Joy Thomas, CEO and president of CPA Canada

“It’s important to recognize the leadership roles women play in Canada,” says Joy Thomas, CPA Canada’s chief executive officer. “I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, and I think the awards help encourage and inspire others to continue their own journeys.” (Matt Barnes)

Canada | News

Joy Thomas among Canada’s 100 most powerful women 

Women’s Executive Network names nine CPAs on its annual list recognizing women in diverse fields, including CPA Canada’s CEO 

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Joy Thomas, CPA Canada’s chief executive officer, has been named to the 2018 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award list.

The winners, compiled by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN), span the private, public and not-for profit sectors. The awards pay tribute to women who have advocated for diversity in the workforce and who serve as an inspiration for the next generation of leaders. Thomas is honoured to be selected in the KPMG Professionals category.

“It’s important to recognize the leadership roles women play in Canada,” says Thomas. “I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, and I think the awards help encourage and inspire others to continue their own journeys.”

As CEO of CPA Canada since 2016 and former CEO of the Society of Management Accountants of Canada (CMA Canada), Thomas played a key role in the historic unification of Canada’s three legacy designations under the CPA banner. She also serves as a board director and a member of the planning and finance committee of the International Federation of Accountants, is chair of the board on the Global Accounting Alliance and a member of Canada’s National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy.

Thomas notes that earning her professional accounting designation was an important jumping-off point for her career. “Like so many, I did it with a young family and an extremely demanding job,” she explains. “It taught me technical capabilities, which I could immediately apply, but it also instilled the discipline, integrity, ethics and critical thinking that define the profession.”

Eight other CPAs were also named to the top 100 list. They include:

Cynthia Hansen, executive vice-president of utilities and power operations at Enbridge Inc., is a winner in the HSBC Corporate Executives category. Hansen has more than 19 years of experience working in operational, financial and safety leadership roles. She also has served on many boards, including those of Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and NorQuest College.

Sophia Tsui, senior vice-president and chief auditor at HSBC Bank Canada, is also a winner in the HSBC Corporate Executives category. She is a risk and internal control professional with experience in global financial services. In addition to her CPA designation, Tsui is also a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist. She also serves as the treasurer of Crofton House School’s Foundation board of directors.

Sonia Boisvert, partner and leader of assurance at PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada, is a winner in the KPMG Professionals category. Boisvert is experienced in leading worldwide audit teams and dealing with companies growing internationally through acquisitions. She is also active in her community, currently serving on the board of Fondation Jeunes en Tête, which aims to prevent psychological distress among youth in Quebec.

Silvia Montefiore, Canadian managing partner of business enablement and operations at KPMG in Canada, is another winner in the KPMG Professionals category. Montefiore has experience advising large clients on complex accounting issues in Canada and the U.S.  She is also active in her community as a founding sponsor of Women Get On Board and a member of United Way’s Women Gaining Ground.

Olivia Steedman, managing director of infrastructure and natural resources at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, is also a winner in the KPMG Professionals category. In addition to being a CPA, Steedman is also a professional engineer with 20 years of experience in private equity investing in the infrastructure and natural resources sectors. 

Beth Wilson, chief executive officer at Dentons Canada, is a winner in the KPMG Professionals category. As the first non-lawyer leader at Dentons, Wilson offers a broad perspective and focuses on ensuring that the firm attracts diverse and exceptional talent. She is an active fundraiser and participant in the Ride to Conquer Cancer.

Darlene Dasent, chief financial officer at University Health Network, is a winner in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector Leaders category. In her current role, she provides strategic financial advice to support the UHN hospital network, which encompasses 19 sites in Toronto and across Ontario.

Amanda Hobson, chief financial officer and vice-president of finance and corporate services at British Columbia Lottery Corporation, is another winner in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector Leaders category. She currently serves on the boards of the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation and the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation.