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Powerful women of 2012

Faculty of Medicine Dean Catharine Whiteside led a week-long delegation recently to Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, aimed at helping China build a more efficient primary care system (photo by Lloyd Rang)

They are entrepreneurs, business executives, lawyers, public servants, trailblazers and trendsetters.

Now they are also Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women for 2012, according to the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) – a roster which this year includes 20 University of Toronto alumnae, supporters and faculty.

Professor Catharine Whiteside, the first female Dean of U of T’s Faculty of Medicine is one of the leaders named to the list, which recognizes the professional achievements of women from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors across the country.

“It’s a huge honour to be recognized alongside women who have had such an extraordinary impact in their fields,” said Whiteside, who is also the Faculty’s Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions. “I hope this recognition will inspire other women to seek challenging professional roles in which they can reach their potential and make a difference in the world.”

Co-presented by Scotiabank and KPMG, the WXN Top 100 acknowledges women in several award categories. Whiteside, who has been Dean of U of T’s Faculty of Medicine since 2005, was honoured in the category of Public Sector Leaders, along with alumna Bonnie Adamson, president and chief executive officer of London Health Sciences Centre, and alumna Anne Sado, president of George Brown College.

U of T alumnae honoured in the Professionals category include: Linda Bertoldi, senior partner Borden, Ladner, Gervais LLP; Lisa Kimmel, general manager, Edelman Public Relations; Shannon MacDonald, managing partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP; Rosemary McCarney, president and chief executive officer, Plan Canada.

Corporate leaders included alumna Judy Goldring, executive vice-president and chief operating officer, AGF Management Ltd., alumna Mary Ann Turcke, executive vice-president, Bell Canada and alumna Maureen Kempston Darkes, corporate director. Alumna Bailey Vaez, founder and president of Proactive Movement, was recognized in the Future Leader category while longtime U of T supporter Heather Reisman, chief executive officer and founder, Indigo Books & Music Inc. was recognized in the Entrepreneur category. Alumna Kevin Garland, executive director of The National Ballet of Canada was honoured for Arts & Communications.

The Trailblazers & Trendsetters category included alumnae such as Noella Milne, senior partner, Borden Ladner, Gervais LLP and Professor Janice Lynn Ristock, vice-provost (academic affairs) University of Manitoba, as well as U of T supporters Ilse Treurnicht, chief executive officer of MaRS Discovery District and Catherine Swift, chair, Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

The Champions category included: former Assistant Dean, Faculty of Management Jane Allen, who is now with Deloitte Touche LLP; alumna Melanie Aitken, former commissioner of competition, Competition Bureau; and alumna Lynn Posluns, founder and president, Women’s Brain Health Initiative and managing director Cedarpoint Investments Inc.

“On behalf of the WXN community of 18,000 women, we congratulate each of this year’s winners who we honour as part of the 10th year of the Top 100 Awards,” said Pamela Jeffery, Founder,  Women’s Executive Network. “This is an extraordinary group of female leaders who join our community, and they truly embody the qualities WXN strives to recognize; they are dynamic, inspiring and engaging leaders blazing new trails for the next generation.”

Top 100 award winners were celebrated Dec. 5 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto during a leadership summit of more than 400 women attendees.

A complete list of 2012 WXN Top 100 awardees can be found here