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BPW Canada Executive 2018 - 2020

Business and Professional Women - BPW Canada

                                 Project Maple Leaf CCEW W.O.R.K.  Up For Debate  BPWI Projects Resources & Links  


Project Maple Leaf


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Canadian Coalition to Empower Women


Canadian Coalition To Empower Women (CCEW) exists to advance gender equality and the economic empowerment of women in Canada; recognizing it is essential to build strong economies, establish more stable and just societies, and improve the quality of life for all Canadians and their families in communities across Canada.

Grounded in the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs), Sustainable Development Goals and leveraging the empowerwomen.org platform for change.

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Women Offering Resources and Knowledge (W.O.R.K.)



W.O.R.K. stands for Women Offering Resources and Knowledge.  This charitable organization provides financial support for educational seminars that are sponsored through BPW clubs across Canada.  Learn More

Up For Debate

up for debate

"When it comes time to elect our next government in October, we want to see party leaders explain how they plan to build a more equal Canada for us all, and make meaningful commitments to change women’s lives for the better, at home and around the world. This must start with a nationally broadcast leaders’ debate on issues identified by women in all their diversity.

Almost 35 years ago during the 1984 election, political party leaders John Turner, Brian Mulroney, and Ed Broadbent did just that.

Do you think the fight for gender equality and women’s rights has been won since then? We thinks that’s Up for Debate." ~ Source

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BPW Canada

President's Message

Linda Davis BPWC President

November 2018

I am honored and excited about the opportunity to serve as President of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW Canada) for 2018 - 2020. For the past twenty-four years I have been fortunate to be a member of BPW. In those years I have served as local Club President, District Director, Provincial President, and National Vice President. Over these years, I have been so fortunate to come to know many of you and count on your support and friendship.

Among our diverse clubs across Canada, our common journey to strive for gender equality and balance in our communities, nationally and worldwide binds us in a sisterhood. We want to make a difference. We strive to help, to have an impact and make the lives of others better.

Beginning with each one of you, we have many good reasons to feel optimism about the future of BPW. With almost 500 members in 26 clubs across Canada, the connections we make with each other, at the annual conferences, in meetings, and during phone calls, webinars, and social media, demonstrates the commitment we have to our work and our confidence in the future.

It is my great pleasure to work with exceptional women on the 2018 – 2020 BPW Canada Executive. Continuing on the Executive, Jenny Gulamani-Abdulla (BPW Calgary) moves to our Immediate Past-President and Karin Gorgerat (BPW Trenton and District) moves to our Vice-President, Membership. I welcome Caval Olson-Lepage (BPW Saskatoon) as First Vice-President, Maide Yazar (BPW North Toronto) as Vice-President, Resolutions and By-laws, Prima Mabonzo (BPW Montreal) as Vice-President Young BPW, Janet Riehm (BPW Ottawa) as Treasurer and Josèe Dufour (BPW Montreal) as Secretary.

Provincially I welcome the return of President Karen Burwash for Manitoba and Liaisons Dawn Nason for Alberta, Christine Poulin for Quebec and Guylaine Roy for New Brunswick. I also welcome newly appointed Presidents Linda Rice for Ontario, Caval Olson-Lepage for Saskatchewan, and Arlene Simpson for British Columbia/Yukon Territories. Shannon Ewing in her role as club’s President will serve as BPW Canada Online Club Liaison.

Doris Hall (BPW London) will continue to serve as Representative for the Canadian Coalition to Empower Women.

Thank you all for your willingness and dedication to serve our members for the next two years.

My leadership focus for the next two years will centre on a theme of She for She. Through this focus I hope to empower all BPW members and women in our communities to look at the things we do every day and recognize and celebrate those actions that promote women in a positive way.

For the next two years we have a number to tasks identified by our membership as priority items.

In the coming year the Executive will focus on...Read More..

At its Biennial Conventions as well as Annual General Meetings, BPW Canada members occasionally approve Commendations for individuals and/or organizations that support our mission and mandate and work to help move our agenda forward.

2018 2017 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2008 2007 2006 2005 

Commendations: 2018

At the At the 2018 National Convention in Ottawa, ON, members approved the following commendations:

  1. Declaration of Equal Pay Day March 18, 2012 - BPW Canada commends the City of Selkirk and Mayor Larry Johannson for their continued support of the full participation of women in their enterprises and nurturing a culture of sustainability and corporate responsibility as a key goal benefiting all and for annually proclaiming March 18th as Equal Pay Day in Selkirk, Manitoba.

  2. Commendation for Malala Yousafzai -BPW Canada acknowledges the courageous and accomplished Malala Yousafzai with a commendation reflecting her ongoing efforts to advocate and fund girls’ education throughout the world.

  3. Government of Canada, Department of Finance Canada, Budget of February 27, 2018 - BPW Canada commends the Government of Canada, Department of Finance Canada, for addressing the concerns of gender and pay equity and other issues including economic and health that affect women, in their most recent budget and encourages the Government of Canada to continue to work to address issues, including child care, safety and employment opportunities, that will assist women in reaching gender equity in Canada.

  4. Government of Canada - BPW Canada commends the Government of Canada on its principle to always speak up for human rights and women’s rights and the manifestation of this policy in its recent communication about the actions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    Commendation to Government: 

Commendation: 2017

At the National AGM in Greater Moncton, NB, members approved the following commendation:

BPW Canada commends the cities of Winnipeg, Manitoba and Edmonton, Alberta for joining the United Nations’ Women’s Global Flagship Initiative “Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces.” Each city’s efforts in ending sexual violence so that women and girls can feel safe and live free of violence demonstrate leadership on this important issue for other Canadian cities to follow.

Commendations: 2015

At the 2015 BPW Canada AGM members approved the following commendations:

  1. Crystal Sissons - BPW Canada commends BPW Ottawa member, BPW Canada historian and author, Crystal Sissons, for launching her book “Queen of the Hurricanes: The Fearless Elsie MacGill”, to share the incredible accomplishments of Elsie MacGill and encourage young women and girls to enter STEM careers.

  2. Advisory Council on Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders - BPW Canada commends the Minister of Labour, the Minister of Status of Women and Government of Canada’s commitment to increase mentorship among women entrepreneurs. The formation of a two-year Advisory Council on Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders will provide a forum for the exchange of views, experiences, best practices and solutions on issues related to helping women succeed in starting and growing their businesses.

  3. Minister of Foreign Affairs Trade & Development - BPW Canada commends the Government of Canada, specifically the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development for funding the Women’s Economic Empowerment Knowledge Gateway as an important resource for men and women from around the world to explore, connect, discuss, and learn how together we can drive the agenda for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

  4. Madame Thérèse Casgrain BPW Canada commends the Thérèse Casgrain Foundation for their ongoing work for the advancement of Women.

  5. Advisory Council for Promoting Women on Boards - BPW Canada commends the Minister of Labour, the Minister of Status of Women and the Government of Canada’s commitment to promote women on boards by forming the Advisory Council which aspires for women to attain 30% of all board positions over the next five years and has also outlined a roadmap for making this happen.

Commendation: 2014

At the 2014 National Convention in Saskatoon, SK, members approved the following commendation:

BPW Canada commends the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and its Standing Committee on Increasing Women’s Participation in Municipal Government for its work in raising awareness of and seeking support to ensure women make up 30% of municipal councils by 2026.

Commendation: 2013

At the 2013 BPW Canada AGM, held virtually, members approved the following Commendation:

To Alaina Podmorrow and the organization "Little Women for Little Women Afghanistan" for the selfless work in raising awareness of human rights abuse of girls in Afghanistan by the Taliban, who refuse to allow girls an education, and for fundraising almost $400,000 to help pay for teachers and education supplies.

Commendations: 2012

At the 2012 BPW Canada Convention, in London, Ontario, members approved three commendations.

  1. To The Body Shop for its campaign resulting in a 570,000 signature petition calling the Government of Canada to help stop sex trafficking and supporting a national action plan to combat human sex trafficking.

  2. To Sally Armstrong for her efforts in bringing the conditions of the women in Afghanistan to our attention in 1996 and for her continued efforts in maintaining the awareness of the condition for women and children in both Afghanistan and internationally.

  3. To Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews and Minister of Public Works and Government Services and the Minister for the Status of Women, Rona Ambrose for their efforts in launching the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking.

Commendations: 2011

At the 2011 BPW Canada AGM in Ottawa, Ontario members approved three commendations.

  1. To the Ontario Pay Equity Commission for their work to address the persisting wage gap and bring about economic equality for women in Ontario. Specifically acknowledging the partnership between BPW Ontario and the Pay Equity Commission - "You Are Worth it" self-directed learning module on compensations pitfalls and how to manage them. It is through the generosity of the Ontario Pay Equity Commission that BPW Canada has been able to share this wonderful resource with members across Canada and around the world. 

  2. Timea E. Nagy and the organization Walk With Me (WWM) for selflessly working to bring the evils of human trafficking and the slave trade to the attention of people within and beyond Canada.  Their counseling, training and educational endeavours to see the eradication of human trafficking are praiseworthy and offer the real possibility for achieving their objective.

  3. Manitoba MP Joy Smith for her continuing advocacy on behalf of women and girls who have or may in the future, be subjected to human trafficking.

MP Joy Smith Commendation for Human Trafficking 2

London members Sheila Crook (left) and Doris Hall (right)
present commendation to Manitoba MP Joy Smith (centre)

Commendation: 2008

At its 2008 Convention in Winnipeg, BPW Canada members approved a commendation.

Commended Louise Arbour, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, for her life-long efforts in advocating for human rights, including full gender equality, for the expansion of human rights presence around the world and for being instrumental in doubling the UN High Commissioner's office's annual budget to $100 million.

Commendation: 2007

Grand Master Tae Eun Lee of Ottawa, Ontario, for promoting the development of strong and healthy spirits minds and bodies of women through women’s self-defense classes in the City of Ottawa. In this endeavour they enhance Canadian society by teaching self-defense measures that build the confidence of women in their own safety and well-being. BPW Virtual Club’s Crystal Sissons made the presentation.

Commendations:  2006

At the 2006 National Convention members approved the following commendations:

  1. The Canadian Women’s Foundation for its initiative in launching an Investment Fund for Girls in 2005, and for its efforts throughout the years in investing in the power of women and the dreams of girls. Founded in 1991, the mandate of the Canadian Women’s Foundation is to raise money and make grants to help stop violence against women and girls and to build economic independence for women and their children.

  2. Stephen Lewis, former Special Envoy to the United Nations on HIV/AIDS, for his efforts in advocating for the creation of a new UN Agency
    that would give a greater voice to women of the world. 

  3. The Canadian Women’s Hockey Team was commended for winning world championships and Olympic medal, for representing Canada with determination, honour and skill on and off the ice, and for being role models for girls and young women, and teaching them to follow their dreams.

Commendation: 2005

Dove Canada for its support of the National Eating Disorder Information Centre and of the Quebec Association for assistance to persons suffering from anorexia nervosa and bulimia, and for its efforts, through its advertising campaign “Campaign for Real Beauty,” to encourage positive self-esteem in women and girls.

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BPWI 2017-2020 BPWI Projects BPWC International Affairs BPWI Taskforces The 17 SDG's BPWI and ITC North American Region BPWI Young BPW BPWI Events

BPW International (BPWI) 2017 - 2020 Triennium

Amany Asfour
Dr. Amany Asfour
BPW International President: 2017 - 2020

BPW International

BPW International President's Message
Empowering Women to Realize the Sustainable Development Goals

Excerpt: "If our founder Dr. Lena Madesin Phillips were here today, she would be very proud to see BPW growing and continuing to advocate for gender equality, as well as empowering women on all platforms. It brings me great pleasure to see BPW sisters celebrating our 88th Anniversary with pride, embracing diversity and inclusion, uniting the world through our strength and committing to achieve a global agenda under our 2017-2020 triennium theme: Empowering Women to realize the Sustainable Development Goals. Complete Message.

BPWI 2019

BPW International's President's Message
Candle Lighting Ceremony 2019

Raise Your Head and Go Ahead

"My very dear BPW sisters across the world,

It is my real pleasure to address you all during the Candle Lighting Ceremony 2019. My theme this year for the Candle lighting ceremony is “Raise Your Head and Go Ahead”.

When you believe in yourself, when you have faith in your work, when you fight for the best, when you put in all your efforts, when you are full of enthusiasm and when you are motivated to achieve your goals...you often hope for support and encouragement from others...". Read More...

 BPW International Projects

"At Congress 2014 a resolution for the renewal of the BPW International Committees, Taskforces and Projects was adopted. A final proposition will be submitted at Congress 2020. During the PILOT phase (2014-2020) new tools such as the "BPW International Member Projects and Experts" were established. Projects which are recognized by BPW International provide the leaders with more visibility and importance.


Through the EVALUATION 2017 of the new services implemented by the Resolution 2014 an important gap was discovered. Why use only the overflow which means the projects of single members and let them profit from the leverage of BPW International? Why ignore the main performances of our organization, the many projects which are organized by Clubs and Federations? Previously, the Presidents of Federations and Associated Clubs have mentioned different projects in their Annual Reports which disappeared without special recognition in the archives. Therefore, a new tool will be established, the BPW Federation & Club Projects which will collect and install the projects done by Federations and Clubs. The collection of the Project titles done by Federations and Clubs is a basic and imperative tool not only for BPW International but for all organizational levels and members." ~ Source

BPW International

Amany Asfour, BPW International President (2017 - 2020): "It gives me a great pleasure and honor to launch the BPW International Projects Booklet that includes BPW affiliates projects showing the contribution of the BPW affiliates to the Global Agenda of the World of the Sustainable Development Goals. It also shows our contribution to the Sustainable Development of our BPW International organization." The Booklet

Click here to visit the Projects' website. The website includes a list of Experts, including BPW Canada's Jenny Gulamani-Abdulla. Jenny is listed as an Expert in the topics of Legislation, Society, Politics, Advocacy and UN, Partnerships, Cooperation.

BPW International's website

Subscribe to BPW International's YouTube Channel

BPW Canada International Affairs Chair, Caval Olson-Lepage

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. of BPW Canada and International Affairs Chair, I am committed to advancing BPW International’s theme of Empowering Women to Realize the Sustainable Development Goals. I am honoured to chair BPW Canada’s Sustainable Development Goals Committee, in which I will be tracking and reporting to BPWI all of the projects that we do on a local, provincial and national scale.

I am also responsible for coordinating the communications to our members throughout this biennium. My team and I will get the information to our clubs through our website, newsletters and social media. We want to ensure you have all the information you need to be successful advocates for women and business.

We will continue our commitment:

  1. To regularly update our national website so that members and non-members can be informed of the most recent work of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women, as well as understand its proud history and legacy
  2. To release regular newsletters so that members are informed of the key highlights
  3. To share resources and best practices at all levels of BPW
  4. To enhance the skills and leadership within BPW Canada, and to foster partnerships with like-minded organizations
  5. To employ consultation, dialogue, and the constructive exchange of ideas to advance women in the workplace, the community, and around the world. 
  6. To all of our members, thank you for this opportunity to serve and to all non-members, please consider joining BPW, it will be one of the best decisions you have ever made.

Caval Olson-Lepage
2018 - 2020
BPW Canada International Affairs Chair

BPW Canada and the BPW International Taskforces
task forces BPWI

BPW Canada Immediate Past-President, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (BPW Calgary member) is chair fo the BPW International's Women Migrants and Global Citizenship Taskforce

BPW London member, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., is chair of BPW International's Human Trafficking Taskforce.

BPW International has several Taskforces chaired by BPW members across the globe. Click here to view a list of BPW International's Taskforces.

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BPW International and the International Trade Centre


The International Trade Centre (ITC) is fully dedicated to supporting the internationalization of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It enables SMEs in developing and transition economies to become more competitive and connect to international markets for trade and investment, thus raising incomes and creating job opportunities, especially for women, young people, and poor communities. Established in 1964, the International Trade Centre, is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.

itc sheTradesBPW International collaborates with ITC to promote “SheTrades” to create greater opportunities for women entrepreneurs and encourage BPW members to register, connect and trade with women-owned businesses.

SheTrades Global Initiative

  • SheTrades is ITC’s flagship initiative to empower women economically through trade.
  • Goal: Connect 1 million women to the market by 2020 through partnerships to build their skills and link them to trade and investment opportunities.
  • Plan: Influence change across seven pillars of action to expand opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
  • Web and Mobile Application: Enable women entrepreneurs to showcase their businesses, find partners, access trade information, and connect with markets on a free-to-use web and SheTrades mobile application.

Click here for more information on BPWI and ITC.

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More Articles ...

  1. BPW History
  2. Board Members

BPW International

BPW International 2017 2020

BPW International Executive:
2017 - 2020

President: Dr. Amany Asfour, Egypt

"Empowering Women to Realize Sustainable Development Goals"

BPW Clubs in over 100 countries!

BPW International Events

BPW International Website

BPW Makes a World of Difference