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America (Lili) Ibarra, Chief Financial Officer, AMEX Bank of Canada
Tanya Van Biesen, Executive Director, Catalyst Canada
Erick Vandeweghe, Consulting Leader, Deloitte Canada

The business case for investing in the professional advancement of women has been proven.

As organizations now search for measurable solutions to increase the representation of women in their leadership forces, many are leaning in to the idea of sponsorship – but most have yet to figure out how to implement it successfully. On June 21st , we’ll help demystify the concept and demonstrate successful sponsorship in action by shining a spotlight on three organizations that are leading the way and their involvement with the #gosponsorher program that is sweeping across corporate Canada.

Joining us for the Season Finale of the Women of Influence Luncheon Series is a panel of industry leaders and #gosponsorher champions who will share their unique insights and expertise on how to make sponsorship work in your organization:

  • Lili Ibarra, Chief Financial Officer of AMEX Bank of Canada, is not only a champion for creating an environment where sponsorship thrives, but has first-hand experience with the benefits: Lili started her career with American Express twenty years ago as a call centre representative in Mexico and credits the sponsorship bonds with male and female role models as a significant factor in her journey through the ranks to the C-Suite role she now holds.

  • Tanya van Biesen is Executive Director of Catalyst Canada, the leading global non-profit working to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion and founding partner of the #gosponsorher initiative. As a recognized influencer with deep experience in the executive search sector at the most senior levels of corporate Canada, Tanya has over two decades of industry research to share on why sponsorship is so effective in advancing women.

  • Erick Vandeweghe, Partner, National Technology Consulting Leader at Deloitte Canada, has not only embraced the #gosponsorher initiative personally, but has helped roll out the program across his entire practice. As a senior consultant with over 18 years at Deloitte, Erick has sharp insights on how to get a large national organization to invest in the concept of sponsorship and engage teams to participate.

This discussion is a turning point. Join us to learn how sponsorship works - and how to make it work for you. Our thought leaders will weigh in on:

  • The difference between sponsorship and mentorship
  • How sponsorship has been proven to impact the performance of an organization
  • How to get leadership buy-in and implement a sponsorship program across departments – or throughout a national organization
  • Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of a sponsor and sponsee
  • Tackling the taboos and getting to task
  • What makes an effective one-on-one sponsorship and how to measure its success

If you are in leadership or human resources and interested in accessing a proven business case for sponsorship, or an emerging leader looking for opportunities and insights to engage with a sponsor and advance your career, this conversation will leave you inspired and prepared to take the next step.


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June 21, 2017
11:15 am - 2:00 pm

[woitabs class=”yourcustomclass”]
[woitab title=”BIOGRAPHY – AMERICA (LILI) IBARRA” active=”active”]

Appointed to the role in May of 2016, Lili leads the LFO organization for ICS in Canada and is also the CFO of Amex Bank of Canada.  She is also a member of the Canada Finance Leadership Team and the Canadian Executive Team.

Lili joined American Express in 1997 in Mexico City where she held roles in Operations and Finance. In 2004 she move to Miami and transitioned to a headquarters role in the LFO organization for Commercial Card for Latin America and Canada.

She moved to Canada in 2008 to lead the LFO teams of Commercial Card and Merchant Services and was recognized with the Kim Vismale Award in the same year.

She transitioned in 2010 to provide the financial stewardship for the Consumer Services organization as Finance Director, where she led the financial work-streams of several transformational initiatives.

She holds a Bachelors degree in Banking and Finance from Escuela Bancaria y Comercial (Mexico) and resides in Toronto with her husband Mark and her son Mason.[/woitab]
[woitab title=”BIOGRAPHY – TANYA VAN BIESEN”]Tanya van Biesen is Executive Director of Catalyst Canada, the leading global nonprofit working to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion. In this capacity, Tanya is responsible for leading the growth of Catalyst’s operations in Canada, shaping strategies to advance Catalyst’s mission with supporters, corporate partners professional organizations, CEOs, senior leaders, and stakeholders.

A recognized leader and influencer with deep experience in the executive search sector at the most senior levels of corporate Canada, Tanya brings more than two decades of corporate leadership and diversity experience to Catalyst. Most recently, she co-led the Financial Services Practice at Spencer Stuart and was a key member of the Canadian Boards Practice, focusing on executive search assignments at the board, CEO, and general management levels. She also led the firm’s Canadian Diversity Practice, specializing in the placement of chief diversity officers and diverse slates of candidates across all search assignments.

Tanya began her career at Procter & Gamble, working in both Toronto and Calgary in regional and national sales leadership roles. A sought-after speaker on the topic of diversity in the boardroom, Tanya has contributed to several research studies and articles analyzing leadership trends and attributes. She holds an MBA from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University, and speaks English, French, and Dutch.[/woitab]

Erick uses his strong analytical skills and inclusive nature to lead Deloitte’s Canadian Technology Consulting practice. For more than 18 years, he has ensured his team of advisory professionals helps companies reach their technology and implementation goals. His specialties include strategic advisory to CIOs, IT operating model design, security, and digital strategy. He also advises CIOs in leading financial institutions.[/woitab]


Join Women of Influence as we showcase North America's most accomplished and influential women who share their stories of professional success and personal triumph on their rise to the top. Since 1994, the series has shared the dreams, accomplishments and challenges of high profile women in business, government, sciences and the arts. Our highly regarded speakers provide proven advice and inspiration in an environment that promotes networking, learning and growing. This flagship event series is hosted in Toronto and Calgary and inspires over 5,000+ aspiring women leaders each year.