York conference aims to inspire women to shatter glass ceiling


York’s Schulich School of Business is hosting its first “Women’s Leadership Conference” bringing together some of Canada’s top women executives, academics and business students to examine challenges facing women in their pursuit of leadership roles. The conference is taking place today in the Regency Ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel, 21 Avenue Road in Toronto.

The keynote speaker is Jill Denham (right), vice chair of retail markets, CIBC. Denham oversees financial services to more than 6.1 million retail and 480,000 small business customers in Canada, and to approximately 350,000 retail and commercial customers in the Caribbean. This business generates 23 per cent of CIBC’s revenue and employs more than 20,500 people.

Notable panellists and presenters include:

  • Charlene Arje (York MBA ’83), president, Honeywell Canada
  • Wanda Liczyk, senior VP and chief financial officer, Toronto Hydro
  • Carol Wilding (York BBA ’83), president and chief executive officer, Foster Parents Plan of Canada
  • Heather Campbell, VP information technology, Rogers Communications Inc.
  • Beth Horowitz, president, AMEX Canada
  • Denise Meehan, president, Lick’s Ice Cream and Burger Shops Inc.
  • Louise Cragg (York MBA ’83), former VP information technology, ATI Technologies

Left: Charlene Arje

Right: Wanda Liczyk


Left: Heather Campbell

Right: Beth Horowitz


Left: Denise Meehan

Right: Pat Bradshaw


The conference is organized by Women in Leadership (WIL), a student organization at Schulich dedicated to creating a network for women pursuing a business degree by providing a series of professional, educational and networking events to enhance an understanding and an appreciation of women’s role in business.

“It is fitting that this conference is being held on the eve of International Women’s Day because it recognizes the gains women have made in business and the many challenges we still face in achieving top leadership roles” said Professor Pat Bradshaw, director of Schulich’s MBA program and one of the conference panel moderators.

Kim Alvarez, student conference organizer added, “We are privileged to have many senior women executives share their experiences. This conference will give young women planning to forge a career in business sound advice from women who are redefining the business world.”

The conference is sponsored by Microsoft Canada, TD Bank Financial Group, BMO Financial Group, Rogers Communications Inc., A.T. Kearney Ltd., MediaCom Worldwide/Media Buying Services Limited, DesignRoutes and Four Seasons Hotels.

Check here for full conference details and a list of presenters.