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2 Concordians are among Canada’s most powerful women

March 2, 2020
By Ian Harrison, BComm 01

The Concordia Alumni Women and Leadership program empowers women graduates to connect, share professional experiences and expertise, and learn from each other.

In this series, meet leaders from among Concordia’s nearly 100,000 alumnae who fill the ranks of business, media, engineering, science, the arts, humanities and more. 

Organized by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) every year, the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards is the country’s most recognizable event for women in the private, public and not-forprofit sectors.

At the 2019 gala in Toronto, Christiane Germain, LLD 13, was inducted into WXN’s Hall of Fame. Germain is the co-founder and copresident of Groupe Germain Hotels, a family-run business. Together with her brother, Jean-Yves Germain, she has successfully grown the business to include three hotel banners: Le Germain, Alt and Alt+, with hotels from Calgary to St. John’s.

Germain’s efforts on behalf of her industry have been recognized by many. She is a member of the Order of Canada and l’Ordre national du Québec. Germain also dedicates a lot of her time to various social and charitable causes, and is the chair of the board of directors of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.

Wendy Cukier, LLD 97, a professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, was also a WXN 2019 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards winner.

The entrepreneurship and strategy professor was selected in the Public Sector Leaders category, which honours women who hold senior positions at public sector organizations across Canada.

In 1999, Cukier founded Ryerson’s Diversity Institute, which seeks to advance women and under-represented groups in the workplace. She has helped firms become more inclusive through programs such as DiversityLeads — her work helped inform Canada’s Bill C-25, which introduced amendments to the Canada Business Corporations Act with regard to the disclosure of the diversity of boards and senior management of federally incorporated public companies.

Cukier also created the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge in 2015, which went on to raise $5 million and sponsor more than 400 refugees. A staunch gun control advocate, Cukier co-founded the Coalition for Gun Control with activist Heidi Rathjen, a survivor of the École Polytechnique massacre. Cukier has also mentored countless entrepreneurs, social activists, students and young professionals.

Germain and Cukier join a network of 1,214 women who have been honoured since the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards was inaugurated in 2002.

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