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Charyl Galpin, Head, BMO Nesbitt Burns
Zabeen Hirji, Chief Human Resources Officer, RBC
Colleen Johnston, Group Head Direct Channels, Technology, Marketing and Real Estate, TD Bank Group

What does it take to make it to the top ranks of the most powerful financial institutions in the country? How does one break through corporate roadblocks to achieve a seat at the boardroom table? And once at the top, what can be done to help build a gender inclusive future for the industry? CTV’s Marcia MacMillan sits down with three of Canada’s top leaders to access the unfiltered truth.

  • Charyl Galpin started her career right out of high school as a bank teller with BMO and steadfastly climbed the ranks to become Head of BMO Nesbitt Burns.
  • From teller to C-Suite, Zabeen Hirji's career path was anything but linear since joining RBC in 1977. She is RBC's Chief Human Resources Officer, and a member of the Group Executive Committee which is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of RBC.
  • As of January 2016, after 33 years in the industry, Colleen Johnston’s career trajectory reached even greater heights as she stepped into the role of Group Head, Direct Channels, Technology, Marketing and Real Estate, at TD Bank Group.

Each of these women share a lifelong commitment to their careers in the financial industry, as well as unique stories of professional success – but perhaps even more critically, they share decades of combined thought leadership on how to shape a more inclusive future for the industry at large. On April 28th this powerful summit of influencers will unite on a stage for the first time to weigh in on the best practices and transformative thinking that is critical to creating change. Through candid personal insights and years of insider experience and perspective, they will educate and inspire both the individual striving for career advancement and the organization looking for strategic guidance on how to achieve a more gender inclusive environment.


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April 28, 2016
11:15 am - 2:00 pm
Early Bird Special until
March 18th, 2016

[woitabs class=”yourcustomclass”]
[woitab title=”About the Women of Influence Luncheon Series” active=”active”]

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.

Need Complimentary Childcare for the Event?  Click here.

[woitab title=”Colleen Johnston Biography”]

Colleen Johnston is currently Group Head Direct Channels, Technology, Marketing and Real Estate at TD Bank Group.

Prior to this Colleen was Group Head Finance, Sourcing and Corporate

Communications, and Chief Financial Officer, TD Bank Group. Colleen joined TD in March 2004 as Executive Vice President, Finance Operations, after spending 15 years with Scotiabank in various senior positions. She began her career in 1982 with Price Waterhouse.

Colleen graduated from York University in Toronto with a bachelor of business administration. She received her chartered accountant designation in 1984 and in

2006 was elected a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA), the highest designation conferred by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, recognizing her outstanding career achievements and dedication to community activities.

Colleen has received numerous top industry honours as a senior finance executive – she was recognized by Women’s Executive Network as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women three years in a row and inducted into Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Hall of Fame in 2007. Colleen was named “Best Chief Financial Officer” in October 2009 by Canadian Business magazine, and in 2011, for the third year in a row, was named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking by American Banker. In 2012, Colleen was recognized as Canada’s CFO of the Year, an award that is presented annually by Financial Executives International Canada, PwC and Robert Half International. In 2013, Colleen was awarded the Catalyst Canada Honours in the Business Leader Category.

Colleen is a board member of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and sits on the advisory board of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. She also served as past Chair and President of the Board of Directors for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Chair of Bridgepoint Health, and the ShareLife Corporate Campaign. She is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Schulich School of Business at York University, a member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council, and a member of the board of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. In 2015, Colleen joined the board of the Shaw Festival. At TD, she is actively involved in promoting diversity in the workplace including the bank’s Women in Leadership Committee.

Born in Vancouver, Colleen currently resides in Toronto with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys travelling, reading and an active lifestyle


[woitab title=”Charyl Galpin Biography”]

As Head of BMO Nesbitt Burns, Private Client Division, a full-service business with more than $141 billion in client assets and a total employee base of 2,470. Charyl is responsible for the firm’s overall strategy and performance. To deliver against this strategy, she leads a team of 1,300 Investment Advisors who provide expert advice and exceptional services in wealth planning, investment management, estate and insurance advisory, banking and borrowing and philanthropy.

Charyl has a rich background in financial services. Joining Bank of Montreal in 1979 and spending her first seven years with the Retail and Corporate and Government Banking groups, Charyl moved to Burns Fry in 1986 where she embarked upon a series of operations roles. In 2000, Charyl was appointed SVP and Managing Director, Head of National Operations, Private Client Group. In 2006, Charyl was appointed Chief Operating Officer for PCD. In that role, she oversaw all operational and administrative functions and shared responsibility for developing and executing the overall strategy for full-service investing. In 2011, she was appointed as Co-Head of BMO Nesbitt Burns, Private Client Division and then in November 2014, she was made Head. Charyl serves as a Director of BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., BMO InvestorLine, BMO Insurance, BMO Assurance, BMO Trust Co., and BMO Nesbitt Burns Financial Services Inc.

In addition to sitting on a number of internal Boards, Charyl is the past Chair and is now a Director of the Lakeridge Health Foundation and past Trustee of the Lakeridge Health Corporation. She previously served as a Governor for Trinity College School and was recently appointed a Trustee. Charyl is a Director of the Children’s Aid Foundation and the Trinity College School Foundation. She also serves as a director of the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) and is also a member of the Ontario Chapter Executive – Institute of Corporate Directors.

Charyl is a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers and has received the ICD.D certification from the Institute of Corporate Directors. A graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School, she was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women of 2014 by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN). She is also the Executive Sponsor of W.I.S.E. Canada, an employee resource group advocating for the support and advancement of women at BMO Financial Group.