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’s Canadian Personal Banking department where she has held a number of roles across product management, strategy, and digital transformation. She has a passion for leading teams and working on transformative projects where her contributions have a positive impact on the customer and employee experience.
Ever since joining TD, Kayla has 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 is thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Lean In Canada team!
Outside of work, Kayla loves to stay active with running, swimming, cycling, hiking and has recently taken up paddle boarding. She is also an avid traveller (39 countries and counting) 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 started volunteering with Lean In Canada in January 2018 as Sponsorship Table Manager. In June 2018, Niki took on the role of Toronto Regional Sponsorship Manager where she oversaw all sponsorships related to in-kind donations, auctions, and event tables. Niki graduated from Ivey Business School with a general business degree and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship. Following graduation, Niki became a Venture for Canada fellow, a 2-year fellowship to introduce new graduates to the entrepreneurship ecosystem. Niki is passionate about women's empowerment and giving back to her community.
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.
Emily is a recognized Marketing and Communications Leader with over 20 years of experience developing strategic marketing programs and leading diverse teams with a specialization in the financial services and real estate sector. She is passionate about empowering women and girls of all ages to break down barriers, achieve their goals and surround themselves with people, tools and resources that will enable a rewarding and meaningful life.
A married mother of two active kids, she is focused on being a positive role model for both her son and daughter. Emily is involved in her Burlington community as a volleyball coach, hockey Mom and dance Mom. She is also a proud law enforcement officer Wife, an avid traveller, lover of entertaining, music enthusiast and mentor. She is thrilled to be part of the Lean In Toronto team as a volunteer.
Bimpe is a passionate and experienced marketing professional with over 10 years experience in sales and marketing in Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) across three countries – Nigeria, South Africa and Canada. She started her career at Unilever where she spent almost a decade building purpose-led brands, turning around categories in decline and driving sustainable business growth. She holds an MBA from Ivey Business School at Western University and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from University of Lagos.
She is passionate about coaching and volunteers to mentor young female talents both at work and privately as a way to contribute to seeing more women thrive in their careers.
Bimpe enjoys listening to audiobooks to get her reading fix and spending quality time with her husband and young son.
Community Engagement, Partnerships & Sponsorships
Currently VP, FI Partnerships working with Emburse, a company providing financial technologies and innovation. I am a sales leader in payments, financial services, SaaS, PaaS, and DaaS with extensive experience managing large enterprise clients and working with financial institutions.
I am a voice for women in sales and seek opportunities to promote women, mentor and be a voice in the communities and organizations that support sales as a profession; Enterprise Sales Forum, Women in Tech, Women in Sales and Women in Payments. I enable the profession of sales by helping to connect people in B2B sales and promote events that amplify women and their story.
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.