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Canada’s 2021 Top Women in FinTech and Blockchain revealed  

Fourteen outstanding women honoured for their contributions to the industry and their efforts to make it easier for the next generation of women to succeed.

TORONTO, VANCOUVER, HALIFAX  (June 1, 2021) Fourteen women leaders from the nation’s fintech and blockchain communities were lauded Tuesday during the inaugural Canada’s Top Women in FinTech & Blockchain celebration.

The 90-minute virtual event recognized women for their professional accomplishments and their efforts to encourage more women to join the male-dominated fields. The honourees were nominated by their peers with submissions reviewed by a panel of independent judges. The honourees included bank executives, senior industry leaders, entrepreneurs, leaders of think tanks, and activists.

“This is an inspiring group of women that truly deserve the recognition,” says Fawn Annan, CEO of ITWC and the co-chair of the celebration. “We hope by sharing their stories, we can strengthen their position as role models and help entice the next generation of young women into fintech and blockchain.”

There are between 750 and  900 Fintech companies in Canada with services used by more than 4 million Canadians. Of the 31,300 Canadians working in the FinTech sector, less than 20 per cent are women and less than 10 percent of those executive teams are women.

The 2021 ITWC Top Women in FinTech & Blockchain Honour Roll includes: 

  • Hilary Carter, VP Research, The Linux Foundation
  • Ann Connelly, Faculty, Singularity University
  • Elena Sinelnikov Founder, Cryptochicks
  • Amy ter Haar. Lawyer and entrepreneur
  • Ly Nguyen, Blockchain Capability Lead, Accenture 
  • Christine Day, CIO/CTO, Questrade
  • Lina Ismail, CEO, The Catherine Wheel
  • Bonny Murray, Partner, Blakes
  • Ellis Odynn, Executive Director, Digital Finance Institute
  • Iliana Oris Valiente, Managing Director, Innovation Strategy and Blockchain Lead, Accenture
  • Amber Scott, Founder, CEO & Chief AML Ninja
  • Hanna Zaidi, Director, Wealthsimple
  • Michele Romanow, President, Clearbanc
  • Tanya Woods, General Counsel, Hut 8 Mining Corp

A series of videos showcased the honourees’ accomplishments. The event also included a panel discussion on best practices for encouraging more women to get into the fields and the future possibilities of blockchain.

“It’s a blessing to have a career in an industry that is changing and evolving and unfolding. It’s a place that every girl and every young woman should consider as they build out their career paths,” said Jaime Leverton, CEO of Hut 8 Mining during a presentation to the conference. 

Sponsors for the event included Okta and Proofpoint. Supporting organizations include the Canadian Blockchain Association for Women, the FinTech Growth Syndicate, the Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization, the WIT Network, WIT, FINTRAC, and the Canadian Blockchain Consortium.

Karsten Arend, blockchain pioneer and founder of Just In-Genius Inc., was the event co-chair.

Stories from the event are available on The event is available for on-demand viewing for three months.

About ITWC

As Canada’s premier source for content creation and technology news, ITWC provides businesses with leading digital capabilities and unparalleled access to technology professionals across Canada. Our highly skilled and diversely talented team works with you to develop stand-alone or fully integrated campaigns that build brands and connect you with your target audience — from managers to C-suite executives and line of business leaders.


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