Canadian Women Moving the Needle on Gender Diversity - Locelle
Canadian Women Moving the Needle on Gender Diversity in the Workplace

Since March of 2020, millions of women have left the workforce. At Locelle, we learned from our community of over 2,000 women alone that the one thing they wanted the most was mentorship – by other women leaders.

With this meaningful data, in the summer of 2020, at the peak of COVID, our team launched “Mentor Moments” – Mentorship for women – dedicated to supporting and ultimately advancing women at work through guidance on the go model.

What started as a pilot for us with less than 20 women leaders – our mentors – who wanted to give back and boost their leadership impact, has now grown to a robust network of over 150 mentors resulting in over 800 hours of mentorship.

We have seen women get promoted and uplifted with increased engagement and productivity, and above all, gain the confidence they needed to advance in traditionally male-dominated industries as they continue to build on leadership competencies.

It has been one full year of mentorship for women by women here at Locelle, and we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight and celebrate the women who made it all possible. As the founder and CEO at Locelle, I have seen firsthand the magic that happens on both – personal and professional levels as a result of relevant mentorship.

I hope you will know these incredible women, follow them and celebrate them alongside us and our entire community of professional women.


Humaira Ahmed

Founder and CEO

Hurriya Burney | VP, Commercial Banking, RBC

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Hurriya Burney is the Vice President of Commercial Banking or RBC in Burnaby, New West and South Van where she successfully leads a team of 11 commercial bankers. She is highly skilled and experienced in the financial services industry. Hurriya is a Sales Leader, Speaker, Writer, Mentor as well as a DEI advocate, and she has a passion for aiding immigrants, minorities and women in the Canadian workplace. As a Locelle mentor, Hurriya has mentored 2 women so far. 

Why She Mentors:
I credit mentoring for the success that I have had in my career. I believe that mentoring can help build confidence, gain clarity, and allow you to take bold action to take control over your career.
Joanne Brathwaite | Founder, Pivotelle

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Dedicated to fostering the personal and professional development of Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) women, Joanne helps them confidently navigate the workplace and #winatwork. With a long-standing career in Journalism and Marketing, Joanne has found her passion in supporting women as a Mentor, Career Advisor and Visibility Advocate. As a mentor with Locelle, Joanne has worked with 2 women so far. 

Why She Mentors:
I strive to contribute to the individual’s success and provide honest and direct feedback – whether that’s encouragement or guidance.
Sophia Pugh | District VP, Scotiabank

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Sophia Pugh is the District Vice President at Scotiabank, where she has worked for nearly 17 years. She has a wealth of experience in areas such as negotiation, conflict management, navigating imposter syndrome, as well as building confidence and influence in the workplace. She has mentored over 7 women in the Locelle Mentorship program!

Why She Mentors:
I enjoy mentorship because I learn different perspectives to many common inquiries. Being the conduit to connecting women is very special – because together we grow stronger.
Selena Roberts | Program Manager, Schneider Electric

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Selena Roberts is the Program Manager at Schneider Electric where she has worked for over 17 years. As program manager she is highly motivated to ensure that she successfully coordinates the maintenance and development of the multi-million dollar global product range with which she works. Aside from her work at Schneider Electric, she is also a certified and self employed life Coach at Roberts Life Coaching. Selena has had the pleasure of working with 3 mentees at Locelle.

Why She Mentors:
As a mentor I have the opportunity to play a special role in another woman’s journey;  it is a gift to be fully available to support, soundboard and develop strategies with these women and see them overcome their challenges.
Zeynep Tuck | Founder & Creative Producer, Özulü

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Zeynep Tuck is the Founder & Creative Producer of Ӧzlü Creative + Community where she works towards elevating and amplifying the voices of underrepresented communities through storytelling for digital media outlets, TV & film. She is highly skilled in areas including Video/TV production, negotiation and helping others define the building blocks of their careers. As a mentor at Locelle, Zeynep has worked with 4 mentees so far.

Why She Mentors:
I like to take a story-forward approach to mentoring. When you can see yourself as the protagonist of your own story, your confidence grows, and you’re empowered to steer your career in a desired direction.  I’m privileged as a mentor to witness the moments when mentees have recognized that they can create and curate their own stories.
Melanie Ewan | Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Volition

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Melanie Ewan is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Volition, as well as the Lead Researcher and a Member of the Board for Women in Tech World. Melanie is an advocate for owning your voice and celebrating your wins, and is highly skilled in areas such as building influence and confidence, public speaking, building a meaningful network as well as navigating entrepreneurship. She has worked with 3 mentees at Locelle so far.

Why She Mentors:
Each of these women I have mentored have been at different stages of their careers and grappling with diverse barriers and questions. !Through this work, I have been able to share lessons learned from my own journey, and provide opportunities for learning and growth through my own networks, but I have also gained so much along the way.
Jessica Mosher | Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Nelson

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Jessica Mosher is the Executive Vice President and Managing Director at Nelson, Canada’s leading educational content provider. She is known to be resourceful and tenacious and is driven by maximizing the potential of the people around her. Jessica is passionate about initiating collaborative environments, engaging in purposeful communication and encouraging people to express their opinions. So far she has mentored 2 women in the Locelle Mentorship Program.

Why She Mentors:
My experience so far is as I expected – I often feel I get more from our discussions than I give.
Nataizya Mukwavi | Founding Executive Director, Black Women Connect Vancouver

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Nataizya Mukwavi is the Founding Executive Director of Black Women Connect Vancouver as well as  the Leadership & Cross-Cultural Communications Consultant with Career Contacts. Nataizya has over 10 years of experience impacting organizational presence and is highly skilled in areas of public speaking, fundraising and board relations. She has been a mentor to 2 women at Locelle so far. 

Why She Mentors:
It has been amazing seeing how different women in the Locelle mentorship program have felt confident after talking with a mentor. I love seeing women overcome their fears and jump in and take the risk to speak up for themselves and have the confidence to do so.
Lynn Brown | Regional HR Business Partner, Schneider Electric

Lynn Brown is the Regional HR Business Partner at Schneider Electric. She is highly skilled in areas such as building influence and confidence, advancing careers as well as finding a voice and speaking up. Lynn has been a mentor to 2 women at Locelle so far.

Why She Mentors:
The Locelle team did an excellent job of finding a solid Mentee match for me.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of supporting my Mentee as she successfully navigated through a reorganization and promotion.  Such a rewarding experience!
Tina Strehlke | Chief Executive Officer, Minerva BC

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Tina Strehlke is the CEO at Minerva BC, where she has worked for over 5 years. Before working at Minerva BC, she gained experience being in the tourism industry as well as being a career counsellor. She is especially well versed in areas including advancing careers, navigating boundaries in the workplace and learning how to manage life, work and health. As a mentor with Locelle she has mentored 3 women so far.

Why She Mentors:
The opportunity to connect and share learning with other women is a gift. Locelle has created the right structure to support meaningful conversations between women leaders, while allowing for the mentor relationships to evolve and grow.
Nikki Thibodeau | Senior Community Operations Manager, Shopify

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Nikki Thibodeau works as the Senior Community Operations Manager at Shopify. She is a passionate Women’s advocate and is also the Chair of Shopify’s Women’s Employee Resource Group. She strives to foster more space for women in technology and senior leadership positions. So far in the Locelle program Nikki has mentored 2 women.

Why She Mentors:
As a mentor, not only am I able to share the things I’ve learned through my career with other incredible women, but I am able to learn more about myself in the process. Being able to empower women to achieve the success they are already capable of has been an incredible gift.
Shannon Parker | Director of People and Culture, FreshWorks Studio

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Shannon Parker is the Director of People and culture at FreshWorks Studio where she has worked for the past 4 years. She has a background in performance management, recruitment and selection as well as training in several settings such as post-secondary institutions and not-for-profits. Shannon has worked with 2 mentees at Locelle so far, and has been a speaker at various Locelle roundtable events.

Why She Mentors:
Having access to strong mentorship and leadership can make a world of a difference in your growth and engagement within your career. Locelle has given me a platform to connect with other women and share my experiences in hopes that it will help them more easily navigate the challenges they are experiencing within their roles.
Sarah Gulbrandsen | Chief Executive Officer, RingPartner

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Sarah Gulbrandsen is the CEO at RingPartner where she has been working for over 6 years, but has spent the past 15 years helping global companies connect with new companies. She is highly skilled in the areas of sales & marketing strategy, lead generation, brand management and operational efficiency. Sarah has been a wonderful mentor at Locelle, having mentored 4 women so far, and has also spoken at Locelle roundtable events.

Why She Mentors:
Helping other women use their voices in the workplace and strategically create their paths for advancement has been incredibly rewarding. Locelle is a resource I wish was available earlier on in my own career.
Annett Rozek | Chief Scientific Officer, Terramera

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Annett Rozek is the Chief Scientific Officer at Terramera, Inc. where she has been working for nearly 10 years. She has an extensive background in scientific research, having completed a Masters degree in Science, a PhD in Chemistry and Postdoctoral studies in Microbiology and Immunology. Annett has been a mentor to 3 women in the Locelle network so far.

Why She Mentors:
The Locelle mentorship program provided me with the ability to connect to other women leaders and opened my eyes to the difficulties women face in the workplace. Through Locelle, I’ve realized that having support makes a big difference and I have since begun actively reaching out to the women I could provide that support for.
Pamela Potts | Director of People and Culture, StarFish Medical

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Pamela Potts is the Director of People and Culture at StarFish Medical. She has over 20 years of experience leading high-growth and technology companies, and she provides a strategic HR service which focuses on business outcomes. She gains the best outcome by engaging people through coaching, leadership development, training, organizational development and culture change. With Locelle, Pamela has been a mentor to 3 mentees so far. 

Why She Mentors:
I love partnering with people who are interested in developing their leadership and working with them to see how they can have a greater impact in their own sphere of influence.  Seeing someone start to navigate their challenges in a new way is very gratifying.
Natasha Jeshani | Chief Executive Officer, Career Contacts

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Natasha Jeshani is the President and CEO of Career Contacts. On top of being a Global HR and Recruitment Consultant, Natasha is also an author. In 2018 she published her first book, “The HR Insider: How to Land your dream job, and keep it!” which hit #1 on Amazon. She is also known for her in demand workshops on topics such as: DEI, Finding your Voice, and Respect in the Workplace. So far as a mentor at Locelle, Natasha has worked with over 7 women.

Why She Mentors:
In my experience, regardless of which role you play, building a mentor/mentee relationship is about growth, learning, and relationship building for both. I continue to be inspired by each of my mentees and look forward to watching them, and their careers, flourish!
Jama Temirova | Founder and Managing Director, The Growth Spark

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Jama Temirova is the Founder and Managing Director of The Growth Spark, a company which allows clients to access an untapped talent pool of working mothers. She has more than 20 years of experience working across the enterprise, software, hardware and service industries. Jama is a highly qualified professional; she is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), a Project Management Professional (PMP) and holds an MBA in Management Consulting. Jama has been a mentor to 3 women at Locelle so far.

Why She Mentors:
Best mentorship experience for me is being present: active listening and asking the right questions. Answers are within you.
Stephanie Redivo | Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Leader, TransLink

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Stephanie Redivo is an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Leader at TransLink. With over 20 years of experience, in her role she has developed the framework for 3 employee Resources groups, has run the first inclusion survey and implemented Equity, Diversity and Leadership training for managers. A few of Stephanie’s areas of expertise include: Inclusive Leadership, Data Analysis, Change Management and Panel Moderation. With Locelle, Stephanie has mentored 6 women so far.

Why She Mentors:
I am so grateful to be a mentor with Locelle because it has allowed me to hear from different women in different organizations.  What I find interesting is that the topics I dealt with early on in my career are still around today.
Vivienne Damatan | Founder & Leadership Coach, Lead on Purpose

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Vivienne Damatan is the Founder and Leadership & Development Coach at Lead on Purpose, as well as a Learning Lead at Roy Group Leadership. Throughout her years of experience working in leadership positions, she has grown teams, revenue, leaders and community, and has developed a passion for human development and values-driven leadership. At Locelle she has worked with 3 mentees so far.

Why She Mentors:
When you support women in the workplace, whole teams, whole companies, whole communities win. Period. I benefited so greatly from having strong, intelligent female role models throughout my life and I’m honoured to pay this forward through the Locelle mentor network and through leadership and development coaching.

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