video gaming, has exploded in recent years to become a billion-dollar industry and rival mainstream sporting leagues, surpassing viewership in events like the Superbowl. OverActive Media (OAM) is at the helm of this shift and the force behind winning franchises such as Toronto Defiant in the Overwatch League. 

OAM’s secret weapon? Its Chief Commercial Officer, Alyson Walker. Transferring her experience from The Canadian Olympic Committee and MLSE, Walker has led OAM to add 11 new marketing partners in two short years, including a global partnership with EPOS headsets and helped fundraise $40 million to drive the company’s public listing on the TSXV. Walker was also instrumental in the implementation of OAM’s 15,000 square foot HQ and training facility. This new multipurpose space offers the stage for online match play and sets the standard for venues dedicated to esports in Canada.

In addition to raising a young son, she is also on several boards including ReachUp, which uses sport to inspire healthy lifestyles in Indigenous youth, and Women in Sports and Events (WISE). – NT

Get to know her better:

OverActive Media’s Alyson Walker is Building the Future of E-Sports

“There is no better way to reach the Millennials, Gen Zs, and now Gen Alphas than at the intersection of gaming, music, sports, and lifestyle.”

Nouhaila Chelkhaoui (Women Founders Programs Manager, The DMZ)

Nouhaila Chelkhaoui (Women Founders Programs Manager, The DMZ)

As the Women Founders Programs Manager at The DMZ (one of Canada’s leading startup incubators for tech entrepreneurs), Nouhaila Chelkhaoui oversees the cultivation, support, and growth of Canada’s most exciting female founders. Since 2017, Chelkhaoui has supported over 200 entrepreneurs and has her sights set on assisting another 1,000 women founders over the next year. An entrepreneur herself, she is also the founder of Scale Without Borders, a one-stop resource for newcomer tech entrepreneurs to Canada, which she built based on her own experience as an immigrant from Morocco.

Get to know her better:

Nouhaila Chelkhaoui is Helping Immigrants Succeed in Tech

Investing in and supporting underestimated groups in tech is a very smart thing to do.”

Shauna Levy (Founder, MADGE AND MERCER)

Shauna Levy (Founder, MADGE AND MERCER)

Using her background in design and personal journey with chronic pain and anxiety, her premium cannabis brand is specifically designed for women aged 40 and over to help with sleeplessness, inflammation, stress, and more. 

Get to know her better:

Shauna Levy Built MADGE & MERCER to Help Women Rediscover Wellbeing

At the core of our brand is an authentic desire for women 40 and over to benefit from CBD cannabis and other natural wellness alternatives.”

Jennifer Twiner McCarron (President and CEO, Thunderbird Entertainment Group)

Jennifer Twiner McCarron (President and CEO, Thunderbird Entertainment Group)

Her production company is driven by its mission to create diverse, inclusive, socially-minded content. Highlights include the Emmy award-winning The Last Kids on Earth and the Peabody award-winning Molly of Denali, which became the first nationally distributed show in the US to feature a Native American lead.

Get to know her better:

Thunderbird’s Jennifer Twiner McCarron is Evolving the Future of Storytelling

Every person deserves to see themselves positively represented in mainstream media.”

Jacie deHoop, Ellen Hyslop, Roslyn McLarty (Founders, The GIST)

Jacie deHoop, Ellen Hyslop, Roslyn McLarty (Founders, The GIST)

After recognizing that most sports coverage was created by and for the male fan, they created a sports media brand dedicated to amplifying female athletes and voices. 

Get to know them better:

The GIST is Leveling the Playing Field for Sports Media Coverage

“We truly believe that for the entire sports industry to grow, it needs to include, and meaningfully engage with, underserved sports fans.”

Eva Wong (Co-founder, Borrowell)

Eva Wong (Co-founder, Borrowell)

Financial literacy and building good credit go hand-in-hand. Her fintech startup helps users become more comfortable with their money with free credit scores and reports, plus recommendations for loans, credit cards, mortgage rates, and debt management. 

Get to know her better:

Borrowell Co-Founder Eva Wong is Helping Canadians Find Financial Freedom

“Your opinion [as a woman or person of colour] is valid. You matter. Your voice matters. Speak up and use your voice!”

Tara Ataya (Chief People and Diversity Officer, Hootsuite)

Tara Ataya (Chief People and Diversity Officer, Hootsuite)

She has been instrumental in creating a safe space where people can feel supported and heard at the global tech hub. This has included (among many things): creating a DE&I Council, fostering community relationships to end systemic racism in tech, and increasing employee coverage for mental health, fertility treatment, and gender affirmation surgeries. 

Get to know her better:

Hootsuite’s Tara Ataya is Redefining the Power of Corporate Culture

There is a time coming in the not too distant future where corporate culture will be your one true competitive advantage.”

Erin Bury (CEO, Willful)

Erin Bury (CEO, Willful)

Her business streamlines a confusing process often compounded by difficult times—death. Using artificial intelligence, Willful walks users through the process of making a legal will (among other things) to make end-of-life planning a little easier to navigate. 

Get to know her better:

Willful CEO Erin Bury is Demystifying Death

Canadians are woefully unprepared for death, despite the fact that we’re in the middle of the largest wealth transfer in history.”

Emily Hosie (CEO, Rebelstork)

Emily Hosie (CEO, Rebelstork)

Consumer buying habits and purchasing patterns often evolve in tandem with a society’s changing values. With such a large emphasis being placed on sustainability and environmental impact, it’s no surprise why the circular economy has gained traction in recent years. In fact, the second-hand market is expected to hit $64B in 2024 according to Thredup’s Annual Resale Report with GlobalData, and Forbes predicts that the resale of fashion goods (think: sneakers and other collectibles) could reach $6B in sales by 2025. 

It is this mindset that Emily Hosie (a former Saks Fifth Avenue exec) has embraced with her business Rebelstork, an online marketplace that allows for the buying and selling of overstock, open box, and high-quality used baby gear at a reduced price. Users are able to sell their outgrown goods on the site and earn money while parents are able to find quality gear for their kids all while reducing the overall impact on the environment. With a recent $5M funding raise, Hosie is well on her way to redefining the baby gear marketplace.

Get to know her better:

Rebelstork CEO Emily Hosie is Revolutionizing the Baby Gear Resale Market

We all have the ability to create something that hasn’t been done before.”

Faye Pang (Canada Country Manager, Xero)

Faye Pang (Canada Country Manager, Xero)

As Canada’s lead for cloud software company Xero, she’s helping entrepreneurs simplify the stresses often associated with accounting and bookkeeping so that they can enjoy what they love—building a business. 

Get to know her better:

Xero’s Faye Pang is Helping Small Businesses Focus on What’s Important

You have to pick your battles and get ruthless about prioritization if you have any hope of accomplishing your most important goals.”

Khushboo Jha (CEO, BuyProperly)

Khushboo Jha (CEO, BuyProperly)

After realizing how difficult it was to invest in real estate, she created her proptech company to help Canadians do so through fractional investing. Users invest in part of a property and they take care of the rest, paying dividends every quarter.

Get to know her better:

Khushboo Jha is Democratizing Real Estate Through BuyProperly

The ability to change the status quo and build a new path where there previously wasn’t one is very satisfying.”

Marnie Rabinovitch Consky (CEO, Thigh Society)

Marnie Rabinovitch Consky (CEO, Thigh Society)

It’s an issue that thousands of women have experienced: thigh chafing. But what to do? She created a lightweight and breathable slip short to hack the problem and empower women to feel more confident about their bodies. 

Get to know her better:

Thigh Society Founder Marnie Rabinovitch Consky is Dismantling Diet Culture Through Body Positivity

I am deeply passionate and committed to making a positive social impact to women’s body image and well-being on a global scale.”

Shadi McIsaac (CEO, Ownr)

Shadi McIsaac (CEO, Ownr)

Helping launch over 50,000 businesses, her platform provides entrepreneurs with the tools to start, manage, and grow their companies. Think: everything from business registration to legal compliance support. 

Get to know her better:

Ownr’s Shadi McIsaac is Building a New Generation of Small Businesses

Entrepreneurs are economic change agents and forces of positive good for the Canadian economy.”

Laura McKay (Co-founder, PolicyMe)

Laura McKay (Co-founder, PolicyMe)

Purchasing insurance is often a draining and frustrating experience. Her insurtech startup streamlines the process by eliminating barriers, offering competitive rates, and, ultimately, empowering Canadians to make better decisions for their families.

Get to know her better:

PolicyMe Founder Laura McKay is Putting Families First by Redefining the Insurance Industry

I am extremely proud to be another proof point to help substantiate that being a parent doesn’t mean you can’t also build a great company.”

Jane Wang (CEO, Optimity)

Jane Wang (CEO, Optimity)

Her healthtech startup rewards its 2.6 million users by encouraging them to earn more activity-based points through health apps and wearables, which can be redeemed for gift cards, gadgets, and more.

Get to know her better:

Optimity’s Jane Wang is Bridging the Gap Between Mental and Financial Wellness

“[As a female founder,] It’s very hard to have to do more with less every stage of the game.”

Emma Stern (Co-founder, Felix Health)

Emma Stern (Co-founder, Felix Health)

With over 140,000 prescriptions filled, her digital health platform mobilizes Canada’s leading physicians and pharmacists into a centralized hub to provide a better healthcare experience for Canadians, especially women and those in marginalized communities.

Get to know her better:

Felix Health Founder Emma Stern is Changing the Way Canadians Access Healthcare

Just because something has always been done a certain way, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best way to do it.”