Past Event: Women in the Financial Industry - Vancouver

June 03, 2019
The Fairmont Waterfront 900 Canada Place Way Vancouver, BC V6C 2L5

Women in the Financial Industry

Creditworthy: navigating success as a woman in the financial industry
Across generations, women are facing unique challenges in the workforce. This year’s conference will explore common challenges and strategies for success as a woman in the financial industry. Expert speakers will take a deep dive into topics such as ending negative self-talk, taking credit where credit is due, mentorship and leadership storytelling. The event will also feature expert panels on topics including how corporations show their commitment to a diverse workforce and the experiences of women across generations.

Women in the Financial Industry will cost $249 plus tax to attend.

Register here (Single Ticket)

Register here (Table of 8)

Register for the event in Montreal (June 5, 2019)

Register for the event in Toronto (September 18, 2019)

Women in the Financial Industry - Vancouver

*Please note agenda is subject to change*


8:45 - 9:15 a.m. 
Coffee and registration

9:15 - 9:20 a.m.
Opening remarks

9:20 - 9:45 a.m.
Icebreaker - It was the best advice, it was the worst advice

This session is a chance to network with others and share the best and worst piece of career advice you’ve been given. At the end, participants will present the best and worst advice they’ve heard and submit their answers to be shared throughout the conference.

9:45 - 10:25 a.m.
Full circle: A life of lessons and choice
At the age of 23, Cheryl Bernard started an insurance brokerage and propelled the agency to six million dollars in sales in just 11 years. At the age of 43, she helped Canada win a silver medal in curling at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. And now, she is back in the business world as President and CEO of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. In this session, Bernard will share how everything you become in life is based on choices. Based on her own journey, she’ll share how it’s never easy, and provide guidance to navigate forks in the road and learn from failures.

Cheryl Bernard, Canadian olympic curler

10:25-10:45 a.m.
Networking break

10:45-11:25 a.m.
Unconscious bias and imposter syndrome: Evidence, challenges and strategies
This session will explore how to recognize and overcome unconscious bias and imposter syndrome. Going beyond anecdote, Fiona Rawle will examine data and evidence for both of these phenomena. She’ll investigate strategies for overcoming unconscious bias and imposter syndrome, and challenges inherent in doing so, drawing on examples from diverse fields, including finance, medicine, science, academia, and music.

Fiona Rawle, associate dean, undergraduate, University of Toronto Mississauga

11:25 a.m.-12:10 p.m.
Corporate commitment to women panel
In this session, business leaders will share their journeys to the top and what their workforces do to encourage more diversity. How do they build a business case that it pays to have women in senior roles? How do they navigate being some of the few women in leadership positions? Panellists will discuss strategies, policies and tactics that work and don’t work and how they think the financial industry needs to evolve to ensure more diversity- moving beyond gender to other forms of diversity as well.

Melanie Adams, vice president & head, corporate governance & responsible investment, RBC Global Asset Management
Diana Godfrey, senior vice president, human resources, Fidelity Canada
Lori Landry
, chief marketing officer, Sun Life Global Investments
Moderated by Melissa Shin, editorial director, Advisor's Edge and Investment Executive

12:10-1:25 p.m.

12:55-1:25 p.m.
Forging a new path for women: being your authentic self
Being authentic sounds like it should be the easiest thing in the world – just be yourself! We all strive for it in our own life and work and yet it is a rare thing – studies indicate the majority of employees cover up some part of their personality at work. Carey Dillen believes that being authentic is key to living a satisfying and meaningful life. She has seen that if you have to continually suppress who you really are, and hide what you think, believe and feel, it causes anxiety, stress and dissatisfaction. In the midst of a world where so many are disengaged, it’s time to join together in building a new community founded upon real relationships, open-minded leadership and authentic engagement. This session will explore how to rise up, speak up and stand up for your life; respect and honor more openly your own values, beliefs and feelings; and explore ways to boost authenticity in the workplace.

Carey Dillen, president, YYOGA

1:25-1:55 p.m.
Original research spotlight session – Creditworthy: navigating success as a woman in the financial industry
In this session, Yaelle Gang, editor of Canadian Investment Review will present original research on how people in the financial industry navigate success, with a particular focus on the experiences of women. The research covers topics ranging from negative self-talk, taking credit for a job well done, receiving feedback, mentorship and navigating leave. It will also dig into people’s views on career progression. Drawing on the responses of hundreds of women and men from both the retail and institutional sides of the financial industry, this research will provide a snapshot of what it’s like to work in finance in 2019.  

Yaelle Gang, editor, Canadian Investment Review

1:55-2:40 p.m.
Leadership storytelling panel
Storytelling is an essential tool that leaders can use to share their experiences and help build a culture in their workplace. In this panel, hear about the paths that successful women in finance have taken to the rise to the top, including their tales of defeat and triumph along the way.

Vanessa Flockton, financial advisor, Nicola Wealth
Janine Guenther, portfolio manager and investment advisor, CIBC Wood Gundy
Lori Norman,
partner, Steadyhand
Tina Osen, president, Hub International Canada
Moderated by Melissa Shin, editorial director, Advisor's Edge and Investment Executive

2:40-3:10 p.m.
Networking break

3:10-3:55 p.m.
Women in finance across generations panel
In this session, panellists from multiple generations will discuss their experiences working as women in the financial industry. What challenges do women starting out face? How do people navigate leaving and coming back from parental leave? And what advice do those in later stages of their career have for those just starting out? In this panel, you’ll hear it all based on first-hand experience.

Arezou Bahari, executive director, foreign exchange, CIBC Capital Markets
Naomi Denning, principal, Eckler
Catherine Heath, vice-president, portfolio manager, Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd.
Mathilde Ho, analyst, global investment banking, Scotia Capital Inc.
Moderated by Yaelle Gang, editor, Canadian Investment Review

 3:55 p.m.
Closing remarks and cocktails

Women in the Financial Industry

Women in the Financial Industry - Speakers



Cheryl Bernard

Cheryl Bernard

At the age of 23, Cheryl Bernard started an insurance brokerage and propelled the agency to $6 million in sales in just eleven years. At the age of 43, she helped Canada win a silver medal in curling at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Passionate about inspiring others to reach their goals and stressing the importance of great leadership and teamwork, Bernard’s presentations draw from both her business and sport experiences to motivate audiences to achieve greatness in everything they do. In 2009, Bernard and her teammates won the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials and headed to Vancouver to represent Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics, ultimately taking the silver medal. Two months after the Olympics, Bernard was nominated by her peers as the 2010 Most Valuable Player in women’s curling. In 2014, Bernard announced her retirement from curling. She now works with TSN as a broadcast analyst. Bernard has volunteered on a variety of boards, as well as for the Canadian Curling Association and the World Curling Tour, and she currently sits on the board of Winsport Canada. She created the annual “Curl for a Cure” in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, raising over $1.3 million for the charity, as well as for the Canadian Curling Association and the World Curling Tour. She was the spokesperson for the 2010 Terry Fox Run and has done promotional work for the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Children’s Miracle Network, Dairy Queen Miracle Treat Day, Microsoft, and the Toronto Children’s Hospital. She is currently the ambassador/spokesperson for Goodwill Industries of Alberta and World Vision Canada. Bernard is also the co-author of Between the Sheets Creating Curling Champions, which describes the mental side of the game of curling.



Fiona Rawle

Fiona Rawle

Fiona Rawle has a doctorate in pathology and molecular medicine and is the associate dean, undergraduate, at the University of Toronto Mississauga, and an associate professor, teaching stream, in the department of biology. Her research focuses on public communication of science, science education and the science of learning. She has received numerous awards focused on teaching, including the University of Toronto’s President’s Teaching Award. Rawle is also a member of the University of Toronto’s Toronto Initiative for Diversity & Excellence group, through which she gives lectures and workshops on unconscious bias, equity and diversity.




Melanie Adams

Melanie Adams

Melanie Adams is vice president & head, corporate governance & responsible investment for RBC Global Asset Management (RBC GAM) and a member of the Executive Committee. Adams joined RBC GAM in 2014 as senior manager, fund governance & responsible investment before transitioning into the role of director, GAM strategy & fund governance. Prior to joining RBC GAM, Adams was senior litigation counsel at one of the large Canadian banks, responsible for a wide range of banking litigation with a focus on fraud-related matters. Prior to that, she was litigation counsel in the Enforcement Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). During her time at the OSC, she spent time as a prosecutor at the criminal Crown’s office.



Arezou Bahari

Bahari Arezou

Arezou Bahari is an executive director in CIBC’s Capital Markets team where she specializes in foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives on the Vancouver trading floor. In terms of her background, she graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia's bachelor of commerce program, specializing in finance and she also holds the chartered financial analyst designation. In her current role, she works closely with British Columbia based CIBC corporate clients that require hedging advisory. She is currently the co-chair of CIBC’s Women’s Network (Vancouver Chapter), where she organizes and leads a variety of events and initiatives. She is also a committee member for CIBC’s Capital Market Mentorship Program. Outside of work, she is a member of Women in Capital Markets, stays active with the University of British Columbia's student community through presentations and mentorship programs, and is also involved in CIBC initiatives such as Run for the Cure and United Way.



Naomi Denning

Naomi Denning

Naomi Denning is a principal in the investment consulting practice, bringing over 30 years of investment consulting experience with a wide range of clients – including pension plans, government funds, endowment/foundations, family offices, insurance companies and other reserve funds. Denning is a key member of Eckler’s national investment practice, working primarily with clients in BC and Western Canada. Her specific areas of expertise include governance, investment policy and risk management, asset allocation, manager selection and monitoring. In addition to consulting responsibilities, Denning is a member of the Investment Research Steering Committee, which oversees investment manager and strategy research. Denning has a particular passion for helping boards improve their governance and decision-making. She has also participated extensively on board and advisory committees. She has completed numerous governance projects with Investment Boards to assess their structure, processes, focus and time allocation, and decision-making effectiveness. Prior to joining Eckler, Denning was head of investment, Asia Pacific, for a global consulting firm for over 20 years. Prior to this she began her career in the UK and qualified with the UK Society of Investment Professionals, receiving the designation ASIP.



Carey Dillen

Carrey Dillen

Carey Dillen is president of YYOGA, an 11-year old wellness company offering yoga-centric fitness across 12 Canadian locations. With a community of over 50,000 yogis a year and growing, Dillen leads the YYOGA team in their vision of making the world a better place. Previously, as the vice-president of finance for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Dillen lead finance, venue construction and revenue portfolios and was instrumental in the start-up, growth and dissolution of the organization. She also acted as an advisor to London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Olympic Games. An engaged leader with experience working with well-established organizations to dynamic start-ups, Dillen has contributed extensively to health, wellness and sport communities locally, nationally and internationally. She's also worked as a senior leader with some of Canada’s top brands like Boston Pizza International, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and KPMG LLP. Giving back to her community has become a central part of Dillen’s life, through her volunteer work on the boards of Sport BC, BC Athletics and SBC Insurance Ltd. Her passion is growing the leaders of tomorrow and building businesses while living a healthy, active and values-based life. Enthusiastic about finding your purpose and listening to your intuition and inner voice, Dillen is a passionate and engaged moderator, interviewer and speaker.



Vanessa Flockton

Vanessa Flockton

Vanessa Flockton is a financial advisor in Nicola Wealth’s Vancouver office. She focuses on building meaningful relationships, based on trust, that allow her to have a deep understanding of her clients' financial situation. She provides strategic advice to professionals, business owners and high net worth individuals, where she helps clients stay on track towards meeting both financial and life goals. She covers all aspects of a client’s financial picture including retirement planning, tax planning, investment management, trust and estate planning and risk management. Flockton is an active member of the Nicola Wealth Advisory Team, and is part of the advisory services leadership group, where she is responsible for advisor recruitment and development. Flockton has been in the financial services industry since 1994. She began her career as a commercial account manager with HSBC Bank Canada and later worked in human resources, operations and as a branch manager. Flockton has a bachelor of commerce degree from McGill University and is a certified financial planner. She holds the Canadian investment manager designation and has completed the BC Life License Qualification Program. Flockton is also a member of the BCIT Finance Advisory Committee and the Advisors Edge editorial board.


Diana Godfrey

Diana Godfrey

Diana Godfrey joined Fidelity in 1995. Today, with an impressive 25 years of industry experience under her belt, Godfrey serves as head of human resources for Fidelity Canada. She is also a member of Fidelity Investments Canada’s senior executive team. Godfrey’s career started at Diversey Wyandotte in accounting, followed by Royal Bank in corporate services. Just before joining Fidelity, Godfrey was head of human resources for a division of Sandvik Canada Inc., a multi-national engineering company specializing in mining and rock excavation, metal-cutting and materials technology. She assumed this role following the acquisition of SKF Dormer, where she led the accounting department. On the charitable end, Godfrey has served for over nine years as a board director for the Milton Community Resource Centre (MCRC), a not-for-profit, multi-service organization that provides services to children and families of Milton and surrounding communities. She also serves as chair of the HR and governance committees for MCRC. More recently, Godfrey joined the fundraising committee of the Milton Hospital Foundation.

Janine Guenther

Janine Guenther

Janine Guenther is a portfolio manager and investment advisor at CIBC Wood Gundy. She has over 27 years of experience in the financial services industry. She started her career as a commercial lender and after five years moved into the investment field working for two major Canadian financial firms as an equity analyst and portfolio on the US equity markets. From there, she went on to run a family office for a well-known Canadian family. Guenther has held significant leadership roles in wealth management for two major Canadian banks. Guenther is from rural Manitoba and holds a bachelor of commerce from the University of Manitoba along with the chartered financial analyst and chartered market technician designations. Guenther is a member of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute and the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) Association. Her volunteer roles with CFA Institute include past president of CFA Vancouver, past president's council representative for Canada on the global board of CFA Institute, exam grading, standard setting, the nominating committee and, most currently, the disciplinary review committee.  For the CMT Association, Guenther was a part of their curriculum committee for three years ending in 2018. Guenther was proud volunteer for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics serving as the timer for the figure skating events. In the year, she turned 50; Guenther trained and ran the New York City marathon. She says that prior to signing up for the race; she could only run downhill toward food. She is involved in volunteer activities at the school for her two children and the sports that they play. In her spare time, she can be found on a local mountain looking for fresh tracks for her snowboard.



Catherine Heath

Catherine Heath

Catherine Heath is a vice-president and portfolio manager at Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel in Vancouver. Heath's career at Leith Wheeler spans almost 20 years, most of which was on the institutional fixed income desk responsible for strategy, trading, and analysis of fixed income portfolios for both pension and private clients. Over the latter part of her career, Heath's role has expanded to include the portfolio management and client servicing to many of Leith Wheeler's institutional clients. Heath has a joint bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from Simon Fraser University and holds the chartered financial analyst designation. Heath is a co-founder of the Vancouver chapter of Women in Capital Markets, is a member of the Portfolio Review Committee for the Beedie Endowment Asset Management program at Simon Fraser University, and sits on the Simon Fraser University Business Dean's advisory board. Heath is a member and past president of the Chartered Financial Analyst Society Vancouver.


Mathilde Ho

Mathilde Ho

Mathilde Ho is an analyst in Scotiabank’s consumer, industrial and retail investment banking group. During her time there, she has supported her team in sell-side mergers and acquisitions and equity and debt financing transactions. Prior to her role with Scotiabank, she was a teaching assistant for financial and managerial accounting courses at the University of British Columbia and led a one-month business entrepreneurship workshop in Kenya. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a specialization in finance (honours). In her free time she loves cycling, hiking, and camping.



Lori Landry

Lori Norman

As chief marketing officer for Sun Life Global Investments, Lori Landry oversees the marketing and brand strategy. After joining Sun Life in 2003 as assistant vice-president marketing and plan member education, group retirement services, Landry advanced through a number of senior leadership positions before moving to Sun Life Global Investments. From the outset, Landry has focused on creating a client-first culture and has offered financial advisors key insights into how they can build their business by developing their own unique brands. Landry has also led a national discussion on women and investing by creating the Sun Life Global Investments Women's Investment Symposium – a venue that provides female advisors with the insights they need to help women through every stage of their financial lives. Landry is a former journalist, editorial director and publisher of a number of business magazines, including Benefits Canada, Avantages, Canadian Investment Review and Advisor's Edge magazines. She has also been recognized with a number of national and North American journalism awards for her work as a financial and healthcare writer and commentator. Landry holds a BA in English and Communications from Wilfrid Laurier University and is a member of its Faculty of Arts Advisory Board. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the IFSE Institute, the education arm of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) and works with Prosper Canada on an initiative called MPower Financial Coaching which helps people living in poverty improve their financial stability.



Lori Norman

Lori Norman

Lori Norman has 27 years of experience, primarily in institutional bond sales, and more recently as an investment adviser. Norman spent close to 18 years with Dominion Securities, where she earned the title of vice president, money market and fixed income sales & Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Having spent most of her career working with institutional investors, Norman decided she wanted to use her experience to help individual investors and made the move to Steadyhand, a boutique investment firm in 2013.  Norman is now a partner at Steadyhand and works with clients helping them build personalized investment portfolios and strategies focused on long-term investing success.  Norman is a co-founder of the Vancouver chapter of Women in Capital Markets and has been on the committee for SheBiz Vancouver, an annual free day-long event for girls in grades 9 – 11 that offers unique access to leaders in STEM and exposure to the diverse and exciting career opportunities available to women in these fields.



Tina Osen

Tina Osen

Tina Osen is president of HUB International Canada, the largest insurance broker in the country. As president of HUB’s Canadian operations, Osen is responsible for six regional “hub” retail entities, as well as HUB Financial, Totten Insurance Group, and Can-Sure wholesale operations. A recognized leader and innovator who has championed employee empowerment, customer service and community investment, Osen has 20 years of experience in the insurance sector. Prior to her role as president of HUB International Canada, Osen was chief executive officer of HUB’s greater Vancouver region. Osen is synonymous with community leadership, recently as former chapter chair for the Young Presidents Organization in Vancouver, and as a past director on the Vancouver Board of Trade.  She received the HUB International’s Chairman’s Award in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.  In 2011, Osen was an honoree at the BIV Influential Women in Business Awards, was recognized as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Canada for 2013 by the Women’s Executive Network, and is a past mentor with the Women’s Executive Network’s Top 100 Mentoring Program.  Osen was recently presented with the 2016 Wendy McDonald Diversity Award by the Vancouver Board of Trade, and was named Salute BC’s 2016 Insurance Person of the Year. Under Osen and her team’s leadership, HUB International has been actively involved in supporting a number of charitable causes including the Aga Khan Foundation, ALS Society, Amica Helping Hands Community Sponsorship, BC Special Olympics, Burnaby Hospital, Canadian Cancer Society, Canuck’s Place Hospice, Covenant House, Dare Arts, Free the Children We Day, JDRF, Minerva Foundation, the Variety Boat for Hope, and numerous Food Banks.



Event Location: Fairmont Waterfront, Vancouver

Contemporary accommodations bring more fun to travelers staying at 489-room The Fairmont Waterfront, a luxury hotel set in a prime location in Vancouver where lots of fun destinations are within reach. A wide array of delicious food choices are featured at ARC Restaurant + Bar, with guests and locals invited to indulge in the local and handcrafted cuisine offered throughout the day


900 Canada Place Way, Vancouver, BC V6C3L5

For more information about the conference accommodations please contact Emma Ramsey at