Leadership Excellence Awards

WCT Celebrates: Sparks of Change 2021

We're excited to announce WCT Celebrates: Sparks of Change, a leadership excellence event series presented by Microsoft. Seven webinars throughout the month of March will be a chance for you to meet and engage with the recipients of our 2020 Annual Leadership Excellence Awards. Having to cancel our 2020 Annual Leadership Excellence Awards Gala meant finding a new way to applaud the honourees. We are proud to expand the celebration of award recipients to more people in more locations. WCT Celebrates: Sparks of Change lets you access the wisdom of our winners, wherever you are.

Webinars will explore topics represented by the award categories, like mentorship, gender equity, innovation, and male allyship, and fireside chats with our Woman of the Year and Company of the Year winners. Moderated by prominent women in our field, each event will be a stimulating conversation about the questions that unite us.

Virtual event series schedule:

March 4, 12pm EST: Chameli Naraine, CEO, Symcor (2020 Company of the Year) and Kevin Peesker, President, Microsoft Canada, in conversation.

March 4, 2pm EST: Sarah Paquet, Director & CEO, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (2020 Public Sector Champion-Government), Dr. Wendy Cukier, Founder & Director, Diversity Institute, Ryerson University (2020 Public Sector Champion-Academic), and Anuja Sheth, VP, Business Networks and Bell TV, Bell (2019 Trailblazer), moderated by Lisa Carroll, Canadian Public Sector Leader, Microsoft Canada.

March 11, 12pm EST: Francoise Gagnon, CEO, ADGA Group Consultants Inc. (2020 Trailblazer), Sonia Brar, VP, Customer Operations Strategy, Design & Delivery, Bell (2020 Innovator), and Sherry Vanstone, Founder, President & CEO, Profound Impact (2020 Entrepreneur), moderated by Carole Santerre, VP, Network Reliability & Service Assurance, Shaw Communications. (Sponsored by Shaw Communications.)

March 11, 2pm EST: Victoria Pelletier, VP & Senior Partner, North American Talent & Transformation Leader, IBM (2020 Mentor) and Caroline Gayle, Managing Director, Accenture (2019 Mentor), moderated by Cheryl Fullerton, EVP, People & Communications, Corus Entertainment (2020 WCT Leader).

March 17, 12pm EST: Xerxes Cooper, General Manager, Global Technology Services, IBM Canada (2020 Diversity Champion) and Dr. Andrew Rau-Chaplin, Dean, Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University (2019 Diversity Champion), moderated by Suzanne Gagliese, VP, One Commercial Partner, Microsoft.

March 17, 2pm EST: Eilidh Lindsay-Sinclair, Director, Marketing, CloudKettle (2020 Rising Star), Fatima Sarah Khalid, Developer Programs Engineer, Pantheon Platform (2018 Rising Star), Valerie Song, CEO, AVA & Kids Code Jeunesse Volunteer and Kate Arthur, CEO & Founder, Kids Code Jeunesse (2020 Empowerment).

March 25, 2pm EST: Sabrina Geremia, VP and Country Director, Google Canada (2020 Woman of the Year) and Rola Dagher, Global Channel Chief, Dell Technologies (2019 Woman of the Year) (2020 Woman of the Year) in conversation.

Don't miss this opportunity to dive deeper into timely topics and winners' experiences!


Register now!

Presenting Sponsor:

Award Sponsor:

With ongoing support from Women and Gender Equality Canada.

Event Supporters

The Awards

Woman of the Year Award

This award is the highest individual honour bestowed by WCT.  It is presented to a woman executive who has made a significant contribution to the digital industries - broadcasting, telecommunications and technology - while also making a major contribution to the advancement of all women.  This award recognizes extraordinary leaders and visionaries who have made a material difference to the roles women play and their influence in the digital economy.  Nominations for this award must highlight the nominee's contribution to her industry and to the overall advancement of women.

Company of the Year Award

Every year, WCT recognizes a leading company in the digital sector that has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the advancement of women and achieved measurable results in creating more diverse and inclusive workplaces.  Company of the Year award winners are leaders in investing in diversity and inclusion.  Their consistent use of best practices to create greater opportunities and better workplaces for women distinguish them as role models and leaders in the Canadian economy.

WCT Leadership Excellence Awards

The Leadership Excellence awards celebrate individuals of achievement who have distinguished themselves in any sector of the communications and technology industries. 


This award recognizes the contributions of men in advancing women's engagement and leadership in the digital economy. These recipients demonstrate their belief that diverse organizations are better run, more successful and more innovative than homogeneous ones through personal action and advocacy.  They are active sponsors, mentors and promoters of gender equality.  Within their organizations they set policy and processes to maximize the contributions and influence of women in their workforce and across the whole Canadian economy. 


This award is for engaging girls in STEM recognizes an individual, program, organization or company that demonstrates success in empowering girls to continue their participation and education in STEM. It salutes an organization or program that has demonstrated leadership in inspiring girls to enter STEM and developing best practices as role models for girls in STEM.


They have the courage to go it alone, as a start-up or a woman-led business. Recipients of the award for Entrepreneur have blazed new trails or built the equivalent of a better mousetrap in technology, communications, broadcasting, social media or gaming. They’ve broken away from the pack to find their own version of success, contributing to our industry in new and definitive ways.


For Mentor award recipients, guiding and helping to develop women leaders in the tech and communications sectors is a fundamental responsibility. Nominees may be involved in industry-wide initiatives, or helping younger women bolster their careers at their own workplaces. Some mentors are natural, informal guides and coaches, always ready to listen and advise. Others are in more structured mentoring arrangements, working with selected candidates, helping develop programs, or getting their employer to support more mentorship programs, especially for women. This category is open to both women and men.


Preparing the industry’s next generation of leaders is a key tenet of WCT. This award is presented to a young person whose talent and leadership abilities are evident early in their career. They are quick off the mark and setting a new pace, influencing thought and charting new directions in tech/communications industries and organizations. 


Trailblazers create their own career path in sectors, disciplines or professions where women are absent or under-represented. Their pathways to success have demanded a strong vision and determination that vanquishes isolation and self-doubt to create a place not only for themselves but for other women who will follow.


Recipients of this special category of award have made exceptional contributions to WCT. They may have volunteered their time to help guide and run our organization or championed our mission with potential funders. They may have led and overseen the development of our training and scholarship programs, helping to shape the experience of women who will soon be leading our industries’ most influential companies and organizations.