AQWF gives rallying cry to accelerate women's advancement in finance
MONTRÉAL, April 28, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - The Association of Québec Women in Finance (AQWF) celebrated last night its 12th Annual Talentueuses Awards Ceremony, which celebrates the achievements of professional women across the province working in the finance sector. This year's edition was co-hosted by Pierre-Yves McSween, Québec's most renowned accountant, and Katia Marquier, Vice-President, Finances and Administration at Oceanpath, Investment and Wealth Management, who recently won an AQWF award.
The 2017 edition's theme, "One for all and all for one!", was chosen to rally men and women who share the same objective, namely promoting women's role in finance and at all other levels of society.
In an effort to highlight the fact that both men and women have a role to play in the latter's professional advancement, the AQWF launched a new category this year reserved exclusively for men, the "Alter Ego" award, which honours a man who has made significant contributions in the implementation of measures to foster and expand the roles of women in the finance sector.
What gets measured gets done
Ms. Dana Ades-Landy, Chief Executive Officer, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Québec, and President of the Board of the AQWF, kicked off the awards ceremony by commenting on the sad state of affairs with regard to the Comply or Explain policy, which directs companies to disclose information relative to female representation within their board of directors and provide explanations when falling short of their objectives. According to data published last October in McMillan LLP's Securities Bulletin, only 15.9% of the BOD membership of listed public companies in Canada is composed of women, and 40% of the nation's listed public companies do not include any women. In light of these results, the AQWF believes stronger measures are required, namely official quotas and sanctions.
"The fact that women still don't play a larger role in boards of directors is a source of great disappointment for the AQWF," explained Ms. Ades-Landy. "Clear objectives, to be met within three to five years, must be set. What gets measured gets done! Let's not mince words: quotas are needed here, followed by punitive measures to encourage companies and their management teams to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. It's what's needed to ensure companies align their priorities with our cause."
Rolling up our sleeves even higher
The AQWF plans to double its efforts to support this project, which stems from its core mission to foster the professional advancement of women in finance by influencing key decision-makers and stakeholders in economic growth. As its membership has doubled over the past few years, the Association will survey its members to reassess their position, in order to ensure their support and then will look at focused and strategic actions to promote measurable objectives. Moreover, it will focus on expanding its activities and broadening its recruiting process to further diversify its membership. Rallying more men and young professionals to the cause is important, as they can contribute fresh viewpoints on how to change entrenched mentalities. The AQWF will also further foster the next generation by organizing meetings, conferences and training workshops for newly minted finance professionals. Lastly, it will keep helping dozens of young women every year through its mentoring program, launched in 2013.
Winners of the 12th edition of the Talentueuses Award Ceremony
"Inspiration – Andrée-Corriveau" Award ("Coup de cœur" award presented by the AQWF's Board of Directors)
Lucie Rousseau, MBA
Executive Coach, Unix coaching
"Alter Ego" Award (new award)
Martin Thibodeau, MBA
President, Direction du Québec, RBC Royal Bank
Manuelle Oudar, LL.B, LL.M, Attorney, Adm.A
Chair of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer, Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail
"Initiative" Award: for the advancement of women in finance
Project: Programme CLEF d'EY
"Étoile Montante" Award
Lise Estelle Brault, CFA
Senior Director, Derivatives Oversight, Autorité des marchés financiers
"Relève Desjardins" Award
Frédérique Leblanc, HEC Montréal
Frédérick Vézina-Giguère, Université Laval
"Relève RBC" Award
Jeanne Bugnon, HEC Montréal
The Association of Québec Women in Finance would like to thank the following partners:
Senior Partners: Desjardins, RBC Royal Bank
President's Circle: National Bank of Canada, Scotia Bank, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Desjardins, RBC Royal Bank
Elite: Aon, Ordre des CPA du Québec, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Premium: CIBC Bank
Alliance: André R. Dorais, Air Canada, m0851, TD Bank Group
VIP Cocktail: Lavery Lawyers
Standard Cocktail: Langlois Lawyers
Investment Partner: Miller Thomson Lawyers
The AQWF would also like to thank its media partners:
La Presse +
Massy Forget Langlois Public Relations
About the Association of Québec Women in Finance
Founded in May 2002, the Association of Quebec Women in Finance (AFFQ) is comprised of over 600 Quebec women in finance. Besides creating a mentorship program to support women in finance, the AQWF offers its members professional development and networking activities, as well as interventions with young people at the academic level. Each year, the AQWF organizes several international business activities, thereby providing women in finance with preferred access to a major network of financial organizations spanning several countries.
In 2014, the AQWF joined forces with a group of about ten other organizations to create "Ensemble vers la parité", a movement to spread awareness among corporate leaders and businesspeople, both male and female, on the new reality of fostering diversity within organizational leadership. Through education and information, said movement seeks to support companies, along with their boards of directors and human resources and governance committees, in promoting diversity. It also aims to support their efforts toward achieving a greater presence, based on their objectives, of women in boards of directors and executive management teams within companies across Québec and the rest of Canada.
Photos available upon request.
SOURCE Association des femmes en finance du Québec
For further information: For more information, to schedule an interview or to receive a complete list of the AQWF's ambassadors, please contact: Jeanne Le Cours-Hébert, Massy Forget Langlois Public Relations, O: 514 842-2455, ext. 33, M: 514 815-1300, [email protected]