Toronto Network President
Dynamic. Diverse. Inspiring. Empowered. These are just a few ways to describe our remarkable city of Toronto. These are also the themes we weave through the Toronto Network of Lean In Canada. Our programs are rooted in thoughtful consideration of Lean In’s purpose, as well as the unique needs of women in Toronto. We strive to provide collaborative, engaging, and empowering programming. We focus on tools, resources, and sense of community that supports the fulfillment of career goals for the women of our city. Our volunteer executives and their teams are some of the most dedicated women around, and they infuse their passion into everything they do with and for Lean In Canada-Toronto. So, Toronto, join us as we build a world where people of every gender can pursue their dreams without bias or other barriers holding them back.
“The partnership with our organization and Lean In has been a positive collaboration. 50 ways to Fight Bias was an informative and educational experience for our employees. Lean In not only provided us with awareness, but also real-life tools and strategies that can be embedded into our business to create impactful and transformative change with respect to breaking the gender bias”
- Laura De Filippis, Chief Human Resources Officer for Glen Dimplex Americas
Toronto Network President
A seasoned marketing executive, Jo has stewarded world-class brands, both sides of the Atlantic, touching household names like BMW, AMERICAN EXPRESS, BAYER, SHAW, PARMALAT, GE, UNITED WAY, AUDI, HARLEY-DAVIDSON and GENESIS. She joined LEAN IN CANADA energized to give back and actively share a career-long passion for mentoring - as Sheryl Sandberg said: “if you take action you can make things better.” Jo is an avid skier, sailor, weekend motorcycle rider and mother to a young boy she aspires to raise in a more equalitarian world.
Kiki is an International Commercial Lawyer with diverse experience gathered by schooling and working across three continents. She has advised on a broad range of subjects. Kiki moved to Canada to pursue an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business where she was, and remains an active member of the community. While at Schulich she received the award for “Diversity, Belonging, and Inclusion”. This award was given in recognition of her work towards fostering an environment of acceptance by creating a safe, welcoming, and nurturing space within the school. After Business school, she joined the Wealth Management Generalist Program at RBC.
Kiki is passionate about female empowerment and gender equity; and has been a strong advocate for women throughout her career. During her MBA she got involved with the Forte Foundation and was a campus ambassador and speaker at the 2019 Forte Women Leadership Conference in Chicago. She continues to mentor women as it is her belief that “women supporting women is the only way we can achieve success on our own terms”. Kiki is an avid traveller and lover of multinational cuisine. If you do not find her seeking out all the women at events, she will be somewhere buried within the pages of a good book.
Kayla is a values-driven and organized self-starter working in the financial services industry. After graduating from the Richard Ivey School of Business, she joined TD Bank where she has progressed through a number of roles across product management, strategy, change management and digital transformation.
Kayla is passionate about empowering women and has been an advocate for women throughout her career. Having volunteered her time on the Women in Leadership committee, helping to deliver multiple events and initiatives for employees with the goal of empowering women in the workplace, drawing attention to bias, building allyship and improving the representation of women at Executive levels in the Bank. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to join Lean In Toronto as a volunteer in 2020 to continue this work on a broader scale.
Outside of work and volunteering, Kayla loves to stay active, is an avid traveler (having lived in/ visited over 40 countries) and enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
An exceptional experience is Sharda’s primary focus on every event that she is involved with, no matter the size or scope. The experiences she crafts aren’t only attendee centric, they also take into account client and supplier-partner interactions.
Sharda has been in the meetings and events industry for over eighteen years, including eleven years at a global event agency. This gave her a solid foundation and allowed her to perfect a framework that she applies to all aspects of her events.
In 2014 Sharda took the leap, launching her own events planning company, Eventures, and has never looked back. Currently, as a freelance leader in the meetings and events industry, Sharda effortlessly integrates herself into any project team. Valued for her expertise, calm demeanour and her French-speaking skills, Sharda delivers events that consistently exceed expectations for both her clients and their attendees. The sectors Sharda has worked with include: automotive, insurance, financial, technology, interior design and not-for-profit.
A graduate of Glendon College, York University’s bilingual campus, and George Brown’s Meeting and Event Management program, Sharda advanced her academic pursuits by obtaining her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation. She continues to be an active participant in industry associations and events and is well regarded by her peers.
In her spare time, Sharda loves to explore the world and often can be found planning her next adventure.
Chidimma Eghagha is an experienced senior accounting and finance professional, with experience across 2 continents. She started her career as an audit associate and over 20 years, has held a variety of progressively senior roles in various organizations within the financial services industry. She is highly skilled at leading high impact teams, process improvements and strategic operations management to drive cost efficiencies. She is a technology enthusiast with proven track record in managing implementation of various large multi-functional projects and solutions.
In her current role, she is responsible for standing the Finance Data Management Office (FDMO) for the Royal Bank of Canada.
She is passionate advocate for women and children and actively volunteers on various Not-for-profits organizations, helping them become their best self. She uses her love for storytelling as a tool to drive change by challenging stereotypes, sharing different perspectives and inviting her readers to see the world through different lenses.
Proud mum to 3 amazing, energetic boys and married to her best cheerleader, she spends most of her free time hanging out with her family. Music and dance is a big part of their life and a goofy road-side ‘boogie-down’ is usually featured during family walks and bike rides. Together with her husband, she actively invests in setting the right examples, support structure and environment for her children to thrive and succeed at their aspirations. She is keenly involved in her children’s school council and can be seen leading family oriented events like spring fun fairs, movie nights and holiday stores.
Niki is an experienced marketer who helps small to medium sized businesses grow their revenue and reach through digital marketing. She has worked with various companies, from startups to large retail brands, while also owning her own consulting company. Niki joined Lean In Toronto in 2018, starting as a volunteer on the Sponsorship team and growing within a year to be the Lead of the team. Now Niki is the Co-Lead of the Volunteer Engagement team and is dedicated to creating a community for the volunteers.
On weekends, you'll find Niki cooking, in a yoga class, and enjoying new restaurants.
Community Engagement, Partnerships & Sponsorships
Neha is a seasoned Business Analytics professional with around 15 years of experience in the financial services and customer experience space. After graduating with a Masters' in Business Economics, she worked with S&P Global Market Intelligence donning hats of a process specialist, data quality champion, and mentor. She is an immigrant to Canada who loves helping newcomer women by sharing useful tips and tricks to start and progress in their careers. She has actively volunteered with organizations that promote women's education, equality, and the right to personal hygiene in societies where it's not considered a basic right.
Her superhero avatar would be called "Octowoman" as she loves juggling different tasks as she thinks monotony is boring. In her free time, she loves watching movies, spending time with friends and family, dancing, and going for long walks.
Community Engagement, Partnerships & Sponsorships
Alice is an Ivey HBA graduate and brings 3+ years of professional experience in project development and marketing. Currently, she leads the Canadian retention and advocacy marketing team at a global software analytics firm. Key responsibilities of her role include managing communications with the organization’s customers to help guide the retention and advocacy strategic direction through their experiences and insights; and, similarly, with internal customer-facing teams to support and strengthen their relationship with customers.
Alice is passionate about enabling others to grow and positively transform towards their potential. She also possesses an instinct to help others, to seek out the most impactful opportunities, and speak up for those who cannot. While in university, Alice was a mentor to many students through the Ivey Marketing Club, Women in Management, and Pre-Business Students’ Network. At work, Alice also takes on the additional responsibilities as Co-Lead for the organization’s CSR Team, where she invests in holistic company well-being by executing social initiatives and supporting local community organizations. Not forgetting her roots, Alice volunteers as a Judge for DECA Competitions to help secondary students gain the same valuable experiential learning opportunities that sparked her initial interest in exploring a business career.
She is excited to be co-leading the Partnership & Sponsorships to work with community and corporate organizations to empower women.
As a senior executive, Kala's professional career has been built over the past 25 years through diverse experiences working in the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry, owning her own Agency, Event Production and in the Entertainment & Arts industry. She has connected brands with consumers on a national and global level as a seasoned marketer. She's launched new brands, products, music platforms and award-winning creative campaigns. Kala recently joined Lean In Toronto to "pay it forward" by helping empower women and provide mentorship. She has quickly moved into the Marketing Co-Lead role since joining in Nov 2022.
Kala is an avid sports fan, she enjoys watching the NBA, NFL and Soccer. She spends as much time as she gets with her nephews and nieces. She lives by her philosophy of "Live life to the fullest".
A high performing sales executive, Anna has worked for several organizations including Nabisco & Kruger Products LP. She developed the Kruger Products Women’s Network and introduced Lean In Circles to the women of this organization. Her passion to help women achieve their ambitions and realize their full potential is the driving force for joining Lean In Canada. Michelle Obama once said “ when you've worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.” Anna is an avid reader, and enjoys spending time with family and friends