CCCA Ontario Highlights the Pathways of Women General Counsel

  • March 22, 2023
  • Barbara De Dios

This executive year, the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association's Ontario Chapter (CCCA), in conjunction with the Ontario Bar Association's Women Lawyers Forum (OBA WLF), offered a program that specifically highlighted the work and pathways of women general counsel in our community. As we close out a month that celebrates women and their achievements, along with a variety of programs across our community this month that highlighted International Women's Day, this article takes the opportunity to look back at a highlight of this executive year – a program that shed light on the successful journeys of female lawyers into positions of influence. 

Pathways to Power: Women as General Counsel was offered as a part of the OBA WLF's ongoing Pathways to Power program series, which specifically highlights the achievements of women in our profession. 

Organized by CCCA executives, Madeleine Tyber (Corporate Counsel & Manager, Ontario Administration, Sotheby's International Realty Canada), Bianca Thomas (Associate General Counsel, Shopify), and Barbara De Dios (Corporate Counsel, Canadian Dental Services Corporation), our program invited the following general counsel to speak at the OBA Conference Centre in the fall, one of our first in-person events following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ratika Gandhi, Head of Legal and Compliance, Corporate Secretary, Alcon Canada Inc.
Sharon Haward-Laird, General Counsel, BMO Financial Group
Hina Latif, Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Corporation
Marisa Muchnik, General Counsel, Canada, Ferrero Canada Ltd.

Program feedback from attendees highlighted their favourite parts of the program: the candidness of the advice given, and the personal stories shared – many of which applied to anyone considering their career development, regardless of industry. Taking risks, having mentors that support you in a one-on-one setting or situations of sponsorship in a room of opportunity, the balance often required when dealing with in-house relationships from both a business and legal perspective, and addressing work-life balance were just some of the topics covered during this program.

Our program featured candid conversations about the personality dynamics, hard skills, and professional backgrounds that are required to advance in an in-house environment, and the pathways were taken to successfully ascend to in-house legal leadership from a variety of industries. 

CCCA Ontario looks forward to offering further programs in the future which continue to share insights on how to thrive in and navigate, the challenges of an in-house environment.

Any article or other information or content expressed or made available in this Section is that of the respective author(s) and not of the OBA.