One of Glenen’s mentees, Barbara Timmins, is now corporate communications director at the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright Canada. Timmins met Glenen in 1993 as a student at McGill University.
“Ruth was a tough cookie and not the maternal type per se, but she guided young women with a combination of tough love and pragmatic advice,” says Timmins.
When Aune decided to launch the awards program in Glenen’s name, the first call he made was to Timmins.
“I wanted Barb to run it. I said, ‘I’ll be the bank and you be the boss,’ which is actually how my dad and Ruth described each other.”
In addition to providing financial support, the awards also have a strong mentorship component.
“Women promoting women and creating a community — that was Ruth’s vision,” says Aune. “The dream is to have women all across the country stay in touch and help one another, the way she did. That’s how we’ll maintain her legacy.”
‘Narrowing the gender gap’
The foundation has distributed six awards since fall 2020. Isabelle Jolin, BComm 18, had the highest GPA in her MSc finance program and received the first scholarship.
“It made a big difference,” says Jolin, who works as an analyst in residential asset management for Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real-estate subsidiary of Quebec’s pension fund. “It gave me the financial comfort to pursue graduate studies without sacrificing my quality of life and mental health.
“I believe that to achieve gender equality in the workplace, we must go back further into the talent and education pipeline so women can access the same opportunities as men,” Jolin adds. “I see this scholarship as a contribution to narrowing the gender gap. In turn, the talent pool becomes more diversified in terms of gender, and women get more access to high-level positions.”
Glenen was a great believer in personal integrity, hard work, straight talk, being financially independent and stepping outside your comfort zone, says Timmins.
“I learned many important things from her. How to use credit intelligently, how to dress for work, how to navigate job offers and compensation discussions — even which utensils to use at a fancy dinner.
“She was a port in a storm who was there when you needed a friend to listen and help you pick up the pieces. She was one of a kind.”