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Women of Influence Luncheon Series – Understanding Intersectionality

On May 29, 2018 we hosted the Women of Influence Luncheon Series in downtown Toronto, featuring a panel of diversity and inclusion thought leaders including Karen Craggs-Milne, Rachel Lauren Clark, Dauna Jones-Simmonds and Moderator, Carolyn Lawrence. 

Notable guests

Our Moderator & Panelists

Picture of Meet Carolyn Lawrence

Meet Carolyn Lawrence

She is the Leader, Gender Diversity & Inclusion at Deloitte Canada. Carolyn spearheads groundbreaking work in Diversity & Inclusion to support Deloitte's clients with their D&I strategy, programs, and tactics, to build more inclusive environments that attract and retain the best talent.

Picture of Meet Dauna Jones-Simmonds

Meet Dauna Jones-Simmonds

Dauna Jones-Simmonds is the President of DEJS (Diversity) Consulting where she has the opportunity to share her unique experience and facilitate the transfer of her accumulated knowledge through consulting and diversity training activities. Dauna born in St. Kitts, is the 13th of 14 children. She migrated to Canada from the Caribbean island over 42 years ago.

Dauna has a broad-based education from Cornell University, New York, and Ryerson University in Toronto. She is an energetic, goal-driven individual with a proven track record of measurable achievements. She has first-hand knowledge and experience about the roadblocks and challenges encountered by new Canadians.

Dauna is the Lead Architect behind the 100ABCWomen national project that recognizes, spotlights and documents the achievements of Black Canadian Women. She is also a co-author of the book 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women now in its second edition. It is no surprise that she is also an active champion for diversity and mentoring. She has over 37 years of HR experience and is a certified Facilitator. She has won numerous awards for her leadership style, results orientation and diversity efforts. She is the immediate past Chair of the Board of Directors for ACCES, an organization that supports the employment of new Canadians, and served as a Board Member for SKETCH, an organization that supports Homeless Youths and Youths at Risk. She is also a Board member for Delta Family Resource Centre – a not-for-profit organization that offers a range of support services to caregivers of children, settlement programs and services, community support, and a range of activities that enhance individual skills and promotes healthy communities. Dauna is also an active member of the Toronto Rotary Club.

Dauna was the Executive Director for Ontario JOIN, where she advocated and supported the employment of people with disabilities. She spearheaded unique programs for at-risk youths and persons with disabilities that would allow them to fulfill their potentials. She has also worked with a number of other employee affinity groups, and has been a mentor to over 36 individuals. She has been involved in TRIEC’s “Mentoring Partnership” program for new Canadians.

Dauna is an avid ‘sport fan’, gardener and loves to create Caribbean dishes.

Picture of Meet Rachel Lauren Clark

Meet Rachel Lauren Clark

Rachel Lauren Clark is an award-winning Transgender Activist and Freelance Columnist who is currently the President of the Queer Liberals and belongs as a member or director to several LGBT organizations. Rachel has previously worked as the General Secretary of the University Rosedale Federal Liberal Association (Chrystia Freeland), Secretary of the Board of Directors for Pride Toronto, Chair of the Amnesty International LGBTI Action Circle, Education and Training Facilitator for the 519 Community Centre, among several other positions, and attends the University of Toronto where she is studying for her Master’s Degree in Theology. Rachel is employed by TD Bank Group, where she is a technology strategist, and sits on several LGBT advisory panels. Rachel has appeared on several media outlets including CBC Radio One Metro Morning and The Current, in the Vice documentary “On Hold”, has been profiled on CP24, Global, and CTV, and was featured in Toronto Life Magazine. Rachel currently resides in Caledon, Ontario with her partner Carol-Ann.

Picture of Meet Karen Craggs-Milne

Meet Karen Craggs-Milne

Originally from Kenya, Karen is a White House recognized Gender Equality Changemaker (June 2016) and a Canadian Global Goodwill Ambassador (Jan 2018). With over 17 years global experience working across multiple sectors, she draws upon her wealth of practical experience and knowledge to enable organizations, programs and government policies to move towards transformative outcomes. Whether she is providing technical advice, doing community-based field work or training staff, Karen is a dynamic thought leader who has developed innovative and easy-to-use frameworks and tools to facilitate intersectional approaches to gender equality and inclusion. She is a key go-to person for organizations seeking to understand and implement Canada’s commitments to gender equality – domestically and internationally.

In her role at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Karen leads on the gender equality and inclusion portfolio across all AIMS initiatives and across a network of 10 entities (across South Africa, Senegal, Cameroon, Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda, Canada, UK and Germany). She has significantly impacted the work on Women in STEM in Africa by reframing the discussion to move beyond increasing the number of African women scientists. In 2015, Karen founded the ground breaking AIMS Women in STEM (AIMSWIS) Initiative – Africa’s first pan-African Agenda for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) to foster collaboration among key actors on game changing interventions designed to accelerate gender equality in STEM in Africa.

Prior to AIMS, Karen worked at Plan International Canada where she led and managed the organization’s rapidly growing gender equality portfolio and established a Gender Unit. Her contributions were instrumental in positioning Plan Canada as an international leader in gender equality and children’s rights. Karen’s initiatives were innovative and bold, reflecting her own signature passion and drive: she designed industry-leading gender transformative projects for the “Because I am a Girl” Campaign and organized policy-changing technical roundtables in collaboration with sector leaders, NGOs and the Canadian government.

To listen to the live event, visit our Live from the Podium audiocast and gain insights and inspiration.

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