Association of Québec Women in Finance Holds 9th Talentueuses Award Ceremony

From left to right: Ms. Isabelle Maréchal, journalist, radio and television host; Ms. Dana Ades-Landy, Area Vice-President, Québec and Eastern Ontario, Commercial Banking at Scotia Bank, as well as Chairperson of the AQWF; Ms. Sylvie Paquette, "Inspiration - Andrée Corriveau" Award winner (Award given by the AQWF's Board of Directors). Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Property and Casualty Insurance, Desjardins Group, President and COO of Desjardins General Insurance (CNW Group/Association des femmes en finance du Québec (AFFQ))

Recognizing talent and mutual assistance among professionals within its sector, the AQWF calls for action to increase women's contribution to corporate leadership.

MONTREAL, April 4, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Last night the Association of Québec Women in Finance (AQWF) celebrated their 9th annual Gala, appropriately named "Les Talentueuses" and highlighting the achievements of professional women working in the finance sector.

The guests of this important annual gathering, hosted this year by Ms. Isabelle Maréchal, honoured six women from varied backgrounds, each of whom stand out for their expertise, commitment and contribution to the greater role of women within the financial sector. The AQWF also took this opportunity to present its latest initiatives, including its new mentorship program, launched last November, as well as new activities aiming to give more exposure to the next generation within its ranks.

"While we can certainly rejoice as women's expertise is increasingly recognized, it is now more important than ever to acknowledge and support, through mutual assistance and networking, the women developing their careers within our business environment, said Ms. Dana Ades-Landy, Area Vice-President, Québec and Eastern Ontario, Commercial Banking at Scotia Bank, as well as Chairperson of the AQWF. We are particularly thrilled by the very positive response to our mentorship program. This pooling of talent and mutual assistance opens the way to fruitful collaborations among those who contribute to women's professional development."

Women and leadership: the AQWF calls for proactive measures and supports setting quotas
The Chairperson also spoke of the AQWF members' considerable concern over women's contribution to organizational leadership, specifically female representation on the boards of public corporations. One year after the publication of the "Table des partenaires influents" report, the AQWF is very disappointed to note that notwithstanding that women continue to represent a meager 20% of Quebec's board members, no proactive measures have been implemented by the Québec Government to promote the achievement of parity.

AQWF members voiced their opinions on this matter as part of an internal survey. Specifically, they expressed their concerns over the apparent passiveness surrounding this issue and unanimously confirmed, with a response of 74%, their willingness to consider various proactive measures, including quotas.

The AQWF believes Québec has deprived itself for far too long of women's contribution to the leadership of major corporations, and that the time to act is now. "It's wishful thinking to expect to achieve parity, specifically 40-60%, by letting things evolve naturally, said Ms. Ades-Landy. We love to say Quebeckers are progressive, well lets prove it! Achieving an adequate level of female representation on the boards of directors of major companies, specifically those of public corporations, will require the Government of Québec to develop a clear policy, identifying reasonable and quantifiable objectives and should include consequences for noncompliance within a pre-set deadline of three to five years."

Winners of the 9th Talentueuses Award Ceremony

"Inspiration - Andrée Corriveau" Award   (Award given by the AQWF's Board of Directors) 
Sylvie Paquette
Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Property and Casualty Insurance, Desjardins Group, President and COO of Desjardins General Insurance

"Leadership" Award  
Nathalie Bernier
FCPA, FCA, Partner, Audit, KPMG Canada

"Grand Mentor" Award  
Michelle Leduc
Vice-President, Operations, Credit Operations, National Bank of Canada

"Étoile Montante" Award
Sophie Lamonde
Partner, Stikeman Elliott

"Relève" Award Desjardins
Soukaina Mahfoud
HEC Montréal

"Relève" Award Desjardins
Linda Nitcheu
UQAM

Sponsors
The Association of Québec Women in Finance wishes to thank the following sponsors:

Major partners: Desjardins, RBC.
The President's Circle: BMO Financial Group, National Bank, Scotia Bank, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Desjardins, RBC
Platinum: Aon, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ordre des CPA du Québec
Silver: Air Canada, André R. Dorais, Industrial Alliance
Bronze: CIBC, Deloitte, Langlois Kronström Desjardins, Richter, TD Group

The AQWF would also like to thank its media partners
Finance et investissement
La Presse, La Presse +
Massy Forget Langlois Public Relations
Premières en affaires

About the Association
Founded in May 2002, the Association of Québec Women in Finance is comprised of nearly 400 Québec women in finance. It organizes several networking, professional development and international business activities each year and provides its members with privileged access to a major worldwide network of women in finance, including the New York market. The Association of Québec Women in Finance's mission is to contribute to the national and international outreach of its members by promoting their skills and fostering the development of business relationships throughout Canada and abroad, by nominating women to senior management positions and boards of administrators.

SOURCE Association des femmes en finance du Québec (AFFQ)

Image with caption: "From left to right: Ms. Isabelle Maréchal, journalist, radio and television host; Ms. Dana Ades-Landy, Area Vice-President, Québec and Eastern Ontario, Commercial Banking at Scotia Bank, as well as Chairperson of the AQWF; Ms. Sylvie Paquette, "Inspiration - Andrée Corriveau" Award winner (Award given by the AQWF's Board of Directors). Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Property and Casualty Insurance, Desjardins Group, President and COO of Desjardins General Insurance (CNW Group/Association des femmes en finance du Québec (AFFQ))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140404_C8626_PHOTO_EN_38828.jpg

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Photos available upon request.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Christine Tourigny
Massy Forget Langlois Public Relations
514 842-2455, ext. 21
ctourigny@mflrp.ca