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Woman of Distinction: Gina Cody to be recognized by Women’s Y Foundation of Montreal

Two-time Concordia alumna and donor joins impressive list of laureates
September 13, 2023

Gina Cody, MEng 81, PhD 89, is being recognized by the Women’s YWCA Foundation of Montreal as part of its annual Women of Distinction Awards.

Cody will receive the Achievement Award for her exceptional career and philanthropy at a ceremony at Montreal’s Centre Sheraton on October 31. Women of Distinction Awards highlight leaders whose achievements contribute to societal progress.

“It’s a great honour to be recognized by an organization I respect so highly,” says Cody, the first woman in Canada to earn a PhD in building engineering from Concordia.

“The Women’s Y Foundation’s values align perfectly with mine and with those of my alma mater, Concordia University, whose founding institution, Sir George Williams University, was named for the founder of the international YMCA movement. The calibre of this year’s cohort of distinguished fellow laureates makes the honour that much higher.”

Concordians Saôde Savary, BSc 77, GrDip 88, and Léa Clermont-Dion, postdoctoral research associate, were also among the women awarded for their dedication to their communities.

Exceptional career

Cody spent more than 30 years in the private sector as an engineer, corporate executive and eventually as principal shareholder at a Toronto-based engineering consulting firm. Under her leadership, the firm was named one of Canada’s most profitable companies owned by a woman by Profit magazine in 2010.

Cody was named one of Canada’s Top Women Entrepreneurs and retired after selling her company in 2016.

Today she is one of the few women to chair a TSX 60 company – the Canadian Apartment Properties REIT. She also chairs the European Residential REIT and serves on the boards of EllisDon, CIMA+ and Sienna Senior Living Inc.

Among her many distinctions, she has been named to the Orders of Canada and of Montreal and was one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence in 2020. She has also received the Canadian Standards Association’s Award of Merit and was inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2019.

Cody is co-chair of the Campaign for Concordia, the most ambitious fundraising initiative in the university’s history.

In 2018, she made an historic $15-million gift to the faculty she had twice graduated from, which was renamed the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science. It is the first engineering faculty in Canada and one of the first in the world named after a woman.

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