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Intl Women's Day

International Women’s Day: Our Women of Influence

In celebration of International Women’s Day today,  Speakers’ Spotlight is proud to represent numerous Women of Influence who speak on a wide variety of topics–from business matters to social media, from human rights to their deeply personal stories. Below is a selection of just a few of the women we are thrilled to represent:

Susan Aglukark

Susan Aglukark, O.C., LL.B
Award-Winning Inuk Singer/Songwriter

Award-winning Inuk singer-songwriter Susan Aglukark is one of Canada’s most unique artists, who blends the Inuktitut and English languages with contemporary pop music arrangements to tell the stories of her people, the Inuit of Arctic Canada. Aglukark’s talks emphasize the same themes that her music does – those of hope, spirit, and encouragement that have captivated and inspired listeners around the world. Learn more

Zahra Al-Harazi

Zahra Al-Harazi
Chatelaine’s Top Entrepreneur of the Year (2011)

The road to real leadership is rarely a straight one, and among Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs, few have traveled a route with more obstacles overcome than Zahra Al-Harazi. Sharing her no-holds-barred attitude and passion for success, Zahra discusses her unique approach to entrepreneurship and leadership, as well as her personal experience as a pioneering woman and immigrant in the business world. Learn more

Chitra Anand

Chitra Anand
Expert on Intrapreneurship, Innovation and Marketing

Chitra Anand is at the forefront of an important new movement in the workplace: intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurs are the people within your organization who possess an entrepreneurial spirit — driving innovation, creative thinking, and new ideas. The former head of PR for Microsoft Canada, Anand has been an intrapreneur for her entire career. Her engaging talks reveal how to foster that spirit, and how to stay on the cutting edge of market trends, technology, and consumer behaviour. Learn more

Sally Armstrong

Sally Armstrong
Human Rights Activist | Journalist | Author

Sally Armstrong has covered stories in zones of conflict all over the world. From Bosnia and Somalia to Rwanda and Afghanistan, her eyewitness reports have earned her the Amnesty International Media Award three times over, as well as acclaim all over the world. Armstrong shares her experiences reporting from the front lines and imparts her audiences with the lessons she’s learned from the battlefields surrounding the complexities of “human rights” versus “human wrongs.” Learn more….

Jeanne Beker

Jeanne Beker
Iconic Fashion Journalist

Jeanne Beker is one of the most influential and fabulous women in the fashion industry—in Canada and around the world. A long-time celebrity, Jeanne speaks on how she rose to the top of arts and culture media as the iconic host of TV’s Fashion Television, along with what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Learn more

Roberta Bondar

Dr. Roberta Bondar
Astronaut | Physician | Scientist | Photographer

Dr. Roberta Bondar was the first Canadian woman to fly in space. An astronaut, physician, and photographer, Dr. Bondar expanded the horizons of millions when she joined the space shuttle Discovery for its 1992 mission. Dr. Bondar’s highly motivational talks―punctuated by her stunning photographs― focus on overcoming challenges, realising dreams, and the importance of life on earth, in all its forms. Learn more

Perdita Felicien

Perdita Felicien
World Champion Hurdler | Two-Time Olympian

Perdita Felicien is a two-time Olympian, 10-time National Champion, two-time World silver medalist, and the only Canadian woman to win a World Championship gold medal in track and field. During her career as a 100-metre hurdler she earned numerous honours, including Canada’s Athlete of the Year and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal. In her inspiring talks, Perdita explores what it means to chase a dream and overcome the “hurdles” life can put before you. Learn more

Mellissa Fung

Mellissa Fung
Journalist | Hostage Survivor | Author of Under an Afghan Sky

In 2008, CBC journalist Mellissa Fung was leaving a refugee camp outside of Kabul, Afghanistan when she was grabbed by armed men, stabbed, stuffed into the back of a car, and driven off into the desert. For 28 days, Fung lived confined in a small room, deep underground, until her release. She speaks with passion, grace, and humility about her experience, and on the importance of forgiveness and human rights. Learn more

Jill Heinerth

Jill Heinerth
Explorer-in-Residence, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society

More people have walked on the moon than have visited many of the places that Jill Heinerth has seen on Earth. From the most dangerous technical dives deep inside underwater caves, to searching for never-before-seen ecosystems inside giant Antarctic icebergs, Jill’s curiosity and passion about our watery planet is the driving force in her life. In her remarkable presentations, Jill encourages audiences to reach beyond their limitations, challenge the unknown, and overcome their fears, while applying her practical experience when it comes to lessons on risk management, discovery learning, failure, and collaboration strategies. Learn more

Clara Hughes - Photo credit Simon Baker

Clara Hughes
Six-Time Olympic Medalist | Mental Health Advocate

“Being a champion is not just about winning,” says six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes. Believing that actions off the track define us as much as those on it, Hughes inspires people toward success in all areas of their lives. Her candid, personal talks range from how she believes sports can change lives to her struggle with depression—fully embodying the idea that each of us can overcome challenges to become the champions we’re meant to be. Learn more

Dr. Shimi Kang

Dr. Shimi Kang
Award-Winning Harvard-Trained Physician |Author of #1 National Bestseller, The Dolphin Way

An award-winning doctor, researcher, and lecturer on human motivation, Dr. Shimi Kang offers the keys people of all ages need to succeed in the workplace and at home. With over fifteen years of clinical experience and extensive training in the science that lies behind motivation and mental wellness, Dr. Kang shows people how to cultivate the key 21st century skills needed to flourish both professionally and personally. Learn more...

Katty Kay

Katty Kay
Lead Anchor, BBC World News America | Co-author, Womenomics and The Confidence Code

Katty Kay is the lead anchor for BBC’s World News America where she covers the full gamut of American and global affairs―reporting on US elections, the White House, Congress, Wall Street, global economies, and world trouble spots. Kay also frequently acts as a co-host on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and as a guest commentator on NBC’s Meet the Press. As a speaker, panel moderator, or interviewer, Kay’s global perspective helps audiences cut through complex issues and see them in valuable context. Learn more

Sarah Kay

Sarah Kay
Spoken-Word Poet

Sarah Kay uses the power of spoken word to inspire creativity and self-empowerment in others. In her now-famous TED talk–a talk that inspired two standing ovations and has been seen by over seven million people online–she tells the story of her metamorphosis from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse in New York’s iconic Bowery Poetry Club, to becoming a teacher who today connects youth with the power of self-expression through her own non-profit educational organization. A gifted artist and breathtaking performer, Sarah empowers audiences of any age and background to embrace words to find their voice. Learn more...

Laumann_Silken

Silken Laumann
Olympic Hero 

Silken Laumann takes her audiences on the journey of a lifetime. Sharing her personal story of triumph over tragedy, of enduring broken bones and shredded muscles to achieve Olympic glory, Silken’s courage and perseverance over staggering obstacles is a testament not just to her spirit, but to the human spirit in all of us. In her powerful talks, Silken discloses the critical elements for realizing success with striking anecdotes and analogies, while sharing the tools she developed during her seventeen years of international competition. Learn more

Amanda Lindhout
Kidnap Survivor | Bestselling Author | Journalist

In 2008, Amanda Lindhout traveled to Somalia — a country often called “the most dangerous place on earth”. Early on in her visit, she was abducted by a group of masked men along a dusty road. Held hostage for 460 days, Amanda now shares her message of forgiveness, peace-building, human rights, and education. Learn more

Dr. Danielle Martin

Dr. Danielle Martin
Acclaimed Physician and Health Care Expert

Dr. Danielle Martin sees the cracks and challenges in our health care system every day. A family doctor and national media commentator on the health issues that hit closest to home for Canadians, Dr. Martin speaks with passion on our national health-care system, defending and defining the ways we can make it even more worthy of our immense national pride. Learn more

Marnie McBean, O.C.
Three-Time Olympic Gold Medalist |  Athlete Mentor For The Canadian Olympic Team

Marnie McBean is one of Canada’s most decorated Olympians, and an expert in turning potential into performance. As a former Specialist in Olympic Athlete Preparation and Mentoring for the Canadian Olympic Committee, McBean prepared athletes emotionally and psychologically to ensure that they performed at the highest level in everything they can. Drawing on her years of experience as a top competitor and her current expertise, she leaves audiences with a recipe for success that can be applied to all endeavours. Learn more

Merchant_Nilofer

Nilofer Merchant
Leading In The Social Era | Bestselling Author of 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #Social Era

A bestselling author on innovation and collaboration, a TED speaker, and a business leader with 20 years of experience, Nilofer Merchant challenges audiences to do more than just think differently—she asks them to act differently. Merchant has personally launched more than 100 products that, in total, have netted 18 billion dollars. Her leadership and business models encourage innovation and growth, and she collaborates with teams to create this enduring advantage. Offering prescient guidelines for taking the future into your own hands, Merchant brings her world-class pedigree to any stage. Learn more

Pamela Meyer

Pamela Meyer
Certified Fraud Examiner | Bestselling Author of LieSpotting

Pamela Meyer’s mission is to help people get to the truth. Extensively trained in the use of visual cues and psychology to detect deception, Myer teaches audiences how to go from lie-spotting to truth-seeking to trust-building. Her riveting TED Talk, How to Spot a Liar, has been viewed over nine million times, making it one of the 20 most popular TED talks of all time, while her book, Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, was a huge bestseller. Combining her unique understanding of deception with her honed business acumen, Myer provides audiences with lessons and takeaways that can be immediately put to use. Learn more

Heather Moyse

Heather Moyse
Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist | Advocate For Human Achievement

Two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-sport athlete Heather Moyse is an ambassador, a role model, and above all, a champion. Representing Canada’s national teams in bobsleigh, rugby, and cycling, some have suggested that Heather is Canada’s best all-round female athlete, ever. Living by her personal motto, “believe in the possibilities”, Heather inspires people to go after all of their dreams. Learn more

Jessica Mulroney

Jessica Mulroney
Lifestyle Expert | Media Personality

Jessica Mulroney is the lifestyle expert to watch—literally. Now a recognized commentator on programs such as Breakfast Television and CityLine, Jessica weighs-in on topics ranging from fashion and home decor to family and parenting. Whether acting as a brand ambassador or co-hosting an event, Jessica’s positivity and poise are palpable. Learn more

Samantha Nutt

Dr. Samantha Nutt
Founder and Executive Director of War Child Canada

One of the most original and influential voices in the humanitarian arena, Dr. Samantha Nutt, a medical doctor and the founder of the internationally renowned non-profit War Child Canada, is a speaker who is constantly in demand. For over 15 years, she has been at the front lines of many of the world’s major crises, in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Darfur. These experiences have given her unique insights into the brutality of modern conflict: why it begins, what sustains it, and what must be done to prevent children being held in its terrifying grip. Learn more

Michele Romanow

Michele Romanow
“Dragon”, CBC Dragons’ Den | Co-Founder, Snap By Groupon

Tech titan Michele Romanow is an engineer and a serial entrepreneur who started three companies before her 28th birthday. The newest (and youngest ever) entrepreneur to join CBC’s hit show Dragons’ Den, Michele is the co-founder of e-commerce platforms Buytopia.ca and Snap By Groupon, which have saved millions of users hundreds of millions of dollars. Ranked in WXN’s “100 Most Powerful in Canada” and listed as the only Canadian onForbes’ “Millennial on a Mission” list, Michele brings her youthful energy and incredible entrepreneurial savvy to every stage. Learn more

Carol Roth

Carol Roth
Emcee | Host | Business Media Personality

An authoritative voice in business and news media and on-air contributor for CNBC, Carol Roth leverages her experience as a “recovering” investment banker, investor, and entrepreneur when examining the headlines surrounding the economy, politics, and current events. A highly sought after emcee and moderator, Roth combines her candid approach with her trademark humor to ensure that “business is never boring”–making her a time and time again favourite with all audiences. Learn more

Barbara Stegemann

Barbara Stegemann
Celebrated Entrepreneur | Bestselling Author

Barbara Stegemann’s entrepreneurial vision was formed after her best friend—a soldier—was severely wounded in Afghanistan. Understanding that supporting Afghanistan’s economy was key to building stability for its people, Stegemann created The 7 Virtues Beauty, a company that sources organic oils from countries experiencing turmoil (such as Afghanistan, Haiti the Middle East and Rwanda). Despite addressing complex global matters in her talks, she uses humour to explain how individuals can effect change both at home and worlds away. Learn more

Janice Stein

Janice Gross Stein
Founding Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

Whether it’s economics, geopolitics, or international security and terrorism, few people have a better understanding of global issues than Professor Janice Gross Stein. Her dynamic presentations provide a unique perspective into what’s really happening around the world—from China to Russia to the Middle East and Europe—and what it means to her audiences. Professor Stein’s presentations not only connect the dots regarding key events, but provide a look at where things are headed, and where the potential dangers and opportunities may lie. Both realistic and hopeful, she leaves her audiences with a better understanding of current global issues, and a clear, compelling vision of the future. Learn more…

Nicole Stott

Nicole Stott
Astronaut | Aquanaut | Artist, First Astronaut to Paint in Space

In awe of the overwhelming beauty of Earth that Nicole Stott experienced while living on the International Space Station, she decided she would dedicate the rest of her life to sharing her spaceflight experience with others. A NASA veteran with 27 years of service, including two spaceflights and 104 days living and working in space on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station, she is also a NASA Aquanaut and the holder of the women’s world record for saturation diving. Always an Artist, Nicole was the first astronaut to paint in space. As a speaker, Nicole combines her spaceflight experience and artwork to inspire audiences to look up and be impressed by the outstanding work being done in space to improve life here on Earth; sharing the impression of our planet from the orbital vantage point; and stressing the importance of education, our global community and environment, and the surprising interplay between science and art.

Learn more

Nicole Verkindt

Nicole Verkindt
Founder, OMX | “Dragon”, Next Gen Den

Nicole Verkindt is passionate about leveraging the talents of entrepreneurs. The founder of OMX (Offset Market Exchange) and the newest Dragon on CBC’s Next Gen Den, she believes in the role of entrepreneurs to grow the economy and help solve global issues. Speaking to the importance of disruptive thinking, technology, innovation, and women’s roles in business, Nicole stresses to audiences that the key to success. Learn more

Sheila Watt-Cloutier

Sheila Watt-Cloutier
Environmental and Human Rights Activist | Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier is in the business of transforming public opinion into public policy. Experienced in working with global decision makers for over a decade, Watt-Cloutier offers a new model for 21st century leadership. She speaks with passion and urgency on the issues of today—the environment, the economy, foreign policy, global health, and sustainability—not as separate concerns, but as a deeply interconnected whole.  At a time when people are seeking solutions, direction, and a sense of hope, this global leader provides a big picture of where we are and where we’re headed. Learn more

Wickenheiser_Hayley

Hayley Wickenheiser
Canadian Women’s Hockey Team | Flag Bearer, 2014 Winter Olympic Games

Hayley Wickenheiser is regarded as the best female hockey player in the world. With an uncompromised determination and dedication to her sport, Hayley was twice named the most valuable player of the gold medal winning Canadian Women’s Hockey Team; is a four-time Olympic gold medalist; and was selected as the Flag Bearer for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Not just an athlete, Hayley is also a community leader and an accomplished student and business woman who inspires audiences to give their best in everything they undertake. Learn more...

Margaret Trudeau - Photo credit: Sian Richards

Margaret Trudeau
Celebrated Canadian| Mental Health Advocate

Margaret Trudeau has garnered more publicity than any woman in Canadian history, enduring both the highs and lows of being in the spotlight for so long. Sharing her personal life story, from becoming a prime minister’s wife at a young age, to the loss of both her son and her former husband, to her journey of acceptance and recovery from bipolar disorder, she reminds others of the importance of nurturing the body, mind, and spirit. Learn more….

Krishanti Vignarajah

Krishanti Vignarajah
Former Policy Director to First Lady Michelle Obama

Krishanti Vignarajah is a leading authority on public policy, philanthropy, and engaging millennials. The former policy director at the White House to First Lady Michelle Obama, Vignarajah provides unique insight on what it takes to drive innovation, leverage diverse talent, and lead successful teams with passion and purpose. A brilliant storyteller, her experience and expertise in purpose-driven leadership is exceptional, but it’s her inspiring passion and ability to connect with all audiences that truly distinguishes her. Learn more

To see more of our amazing Women of Influence speakers, click here.