For Immediate Release: BC Champions Recognized with International Awards

August 2, 2011 Vancouver, BC:  The International Alliance for Women (TIAW), a global umbrella organization uniting professional women and their networks, has announced the 2011 winners of its prestigious World of Difference 100 Awards. This year, eight exceptional individuals from British Columbia have been internationally recognized for their work promoting and supporting the advancement of women in business. The 2011 awards recognize 100 achievers from 27 countries for their efforts in advancing the economic empowerment of women locally, regionally or worldwide.  The 22 Canadians honoured in this year’s awards also included Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette of Quebec, in the Public Service /Government category and Charles Coffey, O.C.,  currently Co-Chair, Aboriginal Human Resource Development Council of Canada and retired Executive Vice President, Government and Community Affairs President, RBC Financial Group, who was named in the Male Champions category.

This is the second time anyone from BC has made the list since the awards’ inception in 2008, when Doreen McKenzie-Sanders was recognized for her work creating the Women in the Lead Directory of qualified women candidates for appointment to corporate boards.  That same year, Sarmite Bulte, former Toronto-based MP and founder of the Women Entrepreneurs of Canada, was awarded for her advocacy of women’s rights.

Every year, TIAW invites nominations in several different categories. Award categories include Education, Community, Entrepreneurial, Non-profit, and Public Service/Government.  This year, Young Women Leaders, Male Champions of Women’s Economic Empowerment, and Corporations were added to the list. Hundreds of nominations were received from all continents, from which the top 100 were selected. The 2011 awards to the BC recipients were granted in the following categories (in alphabetical order):

  • Laurel Douglas, CEO of Women’s Enterprise Centre, in the Education category;
  • Jill Earthy, CEO of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE), in the Community category;
  • Bob Elton, Chair of the Board of Governors of Simon Fraser University, in the Male Champion of Women’s Economic Empowerment category;
  • Paulina Lipska, President of Young Women in Business (YWIB), as a Young Women Leader <25;
  • Anne Lippert, Principal of Anne Lippert Consulting, in the Corporate (Individual Women) category;
  • Barbara Mowat, President of Impact Communications, in the Entrepreneurial category;
  • Michelle Pockey, Partner at the law firm Fasken Martineau, in the Entrepreneurial category;  and
  • Jennifer Sung, Vice President, Young Women in Business (YWIB), as a Young Women Leader <25.

Bob Elton, who serves on several boards, including the Minerva Foundation for BC Women, has this to say about being one of the first male recipients of the award: “It is great to see so many BC recipients recognized for this award, and I'm proud to be in this company.  All parts of our society, including business, clearly benefit from having a mix of men and women working together.”  

Anne Lippert, a veteran corporate director who provides philanthropy consulting services, notes the benefits of investing in women and giving back.  “We’re very fortunate in BC to have such a supportive environment for women, and so many committed leaders who work together for the benefit of all,” remarks Lippert.

Commenting on the high levels of cooperation between many of the BC women’s business organizations represented with these awards, Jill Earthy of the FWE, a leading association of women business owners, adds, “I think it is truly extraordinary the level of support and collaboration we all share”. 

Michelle Pockey, who in 1997 founded and serves as National Chair of the Professional Women’s Network, which celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2011 notes, “I’m very honoured to stand alongside some of Canada's most dedicated champions of women in business as a 2011 recipient of the TIAW World of Difference 100 Awards.”

Barbara Mowat, who is also Chapter Chair of three Women President’s Organization groups in Vancouver, highlights the impact of the awards:  “This international recognition inspires us and strengthens our resolve to continue empowering women to their business success.” 

Laurel Douglas of Women’s Enterprise Centre, which provides loans, training and business advisory services to BC women business owners, concurs.  “Our organizations all work together closely, partnering on events and initiatives.  I believe this award will encourage even greater collaboration.”

Some of the successful collaborative initiatives co-hosted by these organizations include the Leadership Lessons from Influential Women in Business conference in October 2010, the Connecting to Contracts Workshop in April 2011, and the Embracing Award Opportunities seminar in June 2011.

Young Women in Business leaders Paulina Lipska and Jennifer Sung add: “It’s so encouraging to be part of a community in Vancouver where all the women networks and leaders truly support the younger generation. We’re very excited to see how the future female leaders will continue to create positive change.”

The 2011 TIAW World of Difference 100 Awards will be presented to the recipients on October 27, 2011 at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC as part of the annual TIAW Global Forum.

TIAW ( ) is an international umbrella organization which strives to support and promote professional women through resources and networks. Founded in 1980, it has emerged as the global voice of businesswomen who want to make a difference in their communities. TIAW connects leading women’s organizations and their members worldwide to leverage their reach and resources. Located primarily in the Americas, Asia and Europe, they represent more than 35,000 members worldwide.


Media Contacts

Laurel Douglas

CEO, Women’s Enterprise Centre 250-212-5180

 Anne Lippert

Principal, Anne Lippert Consulting

604 733 1979

Jill Earthy CEO, Forum for Women Entrepreneurs 604 682 8115

 Barbara Mowat

President, Impact Communications

604 644 8298

Bob Elton Chair of the Board of Governors, SFU 604-590-7500 Michelle Pockey Founder, Professional Women’s Network 604 631 4825

Paulina Lipska President

Young Women in Business

Jennifer Sung Vice President

Young Women in Business



2011 Canadian Winners of the TIAW World of Difference 100 Awards

Mary Aitken Canada Corporate (Individual Women)
Lynda Bowles Canada Corporate (Individual Women)
Janet Burn Canada Public Service/Government
Charles Coffey, O.C. Canada Male Champions
Patricia Douey Canada Corporate (Individual Women)
Laurel Douglas Canada Education
Jill Earthy Canada Community
Bob Elton Canada Male Champions
Lydia Fernandes Canada Entrepreneurial
The Honourable Celine Hervieux-Payette Canada Public Service/Government
Anne Lippert Canada Corporate (Individual Women)
Paulina Lipska   Canada Young Women Leaders<25
Janet  Longmore Canada Non-Profit/NGO
Natalie MacNeil Canada Young Women Leaders<25
Janice McDonald Canada Community
Barbara Mowat Canada Entrepreneurial
Michelle Pockey Canada Entrepreneurial
Helen Reeves Canada Corporate (Individual Women)
Joanne Stanley Canada Non-Profit/NGO
Jennifer Sung  Canada Young Women Leaders<25
Genevieve Vanderveldt-L’Esperance Canada Young Women Leaders<25
Dilara Yegani Canada Corporate (Individual Women)