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About Us

Who are we?

The Association of Women in Finance (the "AWF") is a group of finance professionals dedicated to supporting the advancement of women in finance.

We are executives, bankers, lawyers, accountants, investment professionals, actuaries, venture capitalists, insurers and entrepreneurs. We work in both private and public practice across a wide range of industries.

What do we do?

Quite simply, we exist to encourage women finance professionals to claim their seats at boardroom tables.

How do we do it?

Since 1996, we’ve been honouring successes, supporting advancement and exchanging knowledge.

  1. By recognizing women in finance who have achieved excellence;
  2. By encouraging women to enter the finance field through our scholarship program; and 
  3. By involving, connecting and developing women in the business community through events like our Economic Update, Real Estate forum and Fireside Chats.

Why do we do it?

Women remain under-represented in top leadership positions and on corporate boards.

The 2011 biennial Catalyst Census: Financial Post 500 Women Board Directors details women's representation on corporate boards at the largest companies in Canada.

  • In 2011, the percentage of women directors at public companies was 10.3 percent (the same as in 2009).
  • in 2011, women held just 3.6 percent of board chair positions at public companies, an increase of less than a half of a percent since 2009.
  • In 2011, approximately 40 percent of companies still had no women board directors.

How can you get involved?

Attend an AWF Event:

Fireside Chat Series (three to four times per year) – A speaker series at which prominent members from the financial industry speak to a small group of industry professionals. Fireside Chats provide attendees an opportunity to interact with top professionals in the financial industry in an intimate setting. Events are well attended by financial professionals including executives, bankers, lawyers, accountants and entrepreneurs.

  • Recent speakers include Jim F. Manning, Regional Vice-President, RBC Commercial Financial Services; Lisa Wittet, Vice President, Integrated Markets, BC, RBC Royal Bank; Tracey McVicar, Managing Partner at CAI Capital Management Co.; Karen Vineyard, Senior Vice President and Regional Manager for Wells Fargo’s Portland Commercial Banking Office; and Christina Howton, Director of Business Development, PwC's BC Private Company Services. 

Annual Economic Luncheon Event (November) – An expert panel discusses the economic outlook from a global, national and regional perspective and the impact it will have on BC businesses, families and investors.

  • Recent speakers include Christine Hughes, President and Chief Investment Strategist; Jock Finlayson, Executive Vice President, Business Council of British Columbia; and Jim Allworth, Investment Strategist & Co-Chair RBC Dominion Securities' Global Portfolio Advisory Committee.  

Annual Real Estate Luncheon Event (June) – A provocative panel discussion on the state of Vancouver’s real estate market and the reality behind the headlines.

  • Recent speakers include Jennifer Podmore-Russell, Director, Deloitte Real Estate; Cathy Grant, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Sales, Intracorp; Jarvis Rouillard, Vice President, Investments, Triovest; Leeanna Petrik, Senior Associate, Avison Young; and Beau Jarvis, Senior Vice President, Developments, Wesgroup Properties Ltd.

Annual AWF PEAK Awards (May) – An annual awards gala attended by over 400 women and men that recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to advancing women in the field of finance. Five individuals are honoured during a wine reception and gourmet dinner. In addition, funds are raised at this event for the AWF Scholarship Program.

Sponsor an AWF Event:

  • Be an AWF Event speaker
  • Partner with the AWF in presenting our Annual Economic or Real Estate Luncheon
  • Partner with the AWF in presenting our Annual PEAK Awards, as a corporate sponsor

Nominate a deserving individual for an AWF PEAK Award:

  • Lifetime Achievement;
  • Excellence in the Private Sector;
  • Excellence in the Public Sector;
  • Rising Star;
  • Champion (open to both men and women).