Five prominent businesswomen appointed to key leadership roles in Canada

five businesswomen

Canada’s business community has been abuzz in recent weeks following the announcement of several noteworthy job appointments, all filled by some pretty remarkable women.

These high-profile changes have sparked an outpouring of excitement and support, praising the shift towards greater gender diversity in leadership roles. 

There is nothing we love more at The Honest Talk than celebrating women’s success, and this moment presents a perfect opportunity to highlight and celebrate these remarkable career milestones! 

Marjolaine Hudon, President of RBC for the province of Quebec 

Earlier this week, Marjolaine Hudon shared on her LinkedIn that she was moving from Regional President, Ontario North & East at RBC to RBC’s President for the province of Quebec. 

“It’s been a true honour to build strong relationships with so many colleagues, clients, and leaders in the community throughout Ottawa and the Valley, Eastern Ontario, Durham, Barrie, [Muskoka], and the North,” she wrote, noting the six years she served in the role. 

Hudon, who is originally from Montreal, says the move is a bit of a homecoming for her, which makes the announcement even more special. 

“I am so proud of the team and the impact we’ve had together. From the bottom of my heart, a huge thank you to these talented and caring individuals,” she said.

Mitzie Hunter, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation

Mitzie Hunter brings an impressive 30 years of diverse experience to her new role as President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, the country’s public foundation for gender justice and equality.

The first Black woman to serve as Ontario’s Minister of Education, Hunter also brings an array of board leadership and advocacy experience to the role, having founded The Prosperity Project and having served as Chief Administrative Officer of Toronto Community Housing Corporation and head of CivicAction.

“Our goal must be nothing less than a gender-equal Canada,” she said. “I invite everybody to join me in this changemaking community so every woman, girl, and gender-diverse person gets the power, safety, support, and rights to thrive, today and tomorrow.”

Michelle Okere, Executive Director of the Indigenous Prosperity Foundation

After an extensive search, the Indigenous Prosperity Foundation has officially named Michelle Okere as its first Executive Director. 

In an organization designed to help provide digital access, training, mentorship, and funding to Indigenous women, youth, and underserved entrepreneurs across Canada, Okere’s own entrepreneurial background and leadership skills will help the IPF establish its strategic vision and programming. 

“Grounded in Indigenous values and my Métis-Cree heritage, I am honoured to be the first Executive Director of the Indigenous Prosperity Foundation,” said Okere. “I look forward to bringing my entrepreneurial and leadership skills to help grow IPF’s social and economic impact. I am excited to start building relationships, fostering trust, and engaging with stakeholders.”

Susan Hawkins, President and CEO of Payments Canada 

Beginning in August 2024, Susan Hawkins will take over leadership at Payments Canada, the organization responsible for the country’s payment system. 

Hawkins brings a diverse financial background to the role, having worked as the Global Head of Enterprise Payments and Executive Vice President of U.S. Payments at TD Bank Group, as well as having held executive roles with Fidelity Global Information Services and Metavante Payment Solutions. 

“I look forward to leading the Payments Canada team and working collaboratively with our members and stakeholders to continue to build on the momentum of Canada’s payment innovation journey,” said Hawkins. “I am excited to support Payments Canada to build the future of payments for Canada in partnership with the payment ecosystem.”

Sonya Shorey, President and CEO of Invest Ottawa 

With over 25 years of leadership experience in the tech scene and an exhaustive list of achievements to her name, it was with vigour and enthusiasm that Invest Ottawa announced Sonya Shorey as its new President and CEO — the first woman to hold the role. 

Shorey helped launch several successful programs while working as the company’s Vice President of Strategy, Marketing, and Communications, including the Pan-Ontario Scale-Up Platform, Bayview Yards, and Area X.O.

“I am honoured to serve as the President and CEO and am deeply committed to fuelling and fulfilling Ottawa’s economic potential, competitive advantage, and impact,” said Shorey. “I am excited to collaborate with our team, clients, funders, and partners and help founders and companies across our region to pursue big dreams, solve big challenges, and win globally.”