Women for Women

Providing an open forum to network, communicate and educate for nearly 25 years.

Since 1995...

For over 24 years, Crowe Soberman, one of Canada’s largest accounting and advisory firms, has been hosting Women for Women, an annual event that serves as a vehicle to bring the important women’s issues to the forefront. Crowe Soberman doesn’t just talk the talk. Our support of the advancement of women leaders can also be seen in the makeup of our firm, where our Chief Operating Officer and over one-third of our partners are women, statistics that are unheard of in public accounting firms.

Women for Women is comprised of the female professionals at Crowe Soberman and was founded in 1995 as a vehicle for providing them an open forum to network, communicate and educate one another.

Over the years, we have been fortunate to attract outstanding speakers as well as be involved with a number of initiatives and events as attendees. 

 
The Art of Smart Decisions


Speakers:

  • Jennifer Harper is the founder of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics. In addition to Cheekbone’s mission of creating a socially-conscious, made-in-Canada brand produced without animal testing, she personally strives to educate Canadians about the Residential School System and the effects it has had on families through decades of generational trauma. She is a regular speaker on to social entrepreneurship, empathy and First Nations' history.
  • Huda Idrees is the Founder and CEO of Dot Health, a real-time personal health data platform. She has been recognized amongst the Top 5 CEOs in Toronto Life, a Top 25 Women of Influence in 2017, and named Top 30 under 30 by the Bay Street Bull in 2018. With a prolific career at some of Toronto's best known startups including Wattpad, Wave, and Wealthsimple, her latest venture is transforming the way people access and control their own health information for good.
  • Sarah Juma is a serial entrepreneur and champion for diversity and inclusion. While developing StyleID, a mobile app that identifies items worn and seen on screen, she discovered a severe lack of programs, mentors and supports that took into account her unique perspective as a woman of color. In true entrepreneurial fashion, Sarah founded Innovate Inclusion to advocate for the economic success of tech talent and entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities.
  • Ify Chiwetelu hosts Now or Never, heard nationally Saturdays on CBC Radio One. A Nigerian-born, former Calgarian, Ify quit a job in the energy sector to pursue her creativity. In doing so, Ify charted her own path to form a career as a stand-up comic, improv performer, and comedy writer. She was a contributing writer for season two of CBC's hit television show, Baroness Von Sketch Show. Ify will act as the moderator for this event.
Lead Like a Girl: Empowering Risk

Speakers

  • Nasha Nijhawan graduated from Dalhousie Law School, where she was awarded the Muriel Duckworth Award for raising consciousness of feminism in the legal community. After opening her own firm in Halifax, her first case was a historical legal challenge to the Prince Edward Island government's policy not to provide abortions on the Island. The challenge pushed the government to acknowledge that their policy was unconstitutional and to open a women's wellness clinic in January 2017 where abortions were performed for the first time in the province since 1982.
  • Larisa Yurkiw was dropped from Canada’s national ski racing team, despite being the reigning national downhill champion. Discouraged but undeterred, she mounted her own program — Team Larisa – in an attempt to keep her five-ringed aspirations alive. Not only was she able to make it to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, but just two years later, she climbed from being ranked 77th in the world to 3rd. Larisa's brave new business model has paved the way for others.
  • Ginella Massa became Canada's first hijab-wearing television news reporter in January 2015. She made history again in 2016 when she filled in as the late anchor on CityNews Toronto, making her the first woman in hijab to ever anchor a major newscast in Canada.  Ginella has worked both behind-the-scenes and on-air for local and national Canadian news outlets since 2010, including CityNews, CTV,  NEWSTALK 1010, and Rogers Television.
The Ripple Effect: Investing in Women in STEM

Our STEMtalk Speakers

Imogen Coe  is the Dean of the Faculty of Science and a professor of biology at Ryerson University. She is also an affiliated scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, Keenan Research Centre at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada. She is an accomplished researcher who is internationally recognized for her research on the cell biology and biochemistry of drug transport proteins.

She is also a vocal advocate for equity, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) in STEM and is recognized internationally for her work in this field. She is a sought-after speaker on the issue of EDI in STEM, locally and nationally, in diverse venues, such as TEDx and she also writes on the topic in a variety of outlets including the Huffington Post.  She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Michael Garron Hospital (formerly TEGH), the Girls in STEM Executive Advisory Board (an initiative of FIRST Robotics Canada) and a member of the International Women's Forum.

Eugenia Duodu is an award-winning chemist, who holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Toronto. Her research was focused on the development of detection tools for diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's.

As CEO of Visions of Science, she leads a team of passionate and talented colleagues whose focus is to provide engaging programs and opportunities for youth who are traditionally under-represented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Her goal is to help make a long-lasting positive impact in communities through STEM engagement and in-turn allow youth to unlock their potential. 

Eden Hennessey is a data-driven artist and PhD Candidate in Social Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University working with Dr. Mindi Foster. Eden's current research examines the costs of confronting sexism in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  Her popular photo-research exhibits (#DistractinglySexist & #DistractinglyHonest) are internationally recognized, and present her dissertation work using a unique and thought-provoking visual medium. Eden continues to be inspired by her work with the Laurier Centre for Women in Science (WinS); a research centre that builds a strong community for women in science through research, communication, and action.

More Women for Women Events
  • Balance Your Life and Increase Your Bottom Line, Linda Lundström
  • Does a Woman’s Economic Independence Give Her Real Power? A Comparative Cultural View, Gillian Gillison, University of Toronto
  • The Circuitous Path to the Boardroom… and What to do When You Get There, Nancy Lockhart, CAO, Frum Development Group
  • Thriving on Chaos: Victoria Sopik, President and CEO of Kids & Company
  • What Was a Nice Girl Like Me Doing in Politics?, Hon. Elinor Caplan
  • The Good, The Bad, and the Not So Pretty: A real look at female entrepreneurship. Featuring Jane Cayley, Founder, Jane Cayley & Associates Ltd.; Cynthia Richards, President, Event Spectum Inc.; and Andrea Clair, President, Wink Intimates & Creator of the 9to5 bra
  • Are You Leaning In? A panel discussion with Clare Beckton, Robin Taub, Pamela Jeffery and moderated by Kim Geddes
Women's Empowerment Principles

In 2016, I was very fortunate to attend the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles Annual Event in New York City.  This conference brought together 400 leaders from business, government, not for profit and the UN; I was the only business delegate from Canada, and will forever be enriched by the experience.

The business case for the commitment for gender equality has been conclusively proven; ensuring that women have access to economic opportunity leads to stronger and more just societies and more profitable businesses.  The seven Women’s Empowerment Principles (“WEPS”) set out a framework for action with respect to advancing this business case.  Going beyond setting out the issues, the WEPs require the CEOs of businesses to become signatories to the principles, and to commit to bringing them to life with specific action plans in the organizations they lead.

Jerry Cukier, as Crowe Soberman’s Managing Partner, was the first leader of an independent public accounting firm in Canada to commit to the WEPs by becoming a signatory to the WEPs in 2014. The firm’s ongoing activities and strategies actively support the seven principles.  Crowe Soberman has taken a leadership position within the Crowe Global Network, with several of the other member firms coming forward to become signatories to the WEPs. The principles are:

1. Establish high-level leadership for gender equality.

2. Treat all women and men fairly at work; respect and support human rights and non-discrimination.

3. Ensure the health and safety and well-being of all women and men workers.

4. Promote education, training and professional development for women.

5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.

6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy.

7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.

Crowe Soberman has a higher percentage of women partners and senior leaders than any other firm in our market.  We have consciously created opportunities for women professionals to excel and advance, while demonstrating a commitment to social issues that are important to them and their communities.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the 2015 conference and highlighted the economic importance of moving these principles forward. Crowe Soberman’s commitment to the WEPs will continue to enrich all members of our firm.  I challenge other Canadian business leaders: visit the site here and consider becoming a signatory to this crucial initiative. Or contact me and we can discuss how we can make a difference together.

- Susan Hodkinson

Recently we asked a few of our professionals and some very special guests what we can do to create a bolder, more inclusive world for ourselves and our daughters.