Celebrate with us the week of International Women's Day

BMO Celebrating Women On Boards virtual event, March 9th from 4:00pm – 5:30pm ET. BMO and Women Get On Board will be recognizing five (5) women across Canada who excel in and out of the boardroom. (2 from Western Canada, 2 from Central Canada and 1 from Eastern Canada)

Kona Goulet, Head, Indigenous Equity & Inclusion at BMO Financial Group, will share both personal and professional experiences highlighting how to overcome barriers to equity and inclusion in the workplace and the boardroom by championing 'cultural competency'. This will be followed by an in-depth panel discussion moderated by Vanessa Lewerentz, Chief Inclusion Officer at BMO Financial Group between Helen Bobiwash, FCPA, Principal Accountant and Lori-Ann Beausoleil, Board member, Audit Committee Chair & Retired Partner at PWC who will share their board journey.

Nominations for 2022 are now closed! 

IWD 2022 Theme: #BreakTheBias

Imagine a gender equal world.

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women's equality.

Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

Keynote Speaker & Panel

  • Kona Goulet (Head, Indigenous Equity & Inclusion at BMO Financial Group)

    Kona Goulet

    Head, Indigenous Equity & Inclusion at BMO Financial Group


    Kona Goulet is Head, Indigenous Equity & Inclusion at BMO Financial Group. In this role she has oversight and responsibility for the end-to-end talent strategies to recruit, retain and develop Indigenous talent at BMO. She also has accountability for the design and rollout of educational initiatives to raise cultural awareness on Indigenous peoples and history across the bank and is the secretary for the Indigenous Advisory Council at BMO - a council the comprises First Nations, Métis and Inuit leaders that guide and advise BMO on issues related to employment, education and economic empowerment. Previously she was the Director for Inclusion, People Strategies and Insights overseeing BMO’s diversity & inclusion strategies across Canada.

    Kona has lived, worked and studied in more than a dozen countries across four continents over the last twenty years. She joined BMO in 2014 after consulting for Indigenous Works on Indigenous inclusion policies for international corporations. Prior to that Kona served as Vice President, External Affairs for the White House Project based in New York City where she advised Fortune 500 companies on diversity, equity and inclusion strategies with a focus on women, and specifically women of colour in leadership, across industries with companies including Walmart, Google, Bank of America, Ernst & Young, Toyota and more.

    Kona is a proud Cree Métis woman originally from a small community in northern Saskatchewan. She returned to North America in 2006 after living and working abroad in Europe and Asia for more than a decade. Kona received her executive MBA from both St. Gallen University in Switzerland and Rotman School of Management in Toronto where she graduated as class valedictorian in 2013 after studying in China, India, Brazil, Hungary, Switzerland and Canada.

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  • Vanessa Lewerentz (Chief Inclusion Officer at BMO Financial Group)

    Vanessa Lewerentz

    Chief Inclusion Officer at BMO Financial Group


    Vanessa Lewerentz is Chief Inclusion Officer for BMO Financial Group. She holds enterprise-wide accountability to drive strategies, education, practices and programs across the company and grow a culture of belonging with zero barriers to inclusion. She is also co-sponsor of BMO’s Canadian Black Professionals Network employee resource group.

    With a growth mindset, she is committed to making a difference across our community and is a champion for long-term strategic change. Her experience in global human resources spans both financial services and the music entertainment industry. She has held roles in strategic workforce management, people analytics, executive and employee compensation and governance, pensions and benefits.

    Currently, Vanessa serves as President of the Greater Toronto Area Rewards Association and volunteers throughout her local community supporting mental health, youth-based programs and cancer support agencies. She is an avid golfer, enjoys skiing and spending time with her two adult daughters.

    Vanessa has a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma in Business from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Certificate in Human Resources Management from Seneca College and Certificate in Human Capital Management from the Human Capital Management Institute. She is a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) with the Human Resources Professionals Association and is a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) and Certified Benefits Professional (CBP) with World at Work.

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  • Lori-Ann Beausoleil (Board member, Audit Committee Chair & Retired Partner at PWC)

    Lori-Ann Beausoleil

    Board member, Audit Committee Chair & Retired Partner at PWC


    Lori-Ann Beausoleil is a Board member in both Canada and the US. She serves as a Director and Audit Committee Chair of Brookfield Real Estate Income Trust; as a Director and Audit Committee member of Canadian Apartment Properties REIT; as a Director, Compensation, Governance and Nominating Committee member and Audit Committee member for Slate Office REIT; and as a Director and Regulatory Oversight Committee member of a private company overseeing the NEO Exchange.

    Lori-Ann recently retired as a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada (“PwC”), where she was the National Leader of the Compliance, Ethics and Governance practice and a Real Estate Advisory Partner. She began her career at Coopers & Lybrand in 1986 and became a partner of PwC in 1999. Over her 35-year career, she held a variety of leadership positions including National Forensic Services Leader, a member of PwC’s Deals Leadership Team, National Real Estate Leader and was the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of the Firm. She brings consulting, governance, compliance, accounting, risk, fraud prevention, investigation experience and real estate experience to the Boards she sits on.
    She is a Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto, and is a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant and Fellow Chartered Accountant of Ontario.

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  • Helen Bobiwash, FCPA (Principal Accountant at Helen Bobiwash, CPA and Corporate Director)

    Helen Bobiwash, FCPA

    Principal Accountant at Helen Bobiwash, CPA and Corporate Director


    Helen Bobiwash is an accomplished financial expert with insight into First Nation issues and the public

    Helen is an FCPA, FCMA who has operated her independent firm for over 20 years. She has proven experience in public sector accounting, financial analysis and reporting, strategic planning, and transformation. She has provided accounting and advisory services to First Nations, community economic development organizations and community-based health organizations.

    Helen is a strong Indigenous woman who is passionate about supporting Indigenous communities to improve their community wellbeing and economies. She is a strong advocate for meaningful Indigenous engagement, and she aims to connect Indigenous communities with allies to support their mutual goals.

    Helen was recognized as a Fellow of Chartered Professional Accountant by CPA Ontario in 2019 for her contributions to the profession and the community. Helen serves on the Board of Directors of Health Sciences North where she provides leadership as Chair of the Audit Committee and Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors of AFOA Ontario, and she serves on the Investment Committee of the Indigenous Growth Fund.

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  • Sheri Griffiths (SVP and Head Greater Ontario at BMO Bank of Montreal)

    Sheri Griffiths

    SVP and Head Greater Ontario at BMO Bank of Montreal


    Sheri Griffiths is responsible for leading Ontario’s Canadian Commercial Banking team. Sheri brings over 30 years of extensive retail and commercial banking experience to this role. She started her career in banking as a teller and has progressed through many roles and several locations during her journey including relocating her family several times.  She holds an MBA from Dalhousie University and is an executive sponsor of BMO for Women, a program which supports and advances women in business. She also leads the Canadian Commercial Banking National Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, which supports BMO's commitment to building a future with zero barriers to inclusion. Her deep passion for supporting women entrepreneurs, creating a culture of equality, and empowering those around her have contributed to Sheri being named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women by Women’s Executive Network (WXN) in 2020.

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4:00 PM - 4:05 PM
Welcome & Introductions
by Deborah Rosati FCPA, FCA, ICD.D, Founder & CEO of Women Get On Board Inc.
4:05 PM - 4:25 PM
Keynote Speaker
Head, Indigenous Equity & Inclusion at BMO Financial Group
4:25 PM - 5:10 PM
Panel Discussion & Q&A
Moderated by, Vanessa Lewerentz, Chief Inclusion Officer, BMO
5:10 PM - 5:25 PM
BMO Celebrating Women On Boards Honourees announcement
Our 5 Honourees will be introduced by Sheri Griffiths, SVP and Head Greater Ontario at BMO Bank of Montreal
5:25 PM - 5:30 PM
Thank You & Closing


BMO Celebrating Women On Boards

Single Ticket for WGOB Members

Member Price Complimentary
BMO Celebrating Women On Boards

Single Ticket for Non-Members
*If you have been given a guest promo code register here

Standard Price C$40

Photography & Video

Event & Webinars may be photographed and may be recorded. If you have any concerns or questions please contact us at connect@womengetonboard.ca.The resulting images may be used in Women Get On Board advertisements including print and digital, electronic communications including event announcements, emails and newsletters, on www.womengetonboard.ca​​ and on Women Get On Board's social media channels.