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Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders

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Statement by American, Canadian business leaders on agenda for advancing women in business

Guelph, Ontario and Washington, DC; July 8, 2017 — Since first announced in February by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump, the Canada-United States Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders has been hard at work.

As leaders of the business communities on both sides of the border, our role is to develop advice to help boost women’s economic engagement and share the many inspiring stories of progress and successful women to motivate others to follow their lead. Our mandate is to: develop recommendations that can reduce barriers that limit women’s participation in business, support their professional advancement and assist them in starting and scaling their businesses. This will ultimately contribute to the increased economic growth, integration and competitiveness of the United States-Canada economy.

We have structured our initiative under five pillars:

  • increasing the number of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM);
  • attracting women entrepreneurs, encouraging women to start businesses;
  • supporting and growing women-owned businesses;
  • increasing women’s access to capital; and
  • advancing women as leaders in the private sector.

Over the coming months, we will release the Council’s recommendations, which will be developed with the support of experts and not-for-profit groups.

We recognize the many efforts underway, both in our countries and around the globe, to support women in business and foster entrepreneurship. We applaud the leadership of Canada and the United States in their commitment to the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, and we look forward to help building a world which ensures equal opportunities for women in the workforce.


  1. Elyse Allan, CEO, GE Canada; VP, GE
  2. Mary Barra, CEO, General Motors Company
  3. Dawn Farrell, President and CEO, TransAlta Corporation
  4. Deborah Gillis, President and CEO, Catalyst
  5. Linda Hasenfratz, CEO, Linamar Corporation
  6. Tina Lee, CEO, T&T Supermarkets Inc.
  7. Monique Leroux, President of the Board of Directors, Investissement Québec
  8. Tamara Lundgren, President and CEO, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
  9. Julie Sweet, CEO – North America, Accenture
  10. Annette Verschuren, Chair and CEO, NRStor Inc.

Additional information about the Council, including the Terms of Reference and the Pillars and Champions, is available here.
To view this statement in French, click here.

For further information, please visit the Council website.

Media contacts:

Cliff Angelo

Media contact for Julie Sweet, United States Chair of the Council


Telephone: 1-512-732-5659

Andrea Bowman

Media contact for Linda Hasenfratz, Canadian Chair of the Council


Telephone: 519-836-7550


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