Canadian corporate leaders celebrate Women in Governance’s 4th Annual Gala

Medias News September 26, 2019

(Montréal, QC – September 26, 2019) Women in Governance [WiG] awarded its gender Parity Certification™ to 48 organizations from across Canada in recognition of their exceptional commitment to gender equality in the workplace. This marks a sharp increase in the number of Parity Certified organizations since 2017, from the 17 organizations certified at inception. To celebrate this remarkable achievement, WiG held its 4th Annual Recognition Gala last night at the Palais des Congrès, under the honourary Co-Presidency of Suzanne Bergeron, President, Sodexo Canada Limited, and Guy Cormier, President and CEO, Desjardins Group.

Of special note was the presence and participation of women leaders from all three levels of government: The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Isabelle Charest, MNA, Minister for Education and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, and Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal.

As Sodexo Canada Limited was awarded the Platinum certification for a second consecutive year after earning Gold in 2017, Ms. Bergeron commented: “The culture at Sodexo is built on inclusion. Our data shows that we are ahead of most other Canadian organizations in employing women, people from minority groups, Indigenous communities, and people with disabilities. This representation allows us to better reflect and serve our clients and communities. We also have gender parity at all levels of the organization. It is my privilege to be the first woman President of Sodexo Canada.”

Desjardins Group is delighted to have achieved Gold certification for the third year in a row. As President of an organization that is a proud socio-economic leader in Quebec, and who employs tens of thousands of people, Mr. Cormier stated: “I am extremely proud of our collective effort and commitment to increasing parity. We continue to develop initiatives and policies so that everyone can flourish within our Group. I am deeply convinced that we all have a role to play – men and women – in increasing diversity and inclusion and achieving greater parity in the workplace. Together, we can achieve more.”

WiG President and founder Caroline Codsi commented on the eight Platinum recipients: “We celebrate these corporate leaders and role models. Several have improved greatly from past years – some having leapt from Bronze to Platinum! I am equally delighted to recognize the extra effort being made by those in male-dominated industries that are attacking their gender gap with bravery and conviction in achieving certification. WiG‘s mission is to empower organizations with the strategies, actions, benchmarks and resources to make tangible progress towards parity.”

The following earned Platinum Parity Certification™: Accenture / CBC Radio-Canada / CNESST / Intact Financial Corporation / National Film Board of Canada / Norton Rose Fulbright / Sodexo Canada Limited / Sun Life Financial.

These organizations earned Parity Certification™ from Bronze to Gold : ABB Inc. / Air Canada / Autorité des marchés financiers / Business Development Bank of Canada / Bell Canada / CAE Inc. / Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec / Canada Pension Plan Investment Board / CAPREIT / Cascades Inc. / Desjardins Group / Fairstone Financial / Ivanhoé Cambridge Inc. / JLL / The John Molson School of Business, Concordia University / Kruger Products L.P. / La Coop Fédérée / Lavery Lawyers / Loto-Québec / Manulife / Marsh Canada / McKesson Canada / MEDICAGO INC. / Mercer (Canada) Ltd / Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation / Paysafe Group / Polytechnique Montreal / Pratt & Whitney Canada / PSP Investments / Randstad Canada / Réseau de transport de la Capitale / Rio Tinto / Sanofi Canada / SAP Canada Inc. / SAS Institute (Canada) Inc. / Schneider Electric / Telus / VIA Rail Canada / Willis Towers Watson / Yellow Pages.

Women in Governance’s Annual Galas – in Montreal and Toronto – are eagerly awaited by organizations that are increasingly understanding the positive impact of gender parity on employee engagement, corporate culture, innovation, branding, and of course, their bottom line. This certification was born out of the desire to help Canadian companies develop and implement the policies and cultures that advance women’s careers and increase their representation in leadership positions.

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About: Women in Governance is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to support women in their leadership development, career advancement and access to Board seats.

For organizations (with more than 400 employees) looking to become Parity certified, please find more information at

Media Contact: Andrew Lindsay, Co-Chair, Communications and Media Relations Committee ~ (514) 258-8007

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