MaRS CEO Dr. Ilse Treurnicht named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women for fourth time since 2009

Women’s Executive Network reveals 2013 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winners

TORONTO, December 3, 2013 – MaRS Discovery District is pleased to announce that CEO Dr. Ilse Treurnicht has been named a recipient of the Women’s Executive Network’s (WXN) 2013 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards. As a four-time recipient of the award, and in recognition of her longstanding contribution to Canadian innovation, she will also be inducted into WXN’s Hall of Fame this year.

Co-presented by Scotiabank and KPMG, the WXN awards celebrate and highlight the professional achievements of women across the country in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors at a time when corporate Canada is under growing pressure to promote more female leaders into senior management and corporate director roles.

Since its inception in 1997, WXN has created and delivered innovative networking, mentoring and professional and personal development opportunities for women in leadership roles, growing into a sizable community of more than 19,000 members strong across Canada and Ireland. As of today, WXN has honoured 728 of Canada’s most powerful women and inducted 93 of these women into the Top 100 Hall of Fame.

“Ilse possesses that rare combination of keen intellect, acute business sense and celebrated leadership skills, so I think it fitting that she will be inducted into WXN’s Hall of Fame this year,” said Gordon Nixon, President and CEO, RBC and Chair of the MaRS Board. “This honour, coupled with WXN’s Top 100 Award—her fourth since 2009—recognizes her as a consistent and key driver of Canada’s innovation agenda, both here at home and internationally.”

This year’s Top 100 Leadership Summit and Awards Gala on December 4 is appropriately themed, “What Glass Ceiling?” During the Summit held at the Sheraton Centre Toronto, Top 100 Award Winners will provide insights on how they managed to become leaders in their sectors to inspire more than 400 women in attendance, including the next generation of female leaders. Speakers at this year’s Summit include Lisa Lisson, President, FedEx Express Canada; Christine Magee, President and Co-Founder, Sleep Country Canada; Dr. Fiona Costello, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Calgary; and Sue Paish, CEO, LifeLabs.

“Every year we see the high quality of female leadership in this country as we review the applications for these Awards,” said Pamela Jeffery, Founder, WXN. “The 2013 Top 100 Winners are a testament to the broad range of talent and leadership found in Canada and we believe that by recognizing and sharing the accomplishments of these women, we are encouraging the next generation to reach higher so that one day there will be no ceiling, just possibility.”

On the evening of December 4, over 1,100 attendees will honour the 2013 Top 100 Award Winners at a Gala dinner where the keynote speech will be delivered by Dr. Roberta Bondar, who shattered the glass ceiling when she became the first Canadian female astronaut and neurologist in space aboard NASA’s 1992 space shuttle Discovery. Returning for the second year as the Gala Emcee is Anne-Marie Mediwake, news anchor and co-host of CBC News Toronto and 2011 Consumer’s Choice Awards’ GTA Woman of the Year.

The full list of WXN’s 2013 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winners can be found at:

Top 100 Awards enjoys a strong commitment from corporate supporters. For a complete list of Partners, visit:

About the Women’s Executive Network (WXN)
At WXN, we inspire smart women to lead. WXN creates and delivers innovative networking, mentoring, professional and personal development to inform, inspire, connect and recognize our community of 19,000 smart women and their organizations in the pursuit of excellence. WXN enables our Partners and Corporate Members to become and to be recognized as employers of choice and leaders in the advancement of women.

Founded in 1997, WXN is Canada’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles. WXN is a Founding Member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council, dedicated to increasing the diversity of Canada’s corporate boards. In the fall of 2008, WXN launched in Ireland, a first step in creating an international community of female leaders.

In June 2012, WXN Founder, Pamela Jeffery was named the only Canadian resident to Fast Company’s 2012 League of Extraordinary Women, in the leadership category. In its inaugural year, the League of Extraordinary Women recognized 60 women from the world’s largest companies, innovative start-ups, philanthropic organizations, government and arts for their dedication to changing the lives of women and girls everywhere. WXN is the only Canadian-based organization on the list. Other Charter members include Hilary Clinton and Melinda Gates.

As individuals, we can inspire and be inspired. To our community of members and Partners, we thank you for inspiring WXN to lead.

More information and details are available at or

About MaRS
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto. MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada’s next generation of growth companies. In the last three years, MaRS startup clients have raised over $750 million in capital, earned over $375 million in revenue and hired well over 3,500 workers into knowledge economy jobs.

For more information, contact:
Melissa Hughes
Manager, Media & Community Relations
MaRS Discovery District
(416) 673-8200 ext. 2710