Strong participation from some of Canada’s top women executives highlights importance of normalizing gender diversity in leadership roles

Over the next month, eighteen students will be paired with CEOs from some of Canada’s leading organizations as part of a unique job shadowing program designed to provide an in-depth look at what it takes to lead a major organization in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing environment.

Developed by global executive search firm Odgers Berndtson, the CEOx1Day program is designed to uncover and develop Canada’s future leaders, matching students with top CEOs from organizations including Kellogg’s, PayPal Canada, Cossette, Vancity, Alberta Innovates and Amnesty International Canada. Participating CEOs in 2018 include 10 of Canada’s leading women executives, reflecting the importance of promoting gender diversity in leadership roles.

“Odgers Berndtson actively supports diversity and inclusion which is why we wanted to ensure gender parity with this year’s CEOx1Day leaders,” said Jane Griffith, a Partner and National Diversity Leader at Odgers Berndtson. “We believe it’s not only important to celebrate female leadership, but also to normalize it for the younger generations coming into the workforce. We want them to see that being a leader is about the ability to lead and make an impact, not about gender.”

CEOx1Day finalists come from across the country and include students from 13 universities. They have been paired with presidents and CEOs from industries that range from retail and technology, to financial services, manufacturing and not-for-profit, providing an extraordinary range of unique experiences. To follow their experiences, check out CEOx1Day on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and use the hashtag #CEOx1Day.

What it takes to be a CEOx1Day

To evaluate their leadership potential, students underwent a rigorous selection process that began last October and included an online leadership assessment by Hogan Assessments, as well as telephone interviews with Odgers Berndtson recruiters. The selection process culminated with a half-day evaluation conducted by Odgers Berndtson and its partner, McKinsey & Company, where students went through a series of exercises and workshops to assess their interpersonal and communication skills, teamwork, problem solving abilities and resilience.

Participating CEOs and student finalists include:

Toronto 

RIA BHARADWAJ
University: University of Waterloo
Hometown: Brampton, Ontario
Matched with: Carol Stewart, Kellogg Canada Inc.

GABRIELLE FOSS
University: Western University
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Matched with: Lisa Kimmel, Edelman Canada

KARA KRISTOF
University: University of Windsor
Hometown: Windsor, Ontario
Matched with: Debra Kerby, Canadian Feed The Children

VANESSA LIN
University: Queen's University
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Matched with: John Ferguson, Purolator

OLIVIA POULIN
University: Brock University
Hometown: Niagara Falls, Ontario
Matched with: Paul Parisi, PayPal Canada

ANIRUDH PURI
University: University of Waterloo
Hometown: Kitchener, Ontario
Matched with: Frederic Landtmeters, Molson Coors Canada

JOSH REDING
University: Western University
Hometown: Chatham, Ontario
Matched with: Pat D’Eramo, Martinrea International

Montreal & Quebec 

DIEGO GARCIA
University: Laval University
Hometown: Quebec City, Quebec
Matched with: Nathalie Tremblay, Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec

LUCREZIA SCIASCIA
University: Concordia University
Hometown: Brossard, Quebec
Matched with: Melanie Dunn, Cossette

Calgary & Edmonton

MANSI CALAPATTI
University: University of Calgary
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Matched with: Elana Rosenfeld, Kicking Horse Coffee

AKASH GUPTA
University: University of Alberta
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta
Matched with: Laura Kilcrease, Alberta Innovates

CALEB PEARSON
University: University of Alberta
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta
Matched with: Ken Keelor, Calgary Co-operative Association Limited

Vancouver

RILEY HUNT
University: University of Victoria
Hometown: Revelstoke, British Columbia
Matched with: Stephen Cornish, David Suzuki Foundation

GRACE JIN
University: University of British Columbia
Hometown: Burnaby, British Columbia
Matched with: Jeff More, MineSense Technologies Ltd.

GURJODH MAHAL
University: Simon Fraser University
Hometown: Surrey, British Columbia
Matched with: Tamara Vrooman, Vancity

Ottawa

PETER GOTT
University: Carleton University
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Matched with: Jayne Stoyles, Amnesty International Canada

KAYLA MADUK
University: Carleton University
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Matched with: Tom Anselmi, Ottawa Senators

ZAMEER MASJEDEE
University: Carleton University
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Matched with: Leah Lawrence, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)

The success of CEOx1Day is made possible by Odgers Berndtson’s supportive partners, including McKinsey & Company, Hogan Assessments, the Globe & Mail and TalentEgg.

To date, more than 1,000 students and CEOs have participated in the firm’s unique CEOx1Day initiative worldwide. Additional information can be found at www.ceox1day.ca.

Pictured above: CEO & Co-President Christiane Germain of Groupe Germain Hotels and student Alexandra Mailloux-Rheaume in 2017.

This article was originally published by Odgers Berndtson on CNW - Canada News Wire.

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