Women's Executive Network Expands Diversity Focus with New Gender-Neutral Awards Category to Annual Top 100 Gala

Inaugural Inclusion Vanguard Award Winner, HSBC's Sandra Stuart, marks new chapter for the women's organization.

TORONTO, Nov. 10, 2016 /CNW/ - The Women's Executive Network (WXN) announces a new, gender-neutral Awards category for their annual Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards, honouring a Canadian leader who has made a profound and measureable impact on diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

The Inclusion Vanguard Award, presented in partnership with Deloitte, will be awarded to champion of change Sandra Stuart, President and CEO of HSBC Bank Canada, the night of the Top 100 Awards Gala on November 24th, 2016 in Toronto.

"From Maya Angelou to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the message is clear: Strength comes from diversity," says Sherri Stevens, Owner and CEO of WXN. "The Inclusion Vanguard Award is about recognizing a leader, woman or man, who has consistently put this belief into action within their organization and community, strengthening workplaces and changing lives. This year, we are proud to honour Sandra."

The additional Awards category comes at a time of transition for WXN, as the organization embraces a new chapter under Stevens' leadership that will expand their events, programs and services beyond gender to broader inclusion initiatives.

"A broader understanding of diversity that focuses on inclusion and diversity of thought, encourages individuals to bring their 'whole self' to work and be appreciated for all aspects of their diversity," said Miyo Yamashita, Managing Partner, Talent at Deloitte in Canada.  "We are proud to stand behind the Inclusion Vanguard Award and recognize champions like Sandra, who value that everyone has individual strengths with unique contributions to make."

The Inclusion Vanguard Awards category joins the 10 existing Top 100 categories, which honour remarkable women in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors: BMO Arts & Communications, RBC Champions, Accenture Corporate Directors, Scotiabank Corporate Executives, CIBC Entrepreneurs, TELUS Future Leaders, KPMG Professionals, PwC Public Sector Leaders, Sun Life Financial Trailblazers & Trendsetters and WXN Hall of Fame Inductees.

The full list of 2016 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winners will be announced on November 23rd, 2016, one day prior to the Awards Gala.

About the Award Winner, Sandra Stuart

Sandra Stuart is the President and CEO of HSBC Bank Canada. With more than 30 years of experience, Stuart is a seasoned banking professional with a broad range of skills and a proven track record of delivery in both international and domestic capacities. Joining the bank in 1982, she has held a number of progressively senior roles in Canada and abroad, including in the United States and Brazil, and also serves on the board of HSBC Bank Canada and as the chair of the board for HSBC Global Asset Management (Canada) Limited. Stuart is active in her community, serving as a member of University of British Columbia's (UBC) Sauder School of Business faculty advisory board, and from 2013 to 2015 she was the leadership co-chair for the United Way of the Lower Mainland. She has been recognized by the Association of Women in Finance for excellence in the private sector, by WXN as one of Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100, and BC Business as one of British Columbia's most influential women.

About the Women's Executive Network (WXN)

At WXN, we inspire smart women to lead. WXN delivers innovative networking, mentoring, professional and personal development to inform, inspire, connect and recognize our global community of more than 22,000 women, men and their organizations. WXN enables our Partners and Corporate Members to become and to be recognized as employers of choice and leaders in the advancement of women.

Founded in 1997, WXN is Canada's leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles. WXN is led by CEO Sherri Stevens, owner of the award-winning, multi-million dollar Workforce Management Company Stevens Resource Group Inc., which she established in 1990. In 2008, WXN launched in Ireland, followed by London, UK in 2015, creating an international community of female leaders.

SOURCE Women's Executive Network

For further information: For media inquiries or to arrange an interview with WXN Owner and CEO Sherri Stevens, please contact: Sean Hemraj, Vice President, Business Development and Marketing, WXN, 416-361-1475 ext. 216, shemraj@wxnetwork.com

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