Three consultancy execs named 2018 Catalyst Canada Honours Champions

09 July 2018 4 min. read

PwC’s Bill McFarland, Accenture’s Claudia Thompson, and Stantec’s Erin Davis were named Catalyst Canada Honours Champions this year. The Catalyst awards honour individuals who advance women and inclusive workplaces in Canadian business.

Since 1962, global non-profit Catalyst has been working with business executives to build more inclusive workplaces for women. The organization provides research, tools, and solutions to accelerate and advance women into leadership roles.

Every year, the organization awards its Catalyst Canada Honours awards to individuals who advance women and inclusive workplaces in Canadian business. This year, six executives across the three categories of Company Leaders, Business Leaders, and Emerging Leaders were recognized as Catalyst Champions. Additionally, an International Trailblazer was selected by Catalyst.

Three of the seven honorees were executives from leading consultancies – including PwC, Stantec, and Accenture. Bill McFarland, former CEO and Chief Inclusion Officer at PwC Canada, was selected in the Company Leaders category; Claudia Thompson Managing Director, Health & Public Service, and Inclusion & Diversity Managing Director, Accenture Canada was selected in the Business Leaders category; and Erin Davis Director, Global Talent Engagement, Stantec Consulting was honoured in the Emerging Leaders division.

"We are delighted to honour and celebrate the groundbreaking leadership and contributions of our 2018 Champions," remarked Tanya van Biesen, Executive Director, Canada, Catalyst. "Each one of these individuals has taken bold steps to advance workplace cultures to the point where the same quality of opportunity is available to everyone. In today's economy, it is vital that corporate leaders use all available talent to drive business success. Our Champions understand this, role model their commitment to it, and inspire others to do the same."Three consultancy execs named 2018 Catalyst Canada Honours ChampionsBill McFarland, who recently finished his term as CEO at PwC Canada, leveraged his position as chief executive officer since 2011 to champion the advancement and inclusion of women at the Big Four accounting and consulting firm. Under McFarland, women partner admission in the two largest business units saw significant increases: from 33% to 42% in Assurance, and from 22% to 55% in Tax. McFarland also sponsored the first woman chair of the Partnership Board, and helped change the Board’s bylaws to require at least 30% female representation.

"I am truly honoured to be recognized as a Catalyst Canada Honours Champion,” said McFarland. “Accelerating our progress around diversity and inclusion in the workplace is critical to achieve greater innovation and build a stronger, more progressive society. As business and community leaders, we have the responsibility to lead by demonstrating inclusive behaviours and embracing people with different backgrounds, perspectives, and ideas."

Claudia Thompson is a managing director at management and technology consultancy Accenture in Canada, and heads the firm’s Health and Public Service practice, as well as Inclusion and Diversity. Thompson has overseen a number of diversity initiatives at the firm – including a voluntary employee census – which led to the creation of a cross-cultural and interfaith Employee Resource Group and a Canadian Diversity Council. As the co-head of the latter group, Thompson is driving Accenture Canada towards a goal of greater diversity and inclusion.

"We are very proud of this well-earned recognition for Claudia and her dedicated efforts to promote and support inclusion and diversity throughout Accenture's Canadian operations," said Bill Morris, senior managing director and Accenture Canada president. "Claudia exemplifies what it means to be a leader and is a strong role model, not only for our 1748 women across Canada, but for all Accenture employees."

Erin Davis, Director of Global Talent Engagement at design and engineering consultancy Stantec, was another award recipient. Davis helped develop Women@Stantec, the first formal employee resource group (ERG) at the firm, and is working to create 35 other ERGs. Davis helped Women@Stantec create a successful strategic business plan, and is using it as a blueprint for the other ERGs. Davis is also a founding member of Works for Women, an Alberta group that advances women’s roles in the workplace by sparking dialogue, building awareness, and inspiring action.

The other Catalyst Canada Honours Champions in 2018 were: (Company Leader) Aneela Zaib, Founder & CEO, emergiTEL; (Business Leader) Simon Fish, General Counsel, BMO Financial Group; (Emerging Leader) Kona Goulet, Director, Inclusion, BMO Financial Group; and (International Trailblazer) Stacey Allaster, Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, United States Tennis Association.

The awards will given out at the 2018 Catalyst Canada Honours Dinner on October 15 at The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto.