Speakers & Mentors

Our deepest thanks to these amazing speakers and mentors.

Mentors

Amena-Agbaje

Amena Agbaje, Shopify

Amena is a seasoned eCommerce and tech professional with over 10 years of experience working for some of Canada’s biggest retailers in the online space. Amena has helped buy and build online catalogues, develop promotional strategies and push marketing campaigns for her past companies like HBC, Well.ca, and Town Shoes/DSW. In 2016, Amena moved from merchant side to product side, now working with Agency Partners at Shopify. With the same goal of helping merchants succeed, Amena works with agencies in North America who design and build beautiful shops for Shopify Plus merchants.

Caroline-Cagampan-Stoute

Caroline Cagampan-Stoute, KPMG Impact and KPMG in Canada

As a woman of colour who was born in a developing country and who grew up in the US and settled in Canada, Caroline didn’t always have role models who looked like her.  She turned that challenge into opportunity by living, volunteering and travelling to five continents, speaking several languages, and coming to understand the true meaning of service beyond self in a global sense.

Caroline parlayed her degree in journalism and studies in PR and marketing management into a fulfilling career in newspapers and magazines, corporate communications, and B2B marketing. Today, Caroline is National Associate Director of Social Impact at KPMG, one of the leading professional services firms in the world.

Caroline inspires and empowers KPMG people to use their skills, passion and networks to build more inclusive and sustainable communities. Collectively, we’re using the transformative power of business to help solve pressing social issues. 

Chi-Chi-Egbo

Chi-Chi Egbo, Juno College of Technology

Chi-Chi is a career development strategist specializing in engineering and technology. With experience in  client services, recruitment and career services, she utilizes a customer-centric approach to help job seekers navigate the labour market, and empower organizations  to hire diverse candidates.

As Manager of Career Services at Juno College of Technology (formerly HackerYou College of Technology), Chi-Chi oversees every student’s job search through meaningful and relevant career development programs. Prior to her current role, she led campus engagement strategy for the Engineering & Architectural Science faculty at Ryerson Career & Co-op Centre. She connected hundreds of students with top employers and was an integral member of a transition team that led the merge of the University’s career centre and co-op office into one department.

Chi-Chi cares about customer experience, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and the future of work. She is also on the Talent X Mindset Committee, where she and other industry leaders are researching the mindsets of tech job seekers and start-ups across the GTA.

Paniz Gorji photo 2

Paniz Gorji, Microsoft

Paniz Gorji is an experienced technology sales professional currently an Account Executive, supporting Ontario Public Sector Accounts at Microsoft. She has a strong background in SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, Customer Experience, Analytics, Big Data and IoT solutions. Paniz is a Dalhousie and Saint Mary’s Alumni who is passionate about learning, giving back, and engaging the next generation of girls in STEM. She is an advocate for professional development of women in technology and leadership. In her spare time she enjoys volunteering, reading, and spending time with her dog.

Farzia-Khan

Farzia Khan, Bank of Montreal

Farzia is a Strategic Planning Manager of Research & Development, Employee Tech Experience at the Bank of Montreal. She is focused on shifting culture by bringing innovative technologies that will improve employee technology experience. Her journey at the Bank of Montreal started after she got selected as one of the top 30 female students to advise the CEO on how to promote inclusivity at the workplace. Since then she has lead initiatives including the Women in Technology program, Tech Engagement initiative, BMO Hackathon, Walk-up IT support service and Employee Tech Experience Labs. Farzia has won “Best of BMO” awards two years in a row.

Farzia attained her Bachelors in Computer Science from York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering as one of the top award-winning student in leadership. She also founded the first student run all women hackathon in Canada and was featured on Metro News. In 2017, she won the “Top Community Influencer of the year” award by Microsoft.

Osemeke_Onah

Onah Osemeke, Deloitte

Onah is an accomplished HR Transformation consultant. As a Manager at Deloitte Canada’s HR Transformation practice, she works with her clients to create and implement technology solutions that enhance employee experiences. Specifically, she specializes in helping organizations transition to cloud-based HR Technology solutions within complex, unionized environments. She has experience working prominent Canadian organizations within the higher education, healthcare, retail and telecommunications industries.

Onah obtained her Bachelor of Commerce degree at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management, where she specialized in Business Technology Management. She started her journey at Deloitte as part of the firm’s new graduate program. She is passionate about sharing her career journey with early talent in order to share lessons learned about pursuing a career in business and technology.

Jaya-Sridhar

Jaya Sridhar, Oracle Corporation

Jaya is a Director of Product Management at Oracle, with a focus on cloud platform for CX applications. Some of her areas of expertise include cloud security, on-boarding, data migration & integration, adaptive search and insights. A hands-on leader, she is passionate about technology and driving product strategy. Designing optimal flows for complex platform features is her forte.

Jaya has a Masters in computer science from the University of Chicago and is a member of Oracle’s women leadership team (OWL). She runs various mentoring and outreach projects as part of OWL and in her spare time also delivers coding workshops in the community. She is passionate about service and community projects and launched an initiative called Giveonebook which organizes events to fundraise and supply books to community libraries across the world.  

In her spare time, she loves reading, listening to podcasts, going on hikes with her son and painting pottery with her daughter.

Rashmi-Venkatesh

Rashmi Venkatesh,  TD

Rashmi is a career technologist with over 18 years of industry experience where she has held diverse roles in both business and technology in the logistics, pharma and finance domains. As a senior business analyst at TD Bank Canada, she is involved in transformation initiatives including process digitization, API development and customer experience design in retail banking. She holds a Masters in Management from the University of Waterloo. Our AHF Summit 2019 Event Logistics Lead, Rashmi is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the tech space, and mentors, connects and coaches women in technology. Rashmi is also dedicated to advancing Assistive Technologies (AT) to enable a level playing field for people with differing abilities. She is a celebrity aficionado, an avid data geek, and a devoted history buff!

AngelaWhite

Angela White, RBC

Angela White is the Director, Role Design, Sales Strategy & Execution for RBC Caribbean’s High Net Worth market segment. In this role, Angela works in collaboration with her Caribbean Banking partners in Sales Enablement & Strategic Communications and across all functions, to design solutions and processes that enable the success of our High Net Worth line of business including Corporate Banking, Business Banking, Private Banking and Specialized Sales.   

Prior to this role, Angela was the Senior Manager, Diversity & Governance with RBCs Global Diversity Centre of Expertise, with enterprise responsibility for leading and supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives that attract, engage, advance, and retain talent in the diverse segments of Indigenous, disability and new to Canada. In this role, Angela led the development and implementation of RBCs Indigenous Mentoring Experience (RIME) program connecting over 200 Indigenous employees as mentors or mentees, and creating opportunity for meaningful conversation and career growth; #iCOMMIT, a grass roots initiative inviting employees to commit to learning more about Indigenous history and culture, and the AccessAbility connect site to increase understanding of disability.  Angela was also instrumental in RBCs decision to sponsor CAUFP – Canadian Association of Urban Financial Professionals which enables black employees’ greater access to professional development.

Other roles with RBC include Segment Manager, Small Business Strategy, leading cross-functional teams to identify growth opportunities for the small business horizontal and vertical client segments. And in her role as Regional Sales Manager, Small Business, Angela was responsible for sales leadership, coaching and talent management of her business banking sales team.

Before joining RBC, Angela worked with IBM as a senior account manager with direct responsibility for delivering end to end client solutions to small-medium enterprises. 

Angela mentors young women early in career through her LeanIn to Self-Esteem circle, mentors female entrepreneurs with FWE – Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and co-leads Project Beacon, an initiative which advocates for black professionals and youth.

Speakers

Komal-Headshot-2

Komal Minhas, Investor, Interviewer & Philanthropist

Komal Minhas is an angel investor, host, interviewer, and philanthropist. Komal is the host of the weekly Lessons Learned Podcast, and the THRIVE Podcast for women entrepreneurs in partnership with Startup Canada, Scotiabank and the Business Development Bank of Canada.

Komal is also a proud early investor in the Canadian company HEXO, the female-led VC fund, The Helm Co, based in New York City, and The Founder’s Fund presented by Tease Tea. Komal’s mission in life is to uplift the lives of women and girls through investments, philanthropy, impactful conversation and media. She focuses her philanthropic work on increasing access to education and to hygienic menstrual products and facilities for girls in rural Punjab, India. Most recently, Komal was invited to tell her story on stage as a rising leader during Michelle Obama’s #IAmBecoming book tour.

In 2016, Komal produced and funded the feature documentary Dream, Girl, which tells the stories of ambitious and inspiring female entrepreneurs. The film premiered at the Obama White House and screened for tens of thousands worldwide. Through her work building the Dream, Girl movement, Komal was chosen for Oprah’s #SuperSoul100, a group featuring extraordinary individuals who live life intentionally.

Komal has previously spoken at the White House, Cannes International Film Festival, Harvard University, Vayner Media, Ann Inc., TiE New York, the Jeanne Sauve Foundation, HP, WeWork, and various academic institutions across the globe. She has also moderated conversations and panels with Canadian parliamentarians and first ministers, NYTs bestselling authors, and more. Komal is a cancer survivor, and lives with Hashimoto’s disease and endometriosis. She shares about her life, health journey, and businesses on Instagram (@komalminhas).

DarineBenAmara

Darine BenAmara, The Smart Woman

Darine BenAmara is the Founder – CEO of The Smart Woman, an initiative providing professional women and entrepreneurs with the tools to network and practice self-promotion effectively and confidently. She is a leading global expert in women’s capacity building, an international speaker, writer and women’s advocate. Darine has significant international experience training hundreds of women in leadership, leading global diversity and inclusion programs in 10 different countries. 

In 2017, Darine was among the “100 young global leaders” selected for an intensive leadership training at the White House. She has also been a speaker before prominent audiences including The White House, UNESCO, UN Women Canada, Bureau of Gender Affairs Jamaica, UNDP, chambers of commerce, women’s organizations and universities. She is a contributor to Canadian Small Business Women and has been featured on The Huffington Post, Jamaica Observer, Radio Canada and more. Her best networking tips and strategies can be found in her book The Smart Woman Guide to Networking.

TanyaBhaskar

Tanya Bhaskar, TD

Tanya Bhaskar is a seasoned campus recruiter with a passion for helping students achieve their dream jobs. With 4 years of experience within the Financial Services Industry, she has been able specialize in finding talent within finance, accounting and technology within Canada and the United States. Working at organizations such as Deloitte Canada, Manulife John Hancock and now TD, Tanya is at the forefront of change and innovation and responsible for finding students that can join the movement while striving for a fun and inclusive recruitment process.

golnaz-golnaraghi

Dr. Golnaz Golnaraghi, Divity Group Inc.

She is the Founder of Divity Group and Accelerate Her Future. After a 15-year marketing management career with large multi-national service firms including KPMG and RBC, Golnaz pursued teaching future leaders in college and university and launched her consulting practice. Golnaz has published research in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion, immigrant and intersectional identities in the workplace and transformative learning in higher education. She is a TEDx speaker, who presents at international conferences. Golnaz’s passion to help advance representation and leadership of women of colour at all levels in organizations is what led her to create Accelerate Her Future. 

ShavoneHasfalMcIntosh

Shavonne Hasfal-McIntosh, Shopify

Shavonne is a lead on the Diversity and Belonging team at Shopify. The team’s vision is to create a culture that fosters belonging and where all employees feel included, valued, and heard. Shavonne has been working in the HR space for over 8 years and believes that the importance of work comes from the ability to connect with and impact people. She is a developer who recognizes the potential in others and a relater who finds deep satisfaction in working collaboratively towards a collective goal. 

Shavonne sits on the Board of Directors for a Toronto based not-for-profit organization called Manifesto that creates spaces both digital and physical that inspire, develop, and amplify diverse communities of young people through arts, culture, and media. She also sits on the Board of Directors for Invest Ottawa, the lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital and sits on their Female Founders and Women-Owned Business Sub- Committee of the board.

MabelHu-Headshot

Mabel Hu, Wealthsimple

Mabel is a Toronto based talent acquisition specialist with expertise in helping to build and scale high growth start ups. Her mission is to attract, develop, and grow amazing teams, while providing strategic and thoughtful insights to partner with the business. Above all, Mabel is passionate about providing a world class candidate experience and helping to connect those around her with purpose driven opportunities. She currently leads technical talent acquisition at Wealthsimple, supporting the growth of 250+ employees to date.

ChaneleMcFarlane

Chanèle McFarlane, Do Well Dress Well

Chanèle McFarlane is a multiple award-winning personal branding expert, TEDx speaker and marketing communications specialist. By day, she leads employer branding at a fintech institution and outside of work, she’s known as the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Do Well Dress Well, a career lifestyle website on personal branding and professional development.

Passionate about crafting meaningful and inclusive experiences, Chanèle is Programming Lead for the AHF Summit 2019. Chanèle is also the Director of Programming at Women and Color, where she leads a public speaking bootcamp for diverse subject matter experts.

A sought-after speaker across North America, Chanèle has been recognized as one of the PR in Canada’s Top 30 Under 30, one of the Top 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada and one of the Top 25 Women of Influence.

KarlynPercil-Mercieca

Karlyn Percil-Mercieca, KDPM Consulting & SisterTalk Leadership and Wellness Academy

Karlyn is the CEO of KDPM Consulting Group INC, & Founder of the SisterTalk Leadership and Wellness Academy Group which has been featured on Oprah’s Lifeclass, Cityline, Globe & Mail, CNN Money, Essence & Forbes.  

A native of St. Lucia, Karlyn bravely immigrated to Canada alone and with vision and tenacity, she went on to carve out a successful 23-year career in Technology & Operations. In the fast-paced financial industry, Karlyn experienced first hand the cost of “emotional tax’ which lead to the burnout, anxiety of her and her counterparts. Seeing a crucial need for an integrated approach to wellness, Karlyn developed systems and created the Success Planner – a life planner helping women create success in all areas of their lives. She masterfully brings awareness to the “Elephant in the Room” through research-based writing and workshops on the challenges & emotional tax self-identifying Black, Indigenous, women of color pay due to the lack of inclusion & psychological safely in the workplace. 

Karlyn has worked with Porter Airlines, BMO, RBC, Deloitte, Expedia, Telus, Hershey Canada, Scotiabank, CIBC and others, helping Organisations increase B.R.I.P.E – Belonging, Retention, Inclusion, Productivity & Engagement whilst helping women fearlessly realize their full potential. An advocate for Gender Equity, Karlyn was tapped to be a key contributor to UNICEF’s Break The Silence Campaign. SisterTalk Leadership and Wellness Academy recently launched AMPLIFY 2020 -a digital storytelling campaign magnifying the voices, stories and digital footprint of self-identifying Black, Indigenous and women of color.

AngelaWhite

Angela White, RBC

Angela White is the Director, Role Design, Sales Strategy & Execution for RBC Caribbean’s High Net Worth market segment. In this role, Angela works in collaboration with her Caribbean Banking partners in Sales Enablement & Strategic Communications and across all functions, to design solutions and processes that enable the success of our High Net Worth line of business including Corporate Banking, Business Banking, Private Banking and Specialized Sales.   

Prior to this role, Angela was the Senior Manager, Diversity & Governance with RBCs Global Diversity Centre of Expertise, with enterprise responsibility for leading and supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives that attract, engage, advance, and retain talent in the diverse segments of Indigenous, disability and new to Canada. In this role, Angela led the development and implementation of RBCs Indigenous Mentoring Experience (RIME) program connecting over 200 Indigenous employees as mentors or mentees, and creating opportunity for meaningful conversation and career growth; #iCOMMIT, a grass roots initiative inviting employees to commit to learning more about Indigenous history and culture, and the AccessAbility connect site to increase understanding of disability.  Angela was also instrumental in RBCs decision to sponsor CAUFP – Canadian Association of Urban Financial Professionals which enables black employees’ greater access to professional development.

Other roles with RBC include Segment Manager, Small Business Strategy, leading cross-functional teams to identify growth opportunities for the small business horizontal and vertical client segments. And in her role as Regional Sales Manager, Small Business, Angela was responsible for sales leadership, coaching and talent management of her business banking sales team.

Before joining RBC, Angela worked with IBM as a senior account manager with direct responsibility for delivering end to end client solutions to small-medium enterprises. 

Angela mentors young women early in career through her LeanIn to Self-Esteem circle, mentors female entrepreneurs with FWE – Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and co-leads Project Beacon, an initiative which advocates for black professionals and youth.