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Empowering women in Canada’s asset-based financing industry

By Colleen Daly in Community Posted March 25, 2019

CFLA Women in LeasingSome of the top professionals in Canada’s asset-based finance community came together earlier this month to consider the impact and potential of women in the industry and the power of gender balance — a theme of the 2019 International Women’s Day on March 8.

To mark the day, the Women in Asset Finance initiative of the Canadian Finance & Leasing Association (CFLA) organized a panel discussion in Burlington, Ontario, on the topic of “Advancing Women in Leadership.”

Forum for women

The event, sponsored by Key Equipment Finance Canada, drew 60 attendees for a discussion of the experiences, obstacles and opportunities for women to obtain leadership positions in the workplace. It featured these industry leaders:

  • Lori Murtagh, chief risk and compliance officer at SCI Lease Corp and SCI Marketview;
  • Alane MacDonald, senior manager operations and sales support, TD Equipment Finance;
  • Diane P.L. Brooks, partner, Blaney McMurtry LLP, and new chair of the CFLA Women in Asset Finance Committee;
  • Sunita Doobay, partner, Blaney McMurtry; and,
  • Doug McKenzie, managing director, Banc of America Leasing

Designed as a forum for women and their allies working in the asset-based finance, vehicle and equipment leasing industry, the event served as a catalyst for future initiatives to expand leadership opportunities for women in the industry, said Richard McAuliffe, chairman of the CFLA board of directors and senior vice president and chief operating officer of Key Equipment Finance Canada.

“Events like this put a much-needed focus on talent development in our industry and more effective ways to address the gender imbalance. The sooner we take action to promote the advancement of women at different stages of their careers, the sooner we will see more diversity in our leadership positions for the benefit of our industry as a whole.”
Richard McAuliffe, chairman of the CFLA board of directors and senior vice president and chief operating officer of Key Equipment Finance Canada

Career advancement

It is a goal of the CFLA to promote diversity in the industry and generate the broader base of ideas and experiences that will also serve clients, McAuliffe said. “How do we get more women in new and middle management positions promoted, mentored, challenged and rewarded? I think we need to start at a younger age getting them at the center of influence.”

“The great interest in this event shows that promoting gender equality in the workplace is important to our industry,” said Michael Rothe, CFLA president and CEO. “Given the latest research on diversity and business performance, it has become clear that ensuring more women can advance to senior roles is not only a social, but also an economic imperative.”

Women in Asset Finance

In addition to the panel discussion, the CFLA’s Women in Asset Finance featured former Olympic Gold Medalist Cindy Klassan on March 11 in Calgary as part of its Speaker Series reaching women from coast to coast.

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