Awards recognize efforts to advance women in business

HR head among recipients who serve as role models for future leaders: Catalyst

Scotiabank's top HR executive is one of three corporate leaders recognized by Catalyst for their commitment to the promotion of women in business.

Sylvia Chrominska, group head of global human resources and communications at Scotiabank, has been instrumental in championing a diversity and inclusion strategy that has shaped Scotiabank’s ability to attract and retain employees with varied skills, abilities, experiences and backgrounds, according to Catalyst.

She created Scotiabank’s Advancement of Women strategy, which has given many women access to development opportunities, visibility with executives and the opportunity to succeed.

As such, Chrominska is among the first group of Canadian business leaders to receive the Catalyst Canada Honours. The other recipients are Ed Clark, president and CEO at TD Bank Financial Group and Colleen Sidford, vice-president and treasurer at Ontario Power Generation (OPG).

The awards were developed in celebration of Catalyst Canada’s tenth anniversary with the goal of inspiring a robust pipeline of women and men leaders who will champion the advancement of women in Canadian business, said Deborah Gillis, vice-president of North America at Catalyst.

"Ten years ago when Catalyst Canada was founded, women in business had few visible champions. Today, we are particularly pleased to celebrate the exceptional leadership of this year’s honourees who understand that what’s good for women is good for business and whose commitment to supporting women has measurably improved progress within their individual organizations and in the corporate sector," she said.

With the goal of creating visible role models for Canada’s current and future leaders, the awards recognize a company leader, a business leader and a human resources leader whose outstanding leadership has made a critical difference to women’s advancement.

The three categories of honourees reflect the unique and integral roles individual corporate leaders play in championing diversity.

"The business environment today is borderless and hyper-competitive. This reality compels companies to foster business cultures that are barrier-free and where talent and ability are what defines success," said Bill Downe, president an CEO at BMO Financial Group and chair of the Catalyst Canada Honours dinner. "So it is a fact long past debate that all businesses are enhanced by diversity – and gender equity."

During his eight-year tenure as president and CEO, Clark has established diversity as a strategic priority and created a cultural shift within the bank, making it a more inclusive employer of choice. TD now uses focus groups, interviews ad surveys to ensure employees feel included regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, abilities or disabilities.

Sidford has been a champion for women’s advancement both within OPG and in the community. She founded the emPOWERed Women Program, a leadership development and mentoring program designed to help women at OPG with networking, career development and mentoring skills.

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