Ottawa-based Women in Communications and Technology announced the winners of its Leadership Excellence Awards on Thursday, naming Cisco Canada President Rola Dagher the Woman of the Year for 2019.
Marking International Women’s Day with the announcement, underlined the work that’s still to be done in closing the gender gap across many industries. Only a little more than a quarter of women are represented in Canada’s knowledge sectors and that lack of role models hurts, as women are less likely to aspire to leadership roles without good examples.
Since taking the top role at Cisco Canada, Dagher has focused on building a corporate culture built on diversity, respect, enablement, and trust. Worldwide, Cisco has a global executive team that is 42 per cent female. It encourages women to get involved in business with initiatives like the Cisco Women Entrepreneurs’ Circle.
Last week, Dagher and Cisco’s Toronto office hosted the firm’s Women of Impact 2019 event, with 300 customers and partners coming together to discuss and celebrate diversity.
Women Of Impact 2019 – here we go! We are so excited for the day ahead with over 300 customers and partners at our Toronto HQ celebrating diversity and imagining all that is possible. #WOI2019#WeAreCisco #ImagineYourPossible #WomenInTech pic.twitter.com/9UA6CB2ojM
— Cisco Canada 🇨🇦 (@CiscoCanada) March 5, 2019
Channel Daily News, an ITWC publication, recently profiled Dagher as part of its Top Newsmakers list for 2019. Earlier this week, Dagher announced that Cisco Canada is investing $15 million into its operations in Western Canada.
Here’s a complete list of the 2019 Annual Leadership Awards from WCT:
- Woman of the Year: Rola Dagher, President, Cisco Systems Canada
- Company of the Year: Aboriginal People’s Television Network
Leadership Excellence Awards
- Trailblazer: Anuja Sheth, Vice President, Business Networks and Supply Chain, Bell Canada
- Innovator: Johanne Hinse, Vice President, Programming and Community Relations, Cogeco Connexion Inc.
- Mentor: Caroline Gayle, Managing Director of Technology for Financial Services, Accenture
- Rising Star: Sarah Ryan, Program Director, Brilliant Labs
- Diversity Champions: Rekha Rao-Mayya, Country Manager, GSI/SI Services Partners, Microsoft Canada
- Dr. Andrew Rau-Chaplin, Dean, Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University
- Entrepreneur: Zainab Muse, CEO & Founder, Wingd
- Empowerment: Canadian Association for Girls in Science
- WCT Leaders: National Capital Region, led by Sally Douglas, Principal, Earnscliffe and Kristal Felea, Executive Producer & Partner, Banfield Agency