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Dr. Wendy Cukier named one of Women’s Executive Network 2019 Canada's Most Powerful Women

Top 100 Award Winner
November 22, 2019
women all sitting in rows

Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute founder and professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM), has been named a Women's Executive Network (WXN) 2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner, presented by KPMG.

The list of Top 100 Winners, external link, opens in new window was released at the November 21 gala, paying tribute to the outstanding women across Canada who advocate for diversity in the workforce and inspire the next generation of leaders. Dr. Cukier was recognized as one of the top Public Sector Leaders.

“There are many people in public life who talk the talk and tell us what we want to hear; particularly on challenging issues like diversity and inclusion and immigration and refugees,” said The Honourable Ratna Omidvar, Senator for Ontario. “But, Wendy, more than almost anyone I know, is committed to turning words into action. She is bold and she is fearless and she has contributed a great deal to the lives of many and she has inspired and trained the next generation of advocates.”

“All 110 winners exemplify power not through their standing or abilities, but rather through how they inspire, champion and empower others – which is why it’s very important to recognize and celebrate their great achievements,” said Sherri Stevens, CEO of WXN.

“All 110 winners exemplify power not through their standing or abilities, but rather through how they inspire, champion and empower others – which is why it’s very important to recognize and celebrate their great achievements”

Sherri Stevens, CEO of WXN

Past award winners includes Canada’s most iconic women trailblazers: Margaret Atwood, best-selling author, Dr. Roberta Bondar, astronaut, Arlene Dickinson, chief executive officer, Venture Communications, Christine Magee, president, Sleep Country Canada, Michaëlle Jean, former governor general of Canada, Heather Reisman, founder and CEO, Indigo Books & Music, and Kathleen Taylor, chair of the board, Royal Bank of Canada.

“Long before others, Dr. Cukier challenged conventional wisdom about women in technology and the barriers to success,” said Denise Shortt, Vice President, Industry Development and Diversity and Inclusion at Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC). “She has always been preoccupied with finding alternative pathways for women and other under-represented groups to succeed in ICT and she continues to champion that cause today.  From the development of transformational research strategies to an ongoing commitment to societal improvement, Wendy continues to have major positive impact on cross-disciplinary and collaborative research, innovation and Canada’s position as a global leader.”

“I am pleased to be recognized among some of Canada’s most influential women leaders,” said Cukier. “My colleagues, fellow researchers and the vast network of women innovators, entrepreneurs and changemakers are the ones inspiring and empowering my work in diversity and inclusion. I do not do this alone.”

Dr. Wendy Cukier is one of Canada’s leading experts in disruptive technologies, innovation processes and diversity and is coauthor of the bestseller “Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Java to Jurassic Park.” She leads Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute, which has spearheaded projects to advance diverse women in leadership and played a pivotal role in advancing women and other under-represented groups on boards through Bill C-25: an Act to Amend the Canadian Corporations Act. She leads the newly-announced Women’s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub to create an inclusive innovation ecosystem. She was the academic research lead on the Ryerson led bid for the Future Skills Centre – Centre des Compétences futures (FSC-CCF) with the Conference Board of Canada and Blueprint-ADE and more than 150 academic, community and private sector organizations. Wendy chairs the Board of Women’s College Hospital and is an active volunteer. She is a member of Canada’s Expert Panel on Women Entrepreneurship as well as an expert advisor to the Canada-UK Working Group on the Modern Economy (WGME). Her many awards include a Governor General’s Meritorious Cross, one of Canada’s highest civilian honours, YWCA Woman of Distinction, Black Business Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Diversity Award and a Metropolis Research Award. She was named one of 100 Alumni Who Shaped the Century by the University of Toronto. She has an MA (Toronto) MBA (Toronto) PhD (York) and honorary doctorates from Laval University and Concordia.

The Top 100 Awards span the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, with the initial candidates selected by WXN’s Diversity Council. The final vetting process for the 2019 Top 100 Award Winners was completed by WXN’s 2018-2019 Diversity Champions.


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Kathleen Powderley
Responsible Communications