Women’s representation in Canadian politics, business, law and sport has increased significantly since 1921 when the first woman, Agnes Macphail, was elected to the House of Commons. Despite their growing participation and leadership in all facets of our lives, Canadian women represent only 35% of all legislators, less than 20% of Board Directors and lead only 4% of TMX listed companies. In the face of additional pressures and challenges due to the COVID pandemic, how do we maintain the years of progress that women have fought for? Join Canadian Club Toronto on March 4 when we host a panel of incredible women, who have been the firsts in their fields, and hear what needs to be done to ensure that they are the first of many. This expert panel will be moderated by Tanya van Biesen, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Engagement, Catalyst, and will feature:
Assembly of First Nations Yukon Regional Chief
Kluane Adamek, she/her/hers (traditional name in”Aagé”), has served as the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Yukon Regional Chief since January 2018. She is a proud northerner and citizen of Kluane First Nation. Regional Chief Adamek belongs to the Dakl’aweidi (Killerwhale) Clan and comes from a diverse background with Tlingit, Southern Tutchone, German and Irish origins.
After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies from Carleton University in 2009, she returned home to work with Yukon First Nations and local communities in the areas of education, economic development and governance. In 2019, she completed her Master of Business Administration at Simon Fraser University. Throughout her career she has served on a number of boards and committees including the Yukon College Board of Governors, Kluane Dana Trust, Actua, the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, and the Aboriginal Sport Circle.
She has proven experience in both the private and public sectors, and in Government. While pursuing her Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship with the Walter and Duncan Gordon Charitable Foundation, she led and founded “Our Voices,” a collective of northern Indigenous emerging leaders and incredibly passionate about supporting youth and emerging leaders in the North and beyond.
Regional Chief Adamek currently holds the AFN National Portfolios for Climate Change and the Environment, Youth and Modern Treaties. She continues to press for changes in the ways young people and the next generation are included in decision making forums, and she is committed to advancing solutions and approaching leadership from a place of values.
Chair of the Board, RBC
Kathleen (Katie) Taylor is Chair of the Board of RBC. She has served on the Board since 2001, where she has chaired the Human Resources and Corporate Governance Committees, and served on the Audit and Risk Committees. Ms. Taylor also serves as Chair of Altas Partners, a Toronto-based private equity investment firm.
Ms. Taylor is a director of Air Canada and a member of its Audit, Finance and Risk, Human Resources, and Governance and Nominating Committees. She is also the Vice-Chair of the Adecco Group and a director of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, where she serves on the Investment, Audit and Human Resources Committees. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Hospital for Sick Children and a Co-Chair of the SickKids Capital Campaign.
Ms. Taylor is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. During her 24-year career with the iconic global company, she held a number of senior leadership roles and was instrumental in building the firm’s global brand and its international portfolio of luxury properties.
Ms. Taylor has been inducted into the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends and was named to Canada’s Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame by the Women’s Executive Network. In 2017, Report on Business magazine named Ms. Taylor among the 50 most powerful people in Canadian Business. She is a Member of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors and a Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors.
Ms. Taylor has an MBA and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the Schulich School of Business, a law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Toronto. She has also received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from both McGill University and Trent University, and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Mount Saint Vincent University.
Ms. Taylor is a member of the C.D. Howe Institute’s National Council where she Co-Chairs the Human Capital Policy Council. She also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Schulich School of Business and on the Principal’s International Advisory Board at McGill University.
Ms. Taylor lives in Toronto with her husband and has three grown children.
Senior Vice President, Global Government and Industry Relations, Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
“Excellence with authenticity” is Nadia Theodore’s motto. A seasoned Public Affairs leader with a reputation for forging strong partnerships wherever she goes, she manifests humility, confidence and fun. Her passion for community service leads Nadia to invest time and effort in ventures that are committed to putting more women that look like her in decision making spaces across Canada and globally, with true power and influence at the table. With a career path that took her from her hometown of Ottawa to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, the Consulate General of Canada in Atlanta and most recently, to Toronto take up a Senior Vice President role at Maple Leaf Foods, Nadia embodies the leader of the future: hard-working, values driven and transparent.
Tanya van Biesen
Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Engagement, Catalyst
Tanya van Biesen is responsible for the growth of Catalyst in Canada, working closely with CEOs, senior executives, and Supporter organizations across the country to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion. She is a recognized and accomplished executive with more than 20 years of experience in the executive search sector, most recently at Spencer Stuart, where she focused on search assignments at the board, CEO, and general management levels, and also led the firm’s Canadian Diversity Practice.
A passionate advocate for gender equality as a driver of economic growth and progress, Tanya is a sought-after speaker, thought leader, and architect of change. She has contributed to a number of research studies analyzing leadership trends and attributes, and is a frequent contributor to news media on issues related to women’s advancement, leadership and workplace equality. Tanya holds an MBA from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University. She speaks English, French, and Dutch.