Tanya van Biesen is Executive Director of Catalyst's operations in Canada. She is responsible for leading Catalyst's growth in Canada and shaping strategies to advance Catalyst’s mission to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion with Supporters, corporate partners, professional organizations, CEOs, senior leaders, and stakeholders.A recognized leader and influencer with deep experience in the executive search sector at the most senior levels of corporate Canada, Tanya brings more than two decades of corporate leadership and diversity experience to Catalyst. Most recently, she co-led the Financial Services Practice at Spencer Stuart and was a key member of the Canadian Boards Practice, focusing on executive search assignments at the board, CEO, and general management levels. She also led the firm’s Canadian Diversity Practice, specializing in the placement of chief diversity officers and diverse slates of candidates across all search assignments.Tanya began her career at Procter & Gamble, working in both Toronto and Calgary in regional and national sales leadership roles. A sought-after speaker on the topic of diversity in the boardroom, Tanya has contributed to several research studies and articles analyzing leadership trends and attributes. She holds an MBA from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University, and speaks English, French, and Dutch.
Audrey Gallien has been with Catalyst since 2011, holding a variety of positions from account management in the Western United States, to marketing, to global event management. As of 2018, Audrey leads Catalyst business development as a Senior Director in the Learning Products & Programs Department, responsible for the marketing, sales, and development of customized speaking engagements and workshops for organizations globally. Audrey frequently speaks on the topics of unconscious bias, inclusive leadership, career advancement strategy, and LGBT workplace allyship. Audrey graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Gender & Women’s Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Outside of Catalyst, Audrey is a contributing editor to event planning podcasts GatherGeeks and #EventIcons, and runs a Brooklyn-based Star Wars book club.
Managing Director, Financial Services & Canadian AI Lead, Accenture.
Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, USTA
Senior Associate, Corporate Engagement & Project Manager, Catalyst Award. David joined Catalyst Canada in December 2009 as an Analyst. In his current role, he provides advice and consultation to Catalyst Supporter Organizations in Canada, helping them to leverage Catalyst’s expertise and resources to create inclusive workplaces. David is also a core member of the Catalyst Awards committee, as well as the former Chair of the Catalyst Canada Honours, a signature program that recognizes exemplary role models in Canadian business who advance women and diverse talent through workplace inclusion. He has delivered presentations on a range of topics including inclusive leadership, LGBTQI issues in the workplace, employee resource groups, and engaging men as champions of inclusion. David holds an MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics. He also holds an honours BA in Sociology and Sexual Diversity Studies and an honours BSc in Zoology and East Asian Studies, both from the University of Toronto.Currently based in Toronto, David has also lived in Sydney, Australia and London, UK. He is an avid traveler who enjoys the challenge of learning new languages and can speak English, French, Spanish, German, Cantonese and Mandarin.
As Senior Director, Corporate Engagement—Canada & Asia Pacific, Vandana leads the relationships with many of Catalyst's Supporting companies in Canada and leads the Asia Pacific region. A trusted advisor, she coaches and counsels companies with respect to their strategies to advance women into leadership and create inclusive work environments where all individuals can thrive. Vandana has delivered Catalyst presentations, facilitated roundtables, workshops, and focus groups, and moderated panels in various locations including Canada (Toronto, Ottawa, Mississauga, Kitchener-Waterloo, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, Saint John), the United States (New York, Boston, Chicago), Australia (Sydney, Melbourne) and Chile (Santiago). She is a frequent speaker on a broad range of topics including: taking charge of your career, high potentials in the pipeline, biases/stereotypes and inclusive leadership, mentoring/sponsorship, engaging men as champions of inclusion, work-life integration/flexible work arrangements, employee resource groups, women in STEM, gender, race, and ethnicity, and women on boards.In the business development capacity of her role, Vandana focuses on supporter attraction, engagement, and retention, contributing to the amplification of Catalyst’s global impact.Prior to joining Catalyst, Vandana practiced immigration law, following which she worked as a manager in the Global Diversity and Inclusion groups of two Canadian banks, where she focused on women’s initiatives and advising Employee Resource Groups. In pursuing her passion for empowering women, she has also worked as a Research Associate for the Pay Equity Task Force in Ottawa (Status of Women Canada), and travelled to Vietnam with an NGO in partnership with the University of Toronto to evaluate and report back on a micro-finance project designed to help women living in poverty to understand and enter the mainstream banking system.Vandana has earned a B.Comm. from McMaster University, an MBA from the University of Windsor, and an LLB from the University of Ottawa.
Dnika J. Travis, PhD is a researcher, educator, and expert in leadership, communication effectiveness, and workplace inclusion. Dnika leads Catalyst’s research on organizational change and gender, race, and ethnicity in the workplace. In both areas, Dnika is responsible for developing and delivering recognized research agendas, serves as a primary investigator on selected Catalyst studies, and leads large, multi-year research projects. She has been widely published, and her research has been funded by several foundations and government branches. Most recently, Dnika was named a 2017 "Woman Worth Watching" by Profiles in Diversity Journal. Prior to joining Catalyst, Dnika was an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, where she holds an affiliation as a faculty fellow. She earned her PhD from the University of Southern California, MSW from the University of Michigan, and BA from Hampton University.
Sherazad Adib manages Catalyst’s relationships with its supporters in Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces. As such, she is responsible for supporting members and building strategic partnerships to encourage the advancement of women and workplaces.Prior to joining Catalyst, Sherazad worked more than 15 years as a professional in the field of corporate social responsibility and responsible investment. Her experience working with large Canadian corporations in the entertainment, telecommunication, and retail sectors included companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Bell Canada, and RONA. Her experience has led her to develop, manage, and implement various CSR projects and to participate to numerous industry-based collaborative initiatives. She also started her career by co-founding an advisory firm in Montreal called Responsible Investment Group (GIR) providing institutional investors with tools and research on ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues.Sherazad holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Sociology from University of Montreal and a Master's degree in Management (MSc) from HEC, a business school in Montreal.
As a Senior Director at Catalyst Europe, Sandra Ondraschek-Norris plays a key role in strengthening Catalyst’s mission impact across Europe. Working with leading global organizations as a relationship manager, facilitator and consultant, she supports Catalyst members in their initiatives to create more diverse, inclusive and innovative workplaces. As a speaker, Sandra provides a refreshing voice and perspective on topics related to diversity and inclusion, engaging men, inclusive leadership and organizational culture. She is regularly quoted in both the German-speaking and English-speaking media.Sandra has extensive professional experience in multicultural, multilingual and experiential learning contexts. She has spent over 25 years of her career working as a trainer and facilitator with individuals and organizations in Ireland, England, Switzerland and the United States on a wide range of issues such as work-life effectiveness, resilience, motivation, change guidance and leadership. Prior to joining Catalyst, she spent seven years working as an entrepreneur, offering services in training/facilitation, counseling/coaching and consulting.Sandra graduated with Honors in Psychology from Trinity College Dublin and holds a number of professional qualifications in training, adult education and counseling. She is a citizen of Ireland and Switzerland, currently residing in Switzerland. In her free time she enjoys gardening and painting.
Founder & CEO, emergiTEL.Aneela holds a master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto. Under her leadership, emergiTEL, as a company has won numerous industry recognitions and awards, including multi-year recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies conferred by Deloitte, and as a PROFIT 500 Fastest Growing Company. Aneela has also personally received many awards and recognitions including Profit Magazine’s Canada’s Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs across Canada, Toronto Region Immigration Employment Council (TRIEC) and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)’s Champion of Immigrant Success, WBE’s (Women Based Entrepreneurs) Winning Women Doing Business Award, and Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ Award.Aneela is an active community member and supports many organizations. She provides support for résumé writing, interview skills, and mentoring; hosts workshops; and is a frequent speaker on diversity and inclusion panels. She has also served on the Richmond Hill Board of Trade and is a Board Member of the Toronto chapter of Young President Organization’s (YPO) Family/ Spouse/ Partner Officer and a Rogers Small Business Advisory Board member. She has served as a mentor to young women entrepreneurs through the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE) and TRIEC and was a Board Advisor for Humber College.
Bill is the CEO and Chief Inclusion Officer of PwC Canada. He was admitted as a partner in 1992 and led the GTA Assurance practice—the firm’s largest business unit— from 2002 to 2005. Prior to becoming CEO, Bill served as a member of the Canadian Leadership Team from 2005 to 2011. He is the senior relationship partner on many of the firm's largest client portfolios and is also a member of PwC's Global Strategy Council. As the Chief Inclusion Officer, Bill is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion. He has committed to the United Nation’s global HeForShe movement—which PwC is a founding IMPACT champion—to support gender equality and the advancement of women in the workplace. Bill graduated from the University of Toronto in 1980 and is an FCPA. He is active in the community and is currently the Chair of the Board of The Conference Board of Canada and a member of the Business Council of Canada. He is a sports enthusiast and cyclist and is married with three sons.
Claudia is the Managing Director of the Health and Public Service business and leads Inclusion & Diversity for Accenture Canada. She sets a vision and executes the strategy to bring Accenture Canada the talent it needs to fulfill its business plan. With more than 27 years of experience in the consulting industry, Claudia is a member of Accenture's Canadian Leadership Team and is accountable for the company’s go-to-market strategy within the public service industry as well as its top-line results. She is an active member of the Information Technology Association of Canada National Board of Directors, and the C.D. Howe Human Capital Policy Council, as well as a former member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council Advisory Board. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business and commerce from Queen’s University.
Simon Fish is the General Counsel for BMO Financial Group. In this role, he is responsible for the legal affairs of the bank, which includes compliance, corporate security, and corporate secretarial functions. In addition, Simon oversees the bank’s ethics and privacy, ombudsman, and corporate sustainability functions. He also serves as counsel to the office of the Chairman and the Board of Directors and is a member of the bank’s Executive Management Committee.Prior to joining BMO, Simon had served as Executive Vice-President and General Counsel at Vale Inco, and Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Shell Canada. Simon holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in Business and Law.
Kona is the Director, Inclusion at BMO Financial Group, where she designs and advises on diversity and inclusion strategies, ensuring that diversity and inclusion is embedded into enterprise talent development. This includes the design of enterprise strategies to engage, support, and advance employees across BMO.In addition to her work at the Bank, Kona is a member of the Board of ImagineNATIVE, the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content. As a Board member, Kona aims to increase the fairness and equitable representation in Indigenous films. In a previous role, Kona served on the White House Project as VP External Affairs. Kona holds a Global MBA, Cross-Cultural Integration, Globalization, Emerging Economies from the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management.
After several years of working in Strategic Planning, Erin moved into the role of Director, Global Total Engagement at Stantec, a global professional services firm in the design and consulting industry. Drawing on her strategic planning background and passion for building inclusive work cultures, she has successfully driven change across the organization. This work includes helping develop the first women-focused employee resource group, mentoring other employee resource groups across the organization and supporting grassroots initiatives such as celebrating International Women’s Day for the first time in the organization’s history. Outside of Stantec, Erin serves as a board member with the Edmonton Business Diversity Network, Citie Ballet, and is a founding member of Works for Women, a group that is committed to making Alberta a better place for women to work. Being a connector and change agent, she is also a founder and creator of The Confidence Retreat, which brought a group of successful women together to talk about career strategies and help them think outside their comfort zones. Erin is originally from Edmonton, where she is a wife and proud mother of two amazing children. Erin holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics & Statistics from the University of Alberta and completed the Executive Program from the Alberta School of Business from the same institution.