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WXN Awards 15 Leaders Driving a More Equitable, Diverse and Inclusive Canada

Press Release

TORONTO, May 1, 2023 – They’re champions of equity, diversity and inclusion within their organizations, workplaces and communities. They’re the 15 recipients of WXN’s (Women’s Executive Network) 2023 Canadian Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (CEDI) Awards, presented by MLSE – and their names were revealed today.

They’ll also be the guests of honour during the CEDI Summit and Awards programming on June 1, 2023, at The Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, ON.

EDI has become a leading push amid the recent “great breakup,” an emerging trend where women are leaving companies in greater numbers to pursue more opportunity in their careers and balance in their lives. reports that women account for 1 in 4 C-Suite executives. Only 1 in 20 is a woman of colour. Discrimination is present throughout the leadership pipeline, and can be further impacted by sexual orientation, disability, or other aspects of identity.

“It’s important to shine a light not only on the incredible work being done within Canadian organizations to advance underrepresented and equity-deserving groups, but also on the incredible people who live and breathe that work every day,” says Sherri Stevens, Owner and CEO of WXN. “When you see it, you can be it. That’s what inspired us when we began our CEDI programming two years ago, and it’s what keeps the conversation going at WXN.”

The winners of WXN’s 2023 CEDI Awards include:

  • Chair of the Board Award, presented by Diversity Institute, 50-30 Challenge:
    • Joan Hertz, Chair of the Board of Directors, ATB Financial, and Edmonton International Airport; Lawyer and Strategic Consultant
  • Corporate Board Directors Awards:
    • Susan Allen, Audit Committee Chair, Independent Director, Triple Flag Precious Metals Corp, EcoSynthetix, Inc. and Conavi Medical Inc.; Audit Committee Chair, Independent Trustee, Richards Packaging Income Fund
    • Julie Barker-Merz, Regional President, Greater Toronto Region, BMO; Chairperson, Board of Directors, Accelerator Centre; Chair of the Governance Committee, Board of Directors, Tree Canada
    • Cassandra Dorrington, President & CEO, Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC)
    • Donna Fagon-Pascal, Vice President, HR Canada/North Central US and Communications, Dynacare; Director (Former Chair), Brampton Board of Trade
    • Trecia McLennon, Founder, Culturiousity; Director, EDI Culture and Education, Brock University
    • Cybele Negris, Director, CEO & Co-Founder, Inc.; Director, Royal Canadian Mint, BCAA, and AGF Management Inc.; Vice Chair, BC Small Business Roundtable, and Science World
    • Tracy Primeau, Member, Board of Directors, Ontario Power Generation; Member, Board of Trustees, Ingenium; Member, Board of Governors, United College at University of Waterloo; Founder and Principal, Agile Bear
  • MLSE EDI Leaders Awards:
    • Tracy F. Barry, Founder & CEO, Grow Women Leaders; Founder & Executive Director, GROW Foundation; Owner, Nurture Kitchen & Café
    • Tyjondah Kerr, Board Chair, BGC Peel; Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, OLG
    • Zara Marfo, Manager, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, ArcelorMittal Dofasco
    • Ovie Onagbeboma, Executive Director, Canadian Black Nurses Alliance (CBNA)
    • Bukola Salami, Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta; Professor, Cumming School of Medicine,University of Calgary
  • Inclusion Vanguard Award:
    • Holly Prince, Project Manager, Centre for Education and Research on Aging & Health, Lakehead University; Project Lead, Canadian Virtual Hospice
  • Ally of Excellence Award:
    • Don Romano, President and CEO, Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.

“At MLSE, we value the unique perspectives and experiences that women bring to the table and work hard to ensure that those perspectives are well represented and heard when key decisions are being made,” says Teri Dennis-Davies, Chief People & Inclusion Officer at MLSE. “As the National Presenting Partner of the WXN Canadian Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (CEDI) Awards and Sponsor of the EDI Leaders Award, MLSE congratulates all the winners for being role models in leading this change, for staying the course and for changing the lives of those around along the way.”

Ahead of the awards celebration, WXN will host the CEDI Summit, exploring best practices, inclusive workplace cultures and belonging as a journey. Whether they’re in the early stages of adopting EDI or well-established in their practices and policies, attendees will find valuable insights about:

  • EDI work and burnout
  • Canada’s 50-30 challenge
  • Employee resource groups and (un)comfortable conversations
  • Talent recruitment

The day also features two powerful keynote speakers: Jenny Okonkwo, Founder and President of Transform Consulting; and Angela Sterritt, award-winning Indigenous journalist, author and educator.

The annual CEDI Summit launched in 2021 as an opportunity to openly and honestly explore the latest research, trends and conversations that impact the representation of women within Canadian organizations, including Black, Indigenous, Women of Colour, Women living with Disabilities and members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Winner biographies, event information and tickets for WXN’s CEDI Summit and Awards are available at

About WXN

WXN (Women’s Executive Network), a member-based organization, is North America’s #1 and only organization that meaningfully propels and celebrates the advancement of professional women at all levels, in all sectors, and of all ages. WXN delivers this advancement through training, events, mentoring, networking, and award and recognition programs. WXN operates in Canada and the U.S.

For further information: For media inquiries or to arrange an interview with Sherri Stevens, please contact: Garry Atkinson, Research & Analytics Manager, WXN [email protected]


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