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The names appearing below are just a fraction of the Canadian
women of accomplishment. Check out The Famous Canadian Women 's
section ON THE JOB which contains mini profiles of 2000
Canadian Women of Achievement.
née Schnurr. Born Mildmay, Ontario January 29, 1899. Died Clifford,
Ontario November 22, 1976. .On October 14, 1925 Leila married Benjamin
Wightman of Wightman Communications in Clifford, Ontario. His Father,
Robert Wightman, had been a frustrated farmer whom Bell Telephone could
not serve. Robert set up his own company in 1908 so he and his
neighbors, could have a telephone. Leila acted as lead operator and
office administrator for the telephone company after her marriage to
Benjamin. At the same time the couple brought up a family of four
Benjamin died and Leila decided to keep the company going. This made her
the first woman telephone company owner. In 1953 she instituted
the superior 4-diget dial service while the much larger Bell Telephone
Company systems which were still cranking the old magneto telephones.
The new system was the most modern of its day and heralded the arrival
of 24 hour service telephone service. Leila had set the company on the
path to modernization that kept the company going. Leila was inducted as
member of the Telecommunications Hall of Fame in 2006. Sources:
Telecommunications Hall of Fame
http://telecomehall.ca (Accessed October 2011) ; also family
provided vital information.
Clare Margaret Haddad.
C Bardwell. Born July 17, 1924 Toronto, Ontario. Died May 17, 2016
Toronto, Ontario. Claire’s family business was sewing clothing with her
mother ,Rose was an accomplished seamstress. By the age of 10 Claire had
taught herself how to sew on her mother’s machine. After hight school
she to a one year drafting course at Northern Vocational School and then
took courses at the Toronto School of Design. She also took courses by
home study with the New York Fashion Academy in the U.S.A. She went on
to study at the Galasso School of Design, Toronto. When she was 20 she
married Albert Haddad and the coupe had two daughters. She worked at the
father’s factory and her name even appeared labels as designer. On the
death of her father in 1954, her husband took over running the family
business. Claire soon branched out with a lingerie business called Clare
Haddad Ltd, in which Albert did the administration. Soon the couple were
receiving invitations to show designs which were sold in establishments
such as Hudson Bay Company, Eaton’s, Holt Renfrew and Simpson’s In the
1960’s she designed for such dignitaries as the actor Liz Taylor.
In 1967 she was the 1st Canadian to be awarded the Coty
American Fashion Critics Award.
In 1968 her company was one of the 1st Canadian manufacturers
to be featured in Vogue Magazine. In 1984 she signed with Kayes-Roth
Canada which had established offices in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas
in the U.S.A In 1979 she was inducted as a Member of the Order of
Canada. Clare retired in 1985. Some of her works are held at the Royal
Ontario Museum, the School of Fashion and Seneca College.
Born June 13, 1956 Barbara
graduated from Richard Ivey School of Business in 1978. She became the
youngest partner in the accounting firm of Ernst& Young when she was 30.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario called her a
trailblazer for women in business. . This businesswoman
held the Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Nesbit Burns Inc.
from 1992 to 1999. It was during this time that she was the
1st woman in North America to be
Governor of a Stock Exchange. In 1999 she
became President of the Toronto Stock Exchange! In 2000 she was on the
top 10 list of Canadian businesswomen presented by the National Post. She
was named one of Fortune's 50 most powerful women in business
three times. In 2010 she carried the Olympic torch in the relay leading
up to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. She is married to James
Maureen Kempston Durkes.
31, 1948, Toronto. She graduated with a B.A. from the University of
Toronto and in 1978 earned her Bachelor of Law prior to being called to
the Bar in Ontario. In 1975 she joined the legal staff of General Motors
Canada. By 1992 she had risen through the ranks to become General
Council and Secretary of General Motors Canada.
In 1994 she became the 1st woman
President and General Manager of General Motors Canada. In
1997 she earned the Women’s Automotive International Professional
Achievement Award and in 1998 she was inducted into the Order of Ontario
and the Order of Canada. In 2003 Fortune Magazine listed her as the 6th
most powerful person in International Business. In 2006 she was
presented with the Governor’s General Award in Commemoration of the
Persons Case. In 2009 just as she retired from General Motors Canada she
was ranked as one of Latin America’s 100 most powerful business people.
During her career she has served on numerous Boards of Directors
including with Canadian National Railways, Irving Oil Co. Ltd, Balfour
Beatty and Enbridge. In 2011 the Automotive Hall of Fame and Women’s
Automotive Association International presented her with the Alice B.
Ramsey Award. In 2012 she was the recipient of Financial Post’s Top 100
Most Powerful Women IN Canada: Accenture Corporate Directors Award.
Canadian Who’s Who 2006 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007)
: “Top 100 Most Powerful Women In Canada: Accenture Corporate Directors
Award” , Financial Post December 4, 2012.