Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100(TM) award winners to act as mentors in groundbreaking new program aimed at next generation of women leaders



    Women's Executive Network(TM) (WXN) launches new mentoring program aimed
    at increasing women holding executive and other top positions in Canada

    TORONTO, Jan. 30 /CNW/ - The next generation of Canadian women are more
likely to succeed in the future because they now have role models, Canada's
Most Powerful Women: Top 100 award winners, says Women's Executive Network
Founder Pamela Jeffery.
    "Each year, 100 of Canada's outstanding women leaders are honoured with
the Top 100 award. From Vancouver Island to St. John's, award winners are
senior executives, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, accountants, doctors,
lawyers and judges, University presidents and deans, cabinet ministers,
corporate directors, not-for-profit executive directors, deputy ministers and
orchestra/ballet artistic directors," said Jeffery at a sold-out WXN breakfast
at The National Club in downtown Toronto where she made the announcement.
"This award was not even possible a generation ago. These award winners opened
the doors that previously had been closed to women. Now they want to share the
lessons they have learned with younger women who aspire to follow in their
footsteps in a brand new mentoring program."
    Women between the ages of 20-39 may apply on-line at www.wxnetwork.com by
March 2, 2007 to participate in the program as protégées. The first program of
its kind in the world, WXNWisdom II will offer successful applicants a year of
mentoring, classroom instruction and peer networking beginning in April in
Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Halifax. Each protégée will
meet with her mentor four times during the year and receive 20 hours of
classroom instruction focused on career development and leadership. There is
an annual fee for the program of $1,600 to cover the costs of instructors and
program materials. Bursaries are available for 10 worthy applicants based on
financial need, to cover program fees.
    The first corporate partners in the new program, Platinum Partner TELUS
and Gold Partner TD Bank Financial Group agree that mentoring programs are
important to ensure women are in leadership roles.
    "TELUS is committed to attracting and retaining the very best talent in
our industry," said Janet Yale TELUS executive vice-president Corporate
Affairs. "Women face unique challenges throughout their careers and mentors
can provide both support and guidance. We are grateful that so many of
Canada's most accomplished women leaders are contributing their talent and
energy to help develop our next generation of leaders." Janet is also a WXN
Top 100 Award Winner who will also provide a mentorship role in the WXN Wisdom
program.
    According to Teri Currie, Executive Vice-President, Human Resources, TD
Bank Financial Group, "Mentoring is exceedingly important in today's world.
It's something I've personally benefited from throughout my career, and at TD,
we believe both individual and group mentoring can be a powerful, positive
influence on our people's development. For us, it's an important component of
making TD a great place to work" said Currie, a Top 100 Award Winner who is
also participating in the program.
    Studies have pointed to the importance of mentoring in career
development. In 2002, Women's Executive Network commissioned public opinion
and market research firm POLLARA to conduct its annual survey of 350 executive
women in seven urban centres. Full results of this survey - Moving Forward
2002: Barriers and Opportunities for Executive Women in Canada - are available
at www.wxnetwork.com. In that survey, the majority of women executives said
that a lack of mentors (63%) and a lack of role models (59%) were barriers to
women's career advancement. The following year, the Women's Executive Network
created Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 to shine a light on Canada's
women leaders and role models. Another survey is planned for 2007.
    "It is an honour for the Women's Executive Network to bring together
Canada's top women leaders with the next generation of leaders. Our own study
told us a program like this one was needed but we first needed to identify the
role models. The Top 100 award winners are an outstanding group of role
models," said Jeffery. "We greatly appreciate the support of our corporate
partners in the 2006 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards: Scotiabank,
Richard Ivey School of Business, Ernst & Young, TELUS, Mercedes-Benz Canada,
TD Bank Financial Group, Cisco Systems, Palm, The Globe and Mail, Miller
Dallas, MICA Consulting Partners, Andrew's and Sandra Ainsley Gallery."

    WXN is Canada's most influential female audience and the country's
leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of executive
minded women in the workplace. WXN's over 10,000 members are women leaders in
business, government and not-for-profit sectors who attend exclusive
by-invitation-only breakfast series, Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100
Awards and Summit and professional development programs. In 2006, WXN launched
a new peer-mentoring program -WXNWisdom- exclusively for Top 100 winners,
senior executives and highly-successful entrepreneurs.

    For the initial list of Top 100 Award Winners who are participating in
the program as of January 26, 2007, visit us on-line at www.wxnetwork.com and
Click on WXNWisdom II tab.





For further information:

For further information: Karin Eaton, Women's Executive Network, (416)
361-1475, ext 231, keaton@wxnetwork.com


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