Prix d’engagement en matière d’égalité

2022 Award Recipient

May Cheng

May Cheng
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

The OBA Women's Lawyers Forum Section is pleased to announce May Cheng, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP as the recipient of the 2022 OBA Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Women's Equality. 

About the Award

The Ontario Bar Association Women Lawyers Forum historically has presented the Award in alternate years. The Section is committed to recognizing the diversity of Canadian women in its selection of Award recipients.


The Award recognizes the significant contributions made by feminist lawyers to the promotion of equality rights in Canadian society, through their work for social justice,the advancement of substantive law,or women’s advancement in the legal profession. The work reflects the spirit of s. 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as expressed and developed in the substantive equality jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of Canada, and a desire to broaden and improve opportunities for women in the legal profession.

* Women includes cis, trans, non-binary, and two-spirit people


To be eligible for the Award, the nominee must be a woman lawyer at any stage in her career who has demonstrated her commitment to the values of equality and equity by her outstanding, sustained contribution to the advancement of women’s equality in Canada. The recipient must be a CBA/OBA member in good standing. Eligible candidates cannot be members of the current executive.

The recipient’s contribution may be made through the practice of law, through teaching and scholarship, through work for law reform or through service to an organization or to the community, in any professional setting. Her activities on behalf of women must exemplify Charter and human rights values.

Section Award Committee

The Section Award Committee consists of the Section Chair, the immediate Past Chair and one other member of the Section Executive, who is appointed by the Chair.

Nomination and Selection Process

The Section Executive, by e-mail and by announcement on the Section’s web page, invites Section Members in good standing to nominate women lawyers who have made an outstanding, sustained contribution to the advancement of women’s equality in Canada.

At a minimum, a nomination package must include: a nomination letter that sets out the achievements and actions that make the nominee worthy of being honoured; up to two supporting letters (can be on behalf of an individual or organization); and a CV or biography. Optional: where appropriate and available, the nomination package may also include a list of the nominee's recent publications or reported cases, including web links.

We encourage diversity in nominations.

The Section Award Committee will set the deadline for nominations each year.

The Section Award Committee will consider all nominations and select the recipient of the Award. The consent of the selected recipient must be obtained before the Award recipient is announced.

The Selection Committee shall consider OBA policies, rules and guidelines on Diversity and Inclusion when selecting the winner of the Award.

Presentation of the Award

The Award is presented at a dinner and ceremony.

The Award is a Lady Justice statuette. It symbolizes the role of the recipient in navigating Canadian law and society toward full recognition of women’s equality.

Additional Information

Eava-Kay McKnight
CPD and Sections Coordinator
(416) 869-1047 ext. 347 or 1 (800) 668-8900

Past Recipients

Past recipient winners of the OBA Commitment to Equality Award include:

  • 2021 - Jennifer Gold
  • 2020 - Susan Toth
  • 2019 - Lynn McGrade
  • 2018 - Pamela MacEachern
  • 2017 - Shalini Konanur
  • 2016 - Sukanya Pillay
  • 2015 - Professor Brenda Cossman
  • 2014 - Kate A. Hughes, Toronto
  • 2012 - Mary Lou Fassel, Toronto
  • 2009 - Dr. Emily Carasco, Windsor
  • 2007 - Dr. Ursula Franklin, Toronto
  • 2005 - Linda Silver Dranoff, Toronto
  • 2002 - Mary Eberts - Toronto
  • 2001 - Michele Landsberg
  • 1998 - Anne S. Derrick,  Halifax (now a Judge)
  • 1997 - the late Doris Anderson
  • 1996 - The Honourable Claire L’Heureux-Dubé, Quebec