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Women in STEM and Canadian Energy

Posted By Heather Christie-Burns, Monday, August 12, 2019

Heather Christie-Burns

I’ve always been a geek. Since childhood, I’ve been interested in how things work, and the parts that create systems. “Why?”, and more importantly, “why not?” both featured often in my speech. I became an engineer; it felt like the right fit for me, connecting science and the practical application of it in the everyday. I have never felt that I was limited due to my gender.

The ability to solve challenges in finding and producing oil and gas, and the phenomenal opportunities to do this in the province of Alberta were gifts I received. I progressed from the training of a larger Company, sitting rigs in Southern Alberta, to starting up and running small Companies with teams of other technical professionals and learning all the aspects of the business. Now in my late 40s, I remind myself of my “Why?” and I keep this spirit of discovery alive. This is especially important today working in the Canadian Energy Industry.

We are living in a polarized time in our country on issues of energy – related to the environment and to our economy. Our resources are our lifeblood, no more felt than in Alberta right now. We want to use them carefully and thoughtfully. For all the effort being spent on social media missives, we would do far better to get together and look for those “third ways” – how do we spend not only our money, but our time?

What appears to limit us is only the proving ground for the solutions to come.

We need the biggest networks of people possible, minds from all backgrounds, working on better technologies, new ways of thinking, and “third ways” of solving a problem. The data technologies emerging will generate new methods in managing our projects – this is already starting to happen. Canada is a leader in environmental technologies, and our home grown systems can be exported around the globe.

I will say to anyone, if this opportunity intrigues you, then STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) career fields need you. STEM fields have been known to be male-dominated, and I will also say that THE TIME IS NOW for more women to join these fields and contribute their gifts to society.

I have answered “Why?” on the question of the opportunity for women in STEM, and specifically in the Canadian Energy Industry.

If you know an inspiring woman that is making an impact in ANY STEM field please help recognize her contributions by nominating her for Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 in the new STEM category [Manulife Science and Technology category]. This category will help acknowledge and recognize women in STEM fields and create visibility for other women in STEM.

Because, as we continue to share our stories, the question should be “Why not?” All the best in your journey of inquiry.

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Heather Christie-Burns, President and CEO of High Ground Energy Inc., is a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in the CIBC Trailblazers & Trendsetters category for 2018. She has been recognized as a woman who has made a major impact in her field, in turn making a significant contribution to Canadian society. Heather is also breaking traditional barriers as a leading female in STEM.

Do you know a female trailblazer who deserves to be recognized or a leading woman who has is breaking new ground in STEM, contributing to Canadian society? Are you a trendsetter or a woman in STEM that’s made an impact on Canada? Click here to nominate today! It's free! Deadline to nominate is June 17.

Looking for more information about Top 100? Visit our website to learn all about the awards including the CIBC Trailblazers & Trendsetters and Manulife Science & Technology!


About Heather:

Heather Christie-Burns portraitHeather Christie-Burns is President and CEO of High Ground Energy Inc.
2018 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
CIBC Trailblazers & Trendsetters

Ms. Christie-Burns is President and Chief Executive officer and a founder of High Ground Energy Inc., a private equity backed upstream E&P company with assets in eastern Alberta in the Viking light oil play. High Ground is one of a very few ‘blind pool’ (building from no assets) private company start-ups in Alberta in the last 4 years, with a $230 million equity backing in July 2014 from Pine Brook and Camcor Partners. The Company purchased assets from Penn West Petroleum in April 2016 and has since transformed the asset from a liability-weighted legacy gas base without cash flow into a healthy going-concern light oil project with 3,300 boe/d of production and approximately $33 million of cash flow from operations. High Ground has 15 employees in Calgary and 15 contractors managing its field operations in Consort, Alberta.

Prior to founding High Ground Energy in 2014, Heather co-founded and was President and Chief Operating Officer of Angle Energy Inc., an Alberta based, TSX- listed upstream E&P Company with an enterprise value upon sale in December 2013 of $576 million. Angle Energy was grown through the drill bit as a Canadian controlled private company, blind pool start up. The Company went public in June 2008 and was the last IPO that year on the TSX. Upon its sale, Angle Energy had 48 employees, 11,000 boe/d of production, and approximately $100 million of cash flow from operations.

Ms. Christie-Burns is a successful entrepreneur, building companies for the past fourteen years. Additionally, in Heather’s twenty-four year career as a professional engineer she has developed expertise in petroleum exploitation, M&A, corporate and property evaluations, joint venture negotiations, reservoir engineering and production operations. Previous to her executive roles at Angle, Ms. Christie-Burns was the Senior Reservoir Engineer at Bear Creek Energy Ltd. from January 2002 through March 2004. From February 1999 to January 2002, she was Senior Reservoir Engineer and later Senior Exploitation Engineer with Encal Energy Ltd. Prior roles include Fekete Associates Inc. and a field engineering role at Norcen Energy.

Ms. Christie-Burns earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary. She is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). She was recognized in 2011 by Calgary’s Avenue Magazine as one of the top 40 under 40, and was also awarded recognition in Oilweek’s Class of Rising Stars of 2011. Heather has presented to a variety of audiences including the Oil and Gas Council, Women’s Executive Network (WXN), WinSETT, the SPE, the Calgary CFA Society and Calgary Women in Energy and participated as a mentor over the past four years in the Lilith Professional Organization.

Tags:  Achievements  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  female leaders  leadership  STEM  Top 100  Top 100 Awards  Top 100 Winner  Top 100 Winners  trailblazers  trendsetters  Women  Women in Leadership  women in STEM  Women Leaders  Women Leadership  WXN 

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Winning this Award Provides a Platform

Posted By Amanda Hobson, Monday, August 12, 2019

Amanda Hobson

First impressions of the big WIN

This is an incredible honour. Being named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women is a pretty big deal. It “puts you on the map”, opens doors and provides opportunities.

Amanda HobsonI was quite surprised when I first learned of my nomination for this award. I think it was the word “powerful” that threw me off. It is not a word I would have used to describe myself. After getting over the initial shock, I felt immense pride and joy. Then my mind turned to what I will do with this honour, how I will recognize it and share it with others.

So how will I pay it forward?

Winning this award provides a platform, an opportunity to celebrate and shine the light on the success of others. At the recent Fortune Most Powerful Women International Summit, someone said, “Once you make it to the top, don’t forget to send the elevator back down.”

The first thing I’m going to do is put forward a nomination of my own for [this] year. It took me about 2 seconds to decide whom I would nominate. (Don’t ask – it’s a secret!) I know many worthy candidates and I’m so excited to support them and share the pride and joy I’ve felt from my own experience. There is so much for me to be thankful for and I have come to realize that the best way to show my gratitude is to pay it forward. I encourage others to submit a nomination for [this] year as well.

Secondly, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and celebrate some exceptional women I know on their own recent successes:

  • Sarah Fotheringham – my dear friend has been invited to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City by the UN Programme on Youth to present her research on women’s social enterprise and inform the upcoming UN Youth Strategy focusing on youth social entrepreneurship. Talk about impactful work…!
  • Gwen Hardy – Managing Partner of Elettra Communications – the Public Relations brain behind Kennedy Stewart’s mayoral race for the City of Vancouver (always behind the scenes, Gwen is an unsung hero if there ever was one).
  • Crystal Prystai – VP and Corporate Controller, Teck – one of the most brilliant accounting minds I’ve ever worked with (speaking of unsung heroes) just promoted into the senior ranks of the largest diversified mining company in Canada (in an undeniably male-dominated industry).

I’d like to give a shout-out to WXN – an incredible organization that brings women together to share in each others’ journeys and successes. It is truly an honor to become a part of this community. The best part of winning this award is the opportunity to meet so many wonderful and inspiring people. Thank you, WXN!

Finally, I would like to recognize my husband, Wayne, and the rest of my incredible support network of family, friends and colleagues. I cannot even begin to describe the love and support I have had along my journey and I am so grateful for you all.

This experience has been humbling, enriching and exciting. Most of all, it has been inspiring, and I can’t wait to pay it forward.

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Amanda Hobson, CFO and VP, Finance and Corporate Services for BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC), is a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in the Public Sector Leaders Category for 2018. She has been recognized her hard work and leadership while holding a senior position in one of  Canada’s public sector organizations.

Do you know a woman who deserves to be recognized for her personal and business contributions as an female public sector leader in Canada? Are you a leading female in the public sector? Click here to nominate today! It's free! Deadline to nominate is June 17.

Looking for more information about Top 100? Visit our website for all the ins and outs!

 


About Amanda:

Amanda Hobson portraitAmanda Hobson is Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Finance and Corporate Services for BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC).
2018 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
Public Sector Leaders

Amanda is a senior finance professional with more than 20 years of diverse experience in large and international private, public and public sector organizations. Recognized as 2017 BC CFO of the Year in the Emerging Leader category by Business in Vancouver and CPABC, Amanda is passionate about inspiring and motivating others to achieve strategic objectives and organizational excellence. Amanda currently serves on the boards of the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation and the Interprovincial Lottery Corporation.

Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  female leaders  Leadership  pay it forward  public sector  public sector leaders  recognition  strength  Top 100  Top 100 Awards  Top 100 Winner  Top 100 Winners  Women  Women in Leadership  Women Leaders  Women Leadership 

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I come to work to maximize opportunities for our learners

Posted By Dr. Jodi Abbott, Monday, August 12, 2019

Jodi Abbott

Wow, what great news to hear that WXN has honored me as a Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the PwC Public Sector Leaders category. But this recognition is really for our learners, our community partners, and our donors, who make the NorQuest community such an invigorating and life changing place. Thanks to you!

Every day I come to work to maximize opportunities for our learners. Learners who represent the world. Our indigenous learners, our regional residents, and other learners who represent 131 countries speaking 77 languages. Learners who step away from work and family obligations to enhance their knowledge and their skills so that they can contribute to building a better, stronger, more inclusive community. Who wouldn't want to work in this environment? Everyday spending time at NorQuest College is a privilege, and a place where I continue to learn.

How do I feel about the WXN honor? Well, first I would like to personally thank my direct team who secretly completed the nomination and kept a secret - a high risk maneuver for sure! Seriously though, I am honored, humbled, excited, and so very grateful. Thank you!

Jodi

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Dr. Jodi Abbott, ICD.D, President & CEO of NorQuest College, is a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in the Public Sector Leaders Category for 2018. She has been recognized her hard work and leadership while holding a senior position in one of  Canada’s public sector organizations.

Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized for her personal and business contributions as an female public sector leader in Canada? Are you a leading female in the public sector? Click here to learn more about our Top 100 Nominations and how to nominate yourself or someone else. It's free to nominate!

 


About Dr. Abbott:

Dr. Jodi Abbott portraitDr. Jodi L. Abbott, ICD.D is President and CEO of NorQuest College
2018 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
Public Sector Leaders

Dr. Jodi L. Abbott is the President and CEO of NorQuest College. Since joining the college in 2010, Dr. Abbott has more than doubled NorQuest’s student population through expanded credit and non-credit programming; unveiled innovative partnerships including the Alberta Indigenous Construction Career Centre, the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation Hospitality Institute, the NorQuest College ATB Agency, and the Colbourne Institute for Inclusive Leadership; and enhanced NorQuest’s brand recognition. Under Dr. Abbott’s leadership, NorQuest College opened a stunning new campus addition, the Singhmar Centre for Learning, for fall term classes in 2017.

Dr. Abbott is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and currently chairs the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board. She was recently the Chair of Edmonton’s Health City and served as a trustee of the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. In addition, she has a longstanding involvement with figure skating, including as an Olympic judge in 2010 and 2014. In 2011, Dr. Abbott was included in the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women in Sport and Physical Activity’s list of Canada's top-20 most influential women in sport. In 2013, she received the University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award in recognition of her international work with figure skating and for championing improved health-care services. In 2015, she was named as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN), receiving the Trailblazers and Trendsetters Award for women who are either the first in their field or have made a major impact on it. In 2016, Dr. Abbott was named among the Top 50 Most Influential People in Alberta by Alberta Venture magazine, and she received the first-ever District 99 Toastmaster Award in Leadership and Communication. Most recently, she was named a Global Woman of Vision.

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Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  female leaders  leadership  Top 100  Top 100 Awards  Top 100 Winner  Top 100 Winners  Women  Women in Business  Women in Leadership  Women Leaders  Women Leadership 

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There is Strength in Vulnerability

Posted By Angela Liddon, Monday, August 12, 2019

Angela Liddon header

Angela LiddonReceiving one of WXN’s Canada’s Most Powerful Women Awards coincided with a time in my life when I felt my least powerful. As a mom of two young kids, I’d been struggling with postpartum health issues for a long time and pushed through because I thought how I felt was normal. I honestly didn’t know if I would ever feel like myself again—I was anxious, tired (yet unable to truly relax), and dealing with a long list of other physical symptoms. On the professional side of things, I had a lot of self-doubt and indecision as a business owner. I didn’t know whether I should push through this challenging time, scale back and take a break, or hire more help. At one point, I even doubted whether I should continue as I felt like I wasn’t able to juggle my various hats as a business owner and entrepreneur.

Angela LiddonWhen I found out that I’d been selected as one of WXN's Top 100 Entrepreneurs, I was floored. Without a doubt, this meaningful recognition helped me find my strength and remember the potential I’ve always had within myself. Reading other women’s stories has reminded me that there is strength in vulnerability and that we all have times along our journey that nearly take everything out of us. Going forward, I’ve been even more mindful of sharing my struggles so other women (and men) know that they aren’t alone, and know how important it is to take time for our personal health and let go of perfectionism. Thank you WXN for giving us a platform to share our diverse stories and for supporting and encouraging women all across Canada. It’s truly an honour to be included!

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Angela LiddonAngela Liddon, award winning author and business owner, is a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in the Entrepreneurs Category for 2018. She has been honoured as an female owner and operator of a thriving business in Canada.

Do you know a someone who deserves to be recognized her personal and business contributions as an female entrepreneur in Canada? Are you a female business owner? It's free to nominate! Click here to learn more about our Top 100 Nominations and how to nominate yourself or someone else.

 

 

 

 


About Angela:

Angela Liddon portraitAngela Liddon is President of Oh She Glows
2018 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
Entrepreneurs

Ten years ago, Angela Liddon founded Oh She Glows—a destination for energizing plant-based recipes, stunning food photography, and inspiration for healthy living. Since then, she’s become the award-winning author behind The New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling cookbooks The Oh She Glows Cookbook and Oh She Glows Every Day. In 2014, The Oh She Glows Cookbook was selected as Indigo’s Book of the Year. Most recently, Oh She Glows Every Day took home gold at the 2017 Taste Canada Awards for Health and Special Diet Cookbook of the year. Building on the success of her wildly popular cookbooks, Angela launched The Oh She Glows Recipe App in 2016. It has been downloaded over 200,000 times globally, is regularly selected as Apple’s App of the Day, and is continually lauded for its beautiful design and Angela’s mouthwatering food photography.

In 2009, Angela founded OhSheGlows.com to share her love of vibrant, wholesome, and delicious cooking with the world. Her blog continues to receive millions of visitors each month, readers around the globe praising Angela’s ability to create recipes beloved by vegans and omnivores alike. Angela’s work has been featured in local and international publications such as VegNews, O: The Oprah Magazine, Fitness, The Kitchn, Self, Shape, The National Post, The Guardian, Glamour, The Telegraph, barre3, T.O.F.U., and Best Health, among others. She has also won several major writing and blogging awards, including VegNews’s Best Vegan Blog 2012, 2014, and 2015; Taste Canada's Health & Special Diet Food Blog 2017; Chatelaine’s Hot 20 under 30 award; and Food Buzz’s Best Veg Blog and Best Overall Blog.

Angela lives in Oakville, Ontario with her husband Eric and their two children.

Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  female leaders  leaders  Leadership  strength  Top 100  Top 100 Awards  Top 100 Winner  Top 100 Winners  vulnerability  Women  Women Entrepreneurs  Women in Business  Women in Leadership  Women Leaders  Women Leadership 

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The Next Diversity Challenge: Embracing Our Natural Leadership Styles

Posted By Melanie Dunn, Friday, August 9, 2019

Melanie Dunn header image

WXN’s mantra is ‘celebrate differences’ and ‘lead inclusively.’ I think both of those directives are important when it comes to inspiring the people around you.

Melanie DunnIt’s an honour to be named to WXN’s Top 100 Most powerful women in Canada list and be part of an outstanding group of leaders in their fields.

All of us have overcome challenges throughout our careers, some of which are inherent to business and some of which are gender-specific. Staying true to my leadership style has not always been easy. I’m fortunate to have been 19 years with a company that has created a business environment where women can stay true to their values.

But more broadly, I would say that despite advancements, a very stereotyped image of leadership remains. By default we tend to celebrate some leadership styles over others. Women are still encouraged to be more assertive, more confident in the boardroom, willing to take more risks and make stronger decisions. In other words, the traditional characteristics of a male C-suite executive.

But I believe that is changing.

The catalyst is that with the way the world is now, we are losing a bit of our humanity. We are going to be progressively open to a whole new kind of leadership, and I think the skills we tend to align with women more than men are going to change in value. Things like empathy, collaboration and generosity: these will no longer be a ‘nice to have’ but a must have.

Women receive a lot of advice on how to succeed in business. I would argue that instead, we should be giving advice to business on how to attract women to the workforce, and start building an environment where women can be themselves. After all, this is what diversity means. If we do the same things in the same ways and have the same behaviours, then diversity is mute.

Years ago one of my account leaders returned to the office after having a manicure with a client and she felt very awkward telling me. Like it was more of a confession than sharing a successful client experience with the boss. I said to her, “Why are you embarrassed? Do you play golf? No. Just think of the manicure as a round of golf.” The light went on.

This is a small story, but it illustrates the broader point that there are legacy codes of how to be in business that don’t work for everyone. Women can be trailblazers in many ways; not just in continuing to push against the traditional means of excluding women from leadership ranks, but also in redefining what we value in leaders overall.

This year, my status as WXN winner will reinforce the goals of ‘celebrating differences’ and ‘leading inclusively,’ that have always guided me professionally. It’s important to see other people’s views, to embrace a diversity of approaches and responses and to encourage people to be wholly themselves. It is on our shoulders to create a world that truly values the idea that there are as many ways to be successful in business as there are leaders in business.

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We’re very proud that Melanie is a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in the HSBC Corporate Executives Category. 

Do you know a female in Canada who deserves to be recognized for her contributions? Click here to learn more about our Top 100 Nominations and how to nominate yourself or someone else. It's free!

 


About Melanie:

Melanie Dunn portraitMelanie Dunn is the Global President and CEO of Cossette.
2018 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
HSBC Corporate Executives

A highly accomplished businesswoman, Melanie has over 20 years of experience in business management and marketing communications. She is the President and CEO of Cossette and a member of the executive management team of Vision7 International, a holding company with an extensive portfolio of Communications firms in North America, Europe and Asia.

Melanie is actively involved in several professional and community organizations. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Canada Post Corporation and the Health Standards Organization (HSO). She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation.

Melanie has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Marketing Certificate from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

Tags:  Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100  Change  Diversity  Embracing diversity  Leadership  Top 100  Top 100 Awards  Top 100 Winner  Top 100 Winners  Women  Women in Leadership  Women Leaders  Women Leadership 

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