The second annual Calgary Influential Women in Business Awards will be presented Wednesday during a virtual gala event. The CIWB awards aim to recognize local business leaders who are doing their part to advance women and diverse professionals in Calgary. The awards are the brainchild of Axis Connects, a Calgary non-profit that was established to connect, collaborate, champion and provide career development resources for women.
Honourees are chosen based on their professional accomplishments, influence and business community involvement.
“All of these recipients have demonstrated their commitment to advancing women, either through programs they’re doing personally or within their organizations, or they’re helping to advance women through other means,” said Heather Culbert, Axis Connects board chair.
This year’s winner in the “lifetime achievement” category is former University of Calgary president Elizabeth Cannon. Cannon has received more than 80 awards and five honorary degrees throughout her career, and also sits on a number of non-profit and corporate boards, often serving as a mentor in female-founded companies.
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In an interview, Cannon said the honour has made her reflect on the many people who helped her along her own career path. She said she hopes the CIWB program will inspire other women to get involved in the community and feel confident they can make a difference.
“The data shows we still have a long way to go in terms of women’s representation in leadership roles,” Cannon said. “To recognize not only women who have provided leadership in our community, but men who have been champions of women in our community . . . signals to young women and men the impact that women have made, and that women can make on our city.”
Other recipients of this year’s CIWB awards include Melinda Park (partner, securities and capital markets, and past-chair, Borden Ladner Gervais) in the “professional services” category; Denise Man (chief technology officer, ATB Financial) in the “large enterprise” category; Alice Reimer (CEO of Fillip and site lead of Creative Destruction Lab-Rockies) in the “small and medium enterprise” category; Salima Stanley-Bhanji (CEO, Humainologie) in the “social enterprise” category; and Jim Davidson (co-founder, First Energy Capital and board member, ATB Financial and Topaz Energy) in the “male champion” category.
The honourees will be recognized at a virtual, live-streamed event on Wednesday, June 16. For more information about the Calgary Influential Women in Business Awards and to find out how to view the awards gala, visit: https://ciwbawards.com/