The 2017 Women’s Transformative Leadership Forum – Toronto Empowerment by Improving Participation and Representation

Event Details

Jun 22, 2017

8:00AM - 4:00PM

Toronto, ON

$245 CAD

Register Now

For questions about this event, please call 1-800-308-1700

The Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute & Lexpert are pleased to announce the 2017 Women’s Transformative Leadership Forum: Empowerment by Improving Participation and Representation on June 22, 2017 in Toronto. Coinciding with a year-long commitment to advancing women’s representative leadership in the law, this highlight program will address the various challenges affecting rising female stars and women’s leadership opportunities in some of Canada’s most prestigious organizations. We will offer a blend of keynote plenaries and robust panel discussions that address enterprise level change and individual transformation as delivered by some of the most powerful women in law, business, government, and academia.

REGISTER ONLINE today—and bring a colleague.



Why You Should Attend

  • As one of the world’s most ethical companies, Thomson Reuters considers this event both an honor and ethical obligation to connect passionate advocates with rising stars and key power brokers from across all industries and sectors. We are creating a summit that young professionals and distinguished luminaries can use to advance their careers and help improve women’s leadership opportunities for current and future generations.
  • This conference is uniquely positioned to address the difficult or otherwise unspoken issues often ignored at similarly themed events on gender and the workplace.
  • Our focus is on ascendant women’s leadership—as opposed to diversity—within the corporate and law firm setting. We are concerned with how young women leaders ascend professionally with the aid—or despite the actions of—male and female colleagues.
  • We focus not simply on individual transformative measures, but enterprise-level change as well.
  • Few conferences match the caliber of our faculty or robust media coverage afforded by Thomson Reuters. We will showcase rising female stars and men who “get it” in some of Canada's most progressive organizations.
  • Delegates can expect to participate in discussions and gain practical tips on how to truly move the needle on gender inequality.

    Who Should Attend

  • Mid-level (male & female) corporate professionals interested in the issue of transformative leadership
  • Junior partners or senior associates at law firms; law firm executive committee members
  • Corporate Counsel
  • Chief Executive Officers
  • Chief Human Resources Officers/Talent/Diversity Officers
  • Corporate Directors & Board Members
  • Event Co-Chairs

    Bindu Dhaliwal

    Associate General Counsel & Director, Environmental, Social and Governance, BMO Financial Group

    View Faculty Page
    Shanin Lott

    Managing Director, Talent & Professional Resources, Stikeman Elliott LLP

    View Faculty Page

    Event Details

    Thursday, Jun 22

    8:00 AM
    Registration & Breakfast
    9:00 AM
    Opening Remarks

    Charlotte Rushton, Managing Director, US Large Law Firms, Thomson Reuters

    9:15 AM
    In August Company: Advancing Women’s Leadership on the Bench

    Opportunities for women on the judicial bench are few and far between. Although progress has been made toward more equal representation, women continue to occupy approximately 33% of all judiciary appointments in Canada and the United States of America. This opening discussion examines the state of female representation on the bench. Our distinguished panel will share personal narratives and strategic insights into opening more pathways for women to ascend.

    Sandra Barton, Partner, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP

    The Honourable Justice Sandra Bacchus, Ontario Court of Justice
    The Honourable Justice Kimberley A. Crosbie
    , Ontario Court of Justice
    The Honourable Justice Kathryn N. Feldman, Court of Appeal for Ontario
    The Honourable Justice Susan E. Lang, Court of Appeal for Ontario (retired)

    10:15 AM
    Morning Break
    10:30 AM
    Tales from the Front: Lessons on How to Lead

    This discussion will showcase some of the most powerful leaders from across the country’s top organizations. Our presenters will share personal thoughts on the challenges they’ve encountered while advancing their careers. They will also offer insights on the ways they continue to encourage the advancement of women working for them and the many leadership lessons learned in the roles they’ve held.

    Sumeet (Sonu) Dhanju-Dhillon, Partner, Torkin Manes LLP

    Kenneth J. Fredeen, General Counsel & Secretary to the Board, Deloitte LLP
    Katherine L. Kay, Partner, Stikeman Elliott LLP
    Kikelomo Lawal, Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation
    Caroline Tsai, Deputy General Counsel & Chief Regulatory Officer, BMO Financial Group

    11:45 AM
    Lessons Learned from Other Industries: Ten Innovative and Effective Ways to Attract, Advance & Retain Women

    Current solutions to close the gender gap in the legal industry, such as affinity groups and part-time policies, have done little to move the needle forward. Other industries have a similar challenge, and many of them have embarked on new and innovative ways to create gender parity.  Join us for this lively and engaging presentation to learn about ten of these unique efforts and how we can learn and benefit from them.

    Bindu Dhaliwal, Associate General Counsel & Director, Environmental, Social & Governance, BMO Financial Group

    12:15 PM
    Networking Luncheon
    1:15 PM
    The Long and Winding Road: Developing a Career Toolkit

    This session will discuss key factors needed to develop and follow your career plan. Changes in the legal profession, the global economy and the changing political climate have created new challenges and opportunities for women.  Hear how you can leverage where you are to get to where you need to be.              

    Aracely Muñoz, Special Counsel, Center for Reproductive Rights

    1:45 PM
    Should I Stay or Should I Go?: How In-House Counsel Are Zigzagging To the Top

    Have you ever thought about a move from a law firm or in-house position to a role as a management leader in business? This panel engages senior  lawyers who have made the move successfully. Key questions for consideration include:

    • How do lawyers transition from traditional legal practice to the business world?
    • Which skills are easily transferable and where are the learning curves?
    • Where are the opportunities for lawyers looking to move to a business role and how do they identify options for themselves?
    • How are our numbers looking?

    Shanin Lott, Managing Director, Talent & Professional Resources, Stikeman Elliott LLP

    Terrie-Lynne Devonish, Chief Compliance Officer, North America, AON Corporation
    Christina Ongoma, Principal Investment Officer, Financial Institutions, Capital Markets, International Finance Corporation ‎
    Anne Sonnen, Vice President, Chief Compliance and Chief Risk Officer, Capital One Canada

    2:45 PM
    Afternoon Break
    3:00 PM
    A Seat at the Table: Defining Strategic Leadership for Women on Boards

    A June 2016 report commissioned by the government of Ontario concluded that Canada remains well behind other developed nations when it comes to female representation on corporate boards. Indeed, despite seeing more women than men graduate annually from university, Canada accounts for just over 20% of board members nationwide, compared to 35% in Norway, 30% in France, 29% in Sweden and 23% in the United Kingdom. This session explores various solutions toward helping curtail such rampant gender disparity. Leveraging their formidable personal experience, our accomplished panel offers valuable advice for anyone aspiring toward the corporate directorship.

    Liz Watson, President & Chief Executive Officer, WATSON Inc.

    Professor Anita Anand, J.R. Kimber Chair in Investor Protection and Corporate Governance; Professor of Law & Academic Director, Centre for the Legal Profession and Program on Ethics in Law and Business, University of Toronto Faculty of Law
    Priya Patil, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Owner, Brahma Advisors
    Deborah Rosati, Corporate Director, Sears Canada; Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Women Get on Board

    4:00 PM
    Closing Remarks
    Anita Anand

    J.R. Kimber Chair in Investor Protection & Corporate Governance, University of Toronto Law School

    View Faculty Page
    Priya Patil

    Chief Executive Officer & Co-Owner, Brahma Advisors

    View Faculty Page
    Deborah Rosati

    Corporate Director & Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Women Get on Board

    View Faculty Page


    Arcadian Court

    401 Bay St., 8th Floor
    Toronto, ON
    M5H 2Y4, Canada

    Originally opened in 1929, the Arcadian Court has a deep and rich history as a Toronto institution. It has hosted many monumental events including Toronto’s first auto show; the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s first radio broadcasts; performances by entertainment legends such as Liberace; and Sotheby’s first auction outside of Britain, to name just a few.

    Sponsors of This Event