York alumnae celebrated as changemakers

gold and red stars

Three York alumnae are among a list of 50 Canadian business people, artists, academics and activists recognized as emerging leaders in their pursuit to make the world a better place. Published in The Globe and Mail, the 2023 Changemakers list showcases those who endeavor to inspire and revolutionize their fields of expertise.

The three York alumnae highlighted in this year’s Changemakers list are: Shukri Abdulle (BBA ’18), scrum master and productivity manager at Bimbo Canada (formerly Canada Bread Company); Eva Lau (MBA ’05), co-founder of Two Small Fish venture capital fund; and Teresa Marques (MA ’03), president of the Rideau Hall Foundation.

The women, selected from hundreds of nominations, were evaluated based on their ideas, their accomplishments and their impact.

“The achievements of these York graduates serve as real-world demonstrations of the University community’s positive influence locally and globally,” says Susana Gajic-Bruyea, vice-president advancement. “International Women’s Day 2023 – which coincides with SDG Week Canada – gives us an opportunity to reflect on York’s role as the top-ranked advocate for UN SDG 5 (gender equality) among all Canadian universities.”

About the Changemakers

Shukri Abdulle
Abdulle committed to four years in the leadership training program at Bimbo Canada before she was eventually tasked with studying the bread maker’s production chain and implementing new measures to maximize output. Like many manufacturers in the food processing sector and elsewhere, Bimbo Canada was faced with a significant labour shortage that it is still trying to fill. In the meantime, however, Abdulle saw an opportunity to automate the sorting line with a new gantry that, according to her profile in The Globe and Mail, will save the company $2.3 million per year and allow human employees to focus on more complex roles.

Eva Lau
Lau belongs to a small yet ever-expanding cohort of women directing venture capital funds in Canada. After departing from an executive position at Wattpad, Lau co-founded her firm Two Small Fish. In her profile, Lau told The Globe and Mail that her experience as an entrepreneur arms her with a unique insight that gives her an advantage over other investors. Two Small Fish recently ended a $24-million round of funding.

Teresa Marques
Marques sits at the helm of the storied Rideau Hall Foundation, but under her leadership the historic non-profit remains at the leading edge of fundraising and sponsorship innovation. Some of her achievements include garnering $100 million in donations, $45 million of which was reserved for Indigenous teachers; building “Catapult,” a new skills-training program; and establishing the Queen Elizabeth Scholars program in conjunction with Canadian universities.

To learn more about The Globe and Mail’s 2023 Changemakers, click here.