Ahead of International Women’s Day (IWD), we’re celebrating some of the incredible women who inspire us. All leaders in their fields, they’re boldly forging new paths for future generations of women to follow.
IWD’s 2023 theme is “Embrace Equity” with the goal of furthering gender equality to create a fair and equal world. While the glass ceiling may not have shattered yet, the women we represent have certainly dealt it a staggering number of cracks.
Meet some of our leading female speakers below, who tackle some of today’s most popular topics — including leadership, DEI, the future of work, mental health, and more — and learn how they’re helping to push equity forward. Contact us to book your IWD event today.
Leadership for a sustainable future
When first launching her company, Knix founder and president Joanna Griffiths was told her product of leakproof underwear was a “niche” idea. She has since built it into one of the fastest-growing intimate apparel brands worldwide by staying committed to her mission of empowering people to be unapologetically free.
A fierce champion of female founders and entrepreneurs, Joanna embodied her mission when she closed Series B financing for her company just three days before giving birth in 2021. She eliminated any investor who questioned her ability to run a business and be a mother; a choice that made headlines around the world.
Having now negotiated a $410-million acquisition of her company — the largest publicly disclosed private sale of a direct-to-consumer company helmed by a female founder in Canada — Joanna takes audiences through lessons learned from building and leading one of the most successful and prolific mission-driven brands of the digital era.
Canada’s first Indigenous Minister of Justice and Attorney General and the first woman to be elected as an Independent Member of Parliament, The Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould is a changemaker. She’s a lawyer, an advocate, and a leader among Canada’s Indigenous Peoples with a strong reputation as a bridge builder and champion of good governance and accountability.
The bestselling author of “Indian” in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power and True Reconciliation: How to Be a Force for Change, Jody shares her unique perspective as both a community and political leader on topics such as Indigenous rights and reconciliation, democracy and governance, leadership, and justice.
Jody’s keynotes not only empower people to stand strong in their convictions, but also inspires them to build an equitable future for all based on truth and reconciliation.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion
Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s 2015 TED Talk “What Does my Headscarf Mean to You” catapulted her to the forefront of conversations on race, gender, and faith. An award-winning social advocate, bestselling author, and internationally renowned speaker, Yassmin is on a mission to make diversity the norm across the world.
Yassmin’s social advocacy began at age 16, when she founded Youth Without Borders to empower young people to positively change their communities. Today, she is the founder of Mumtaza and an internationally sought-after advisor on issues facing women, youth, and those from racially and culturally diverse backgrounds.
From unconscious bias to allyship and transformative leadership, she combines personal experience with research to illustrate the impact of bias in the workplace and equip audiences with strategies to create safer, fairer, and more productive workplaces for all.
In 2017, Dr. Hadiya Roderique delivered a wake-up call to corporate Canada with her illuminating Globe and Mail essay, “Black on Bay Street”. Her think piece sparked discussion in boardrooms across Canada as it explored the many roadblocks Hadiya experienced on her journey to becoming a lawyer, not because of merit but because she is a person of colour.
Today, Hadiya shows audiences how to cultivate a diverse and inclusive workplace. Having earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Management from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, she outlines common barriers and challenges to diversity and inclusion and how to counter them, while illustrating the benefits a diverse and inclusive workplace brings to all.
Mental health in the workplace
Clara Hughes is the founding spokesperson for Bell Let’s Talk and was integral to jumpstarting a nation-wide conversation on mental wellness.
Clara is one of Canada’s most decorated Olympians. After more than a decade in the grueling world of competitive sports, she realized that her physical extremes, emotional setbacks, and partying habits were masking a severe depression. Clara retired from sport in 2010 determined to heal, and has since emerged as one of our most committed humanitarians and mental health advocates.
The bestselling author of Open Heart, Open Mind, Clara used her Olympic platform to help end the stigma around mental health. Her revelatory and inspiring story touches the hearts of all who hear it.
Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa is a medical trailblazer spearheading change in healthcare and beyond. She is currently a resident doctor in psychiatry at the University of Toronto, where she earned her medical degree.
When she arrived as an incoming medical student, Chika quickly discovered that she was the only Black student in her cohort. She channeled this disappointment into action, becoming a vocal advocate for improving disparities in Black health and confronting institutional discrimination.
As a keynote speaker, Chika not only provides actionable strategies to help audiences manage their mental health and support those around them, she also offers a unique lens on the interconnection between mental health and racialized communities.
The future of working
In a world being rapidly transformed by technology, Sinead Bovell offers leaders of today and tomorrow fascinating insights into our digital future. While exploring AI, biotechnology, machine learning, and emerging tech trends, Sinead is also spearheading an important conversation on diversity and inclusion in the future of work.
Not only are diverse and inclusive teams critical for the bottom line, Sinead says, they are also critical for preventing historical power imbalances and human biases from getting coded into the future. It’s critical to use this transition into the future of work as an opportunity to accelerate equality in our workforce.
Sinead shows audiences how, together, we can create a tech-centric society that works effectively for everyone.
Amber Mac is passionate about technology and is considered by many to be the go-to expert on the subject. She spent years in the technology start-up trenches before founding her own company, AmberMac Media, Inc., which has grown into an award-winning content development agency.
As an innovation speaker, Amber offers a business survival guide, equipping audiences with the blueprint for success in 2023 and beyond. It’s called The P.A.T.H. and it’s what every professional needs to know to design, grow, learn, and communicate in today’s fast future, all while leading with values and making an impact.
Throughout her collegiate career and beyond, Jennifer Botterill amassed 17 gold medals for Canada. She is a four-time Olympic medalist (with three gold medals), a five-time World Champion, and was named MVP of the World Championships twice. Now Jennifer’s dominating the sports world as an in-demand NHL analyst in both Canada and the US, regularly appearing on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
As one of Canada’s most successful athletes, Jennifer shares her no-regrets approach to success — it’s about “never having to say I wish I would have” and instead saying “why not you?” when presented with new opportunities. She shows audiences how to reach new levels of excellence, both personally and professionally.
As one of the leading performance consultants in the field, Dr. Kimberley Amirault-Ryan has coached and trained some of the world’s top athletes and teams. She is the first and only woman to be a Performance Consultant with the New York Rangers, New York Knicks, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Edmonton Oilers.
Having witnessed and cultivated first-hand the habits, behaviours, and environments required for achieving success, overcoming obstacles, and inspiring excellence, Kimberley outlines the universal traits of those at the top of their field, and shows how to replicate them within your own careers, teams, and organizations.
For her ground-breaking work, Kimberley has been recognized on Globe and Mail‘s “Top Power 50” list and WXN Canada’s “Top 100 Most Powerful Women”.
Contact us to learn more about our leading female keynote speakers.