Friday Evening Panel

Why Are Women Leaders Undervalued?

Time and Date: 5:45-7:00 PM on Friday May 5th
Session Type: Keynote Panel
Panelists: Dr. Joy Johnson (Moderator), Kristine Steuart, Judi Hess, Edoye Porbeni and Jan K. Grude

Assertive, rational, dominant: the archetype of a powerful leader. The popular view of effective leadership and the “right” way to lead is defined in masculine language; however, female leaders embodying such traits are often seen as undesirable. Stereotypically feminine traits – empathy, cooperation, collaboration – are also important for leadership, but are often undervalued. Could this be why women only hold 8.5% of leadership positions in Canada’s top 100 companies? How can we disrupt this gender bias and break the masculine stereotype of leadership?

Dr. Joy Johnson, Vice-President, Research and International, Simon Fraser University: Joy Johnson leads Simon Fraser University’s strategic research initiatives and facilitates international opportunities that foster research collaborations and student exchange. Her work focuses on facilitating research excellence and helping the University respond to new opportunities. She works with members of SFU’s eight faculties to ensure they have the support and resources required to conduct excellent cutting-edge research in all its forms. Building on her long-standing leadership and research experience, she works with faculty, students and staff to secure research partnerships within the community and industry.

Dr. Johnson has a highly productive program of research focusing on health promotion and health behaviour change. Drawing on a broad array of theoretical perspectives, her work explores the social, structural and individual factors that influence the health behaviour of individuals. A major thrust of her work focuses on sex and gender issues in substance use and mental health.

As part of SFU’s commitment to innovation, Dr. Johnson is also responsible for developing initiatives that support students and faculty members to harness new ideas and innovations for the benefit of society.

Kristine Steuart is CEO and co-founder of Allocadia, an enterprise cloud software company that helps marketers plan and measure their return on marketing investment. After years of experiencing the pain of managing global marketing spend as a marketing professional in the Vancouver technology community, Kristine and her twin sister Katherine Berry, co-founded Allocadia in 2010. In December 2015 Allocadia announced a Series B financing for CAD$22m, bringing the company’s total funding to CAD$30m.

Inspired with the belief that there had to be a better way, Kristine has led Allocadia from a bootstrapped start up with a handful of customers to a global organization with more than 150 customers like VMware, Arc’teryx and Charles Schwab, thousands of users worldwide, and billions of dollars in marketing spend managed in their software. Allocadia is leading in the Marketing Performance Management category and building strong marketing cloud partnerships, including Oracle and IBM Marketing Cloud. Kristine channels her passion for people into building and leading the world-class team at Allocadia. Her experience as a woman executive in technology has inspired her to mentor and support fellow women tech entrepreneurs, and she is a regular speaker at various local and global events.

Kristine was named among the Top Forty Under 40 by Business in Vancouver and the Top 10 Women in Tech to Watch in 2015 by inc. magazine. Allocadia has also received recognition as one of the Top 100 Tech Companies in BC by BIV, received the 2014 Technology Innovation Award from Ventana Research, was awarded the 2015 Gartner Cool Vendor for CRM Marketing Applications, and was named a 2016 Top B2B Marketing Brand by Kapost50. Allocadia was also named a 2016 Technology Impact Awards finalist in the category of Emerging Company of the Year.

Judi Hess took on the role of CEO at Copperleaf in August 2009, which in 2016 was named the 17th Fastest-Growing Software Company in Canada and the Emerging Technology Company of the Year in BC. She began her career as a software developer at MDA and spent 14 years there before joining Creo Inc. in 1995. She rose to become president in 2002, a position she held until Creo was acquired by Eastman Kodak for just under $1 Billion USD in 2005. Judi is currently a member of the Premier’s Technology Council of British Columbia, and a member of the board of directors of Pason Systems Inc. (TSX: PSI). 

In 2017, Judi was recognized as an Influential Woman in Business, an award celebrating B.C.’s most outstanding business women. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Mathematics Degree With Distinction – Dean’s Honours List from the University of Waterloo, was a René Descartes Scholar, and is an avid downhill skier.

Edoye Porbeni, MPH PMP: Approaching life and her work with compassion, humour and drive, Edoye is a project manager and futurist that believes in forward-thinking solutions focused on excellence. With a diverse background in healthcare and human services, Edoye is known for her ability to deliver effective and creative results. She believes in using technology and new ideas to effect lasting change. With beginnings in journalism and depth as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Edoye has focused her career (and her team at Apollo) on healthcare innovation – keeping improving quality of care at the forefront of each project. Apollo is one of several firms Edoye owns as the CEO of Future Health Ventures Inc. Her education includes a B.A. in Communications, a M.A. in Public Health and a Diploma in Applied Project Management. When not managing projects, she teaches, speaks, innovates, and volunteers. She’s fiercely committed to making the world a better place and does so through both personal and professional pursuits. She can also be found enjoying travel, adventure sports, fine teas or entertaining friends.

Jan K. Grude brings more than 30 years of strategic and transformative business expertise to Pacific Blue Cross. His multi-industry experience includes public and private sector roles in financial services, insurance, health care, professional services, utilities and manufacturing in Canada, the United States and Europe.

Prior to joining Pacific Blue Cross in 2013, Jan served as Chief Executive of Healthcare Benefit Trust, the largest Health Trust of its kind in Canada. He is a past President and Executive Managing Director of Buck Consultants LLC, the New York City headquartered global benefits advisory firm and subsidiary of ACS Inc. of Dallas, Texas. Earlier leadership positions include President of ACS/Buck Consultants Ltd. (Canada), President of Mellon Financial Corporation’s Canadian operations, National Managing Partner of Watson Wyatt & Company Canada and Partner with Ernst & Young LLP.

Jan volunteers as the National Board Vice-Chair of the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, Cabinet Member of the United Way of Greater Vancouver, and Member of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Women’s Leadership Circle Advisory Committee.