As their mentees can attest, these leaders are staunch friends and allies. In fields ranging from finance and law to science and visual art, they mentor formally, informally—and selflessly

Cybele Negris

Co-founder, president and CEO, Webnames.ca, domain name registrar, Vancouver

Cybele NegrisAlfonso ArnoldMentorship roles: Women’s Executive Network; former president, Wired Woman Society

Shout out: “[She was] very helpful in providing real-life experience, not just from a career perspective but from an overall perspective. Family, career—[she was] really an open book….Through conversation and sharing experiences, she provided me with guidance in regard to life in general.” Shannon Cole, national account manager, Telus Corp., Toronto

 

Nancy McKinstry

Former executive vice-president, Odlum Brown; director, HSBC Bank Canada, Vancouver

Nancy McKinstryMentorship roles: Founding member and chair of the Minerva Foundation, which delivers leadership and mentorship programs for women

Shout out: “Nancy is someone that I can call at any time, day or night, wherever she is in the world, and ask her anything, and I’m going to get an honest—sometimes too honest—answer. I’ve actually had her say to me, ‘Don’t wear that, because you need to look more powerful.’ Or, ‘You look great today.’ She just takes that second to say what she truly feels. Doesn’t everybody want that person who would say that?” Shelly Appleton-Benko, financial adviser, Odlum Brown

 

Michelle Osry

Partner, family business advisory, Deloitte LLP, Vancouver

Michelle OsryMentorship roles: Perimeter Institute’s Emmy Noether Council, which aims to boost the number of women in physics

Shout out: “One of my professors introduced me to Michelle because I wanted to go into consulting. She was phenomenal in terms of helping me reposition myself in order to end up where I am right now. And it wasn’t just encouragement, it was really practical advice—‘Take this experience, that experience,’ and those experiences snowballed into something I could ultimately leverage. She also introduced me to people who could help me. The lesson is that things might not always come neatly tied up with a bow, but if you really push and are willing to make compromises and sacrifices along the way, you can get what you want.” Moses Richu, business analyst, McKinsey & Co., Calgary

 

Barbara Philip

Portfolio manager, British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch, Vancouver

Barbara PhilipMentorship roles: Teacher, Wine and Spirit Education Trust courses; mentor through Institute of Masters of Wine

Shout out: “She has an ability to listen to people, to hear their opinions and to encourage them. And I think that gives people the confidence to approach her, somebody who has achieved such a remarkable status as Canada’s only female Master of Wine. She has a very down-to-earth approach to wine in a field that can be pretentious. And she’s really the opposite of all that.” Michaela Morris, wine journalist and educator, Vancouver

 

Elizabeth (Liz) Watson

President and CEO, Watson Inc., governance advisory firm, Vancouver

Elizabeth (Liz) WatsonMentorship roles: Known as the Board Whisperer for her governance counsel

Shout out: “How it starts off at Watson is you shadow Liz, and it is amazing to watch her in action. Everyone wants a piece of Liz. But when you work for her, you see that there’s so much care in the workplace environment that she’s created. She’s kind of like Mama Bear. She knows when her employees need her, and she makes the time. It’s a phone call, or a meeting in the office, or even coming in on the weekend.” Teresa Budd, governance lawyer and consultant, Watson

 

Carla Wood

Founder, All Strategy, leadership and business strategy consulting firm, Vancouver

Carla WoodMentorship roles: Forum for Women Entrepreneurs

Shout out: “Just before Carla and I started getting together, I had gone to India for six months where I had been doing church planting [church development] and I came back and I was pretty broken. Carla was one of the people that got me on my feet. I had just started out in my new job, and she would say things like, ‘Someday I’d love to hire you,’ and she just saw something in me that I didn’t see myself. As I’ve grown into the role that I have now, leading a team, she’s nurtured that in me, in ways that she probably doesn’t even realize.” Stephanie Ratcliff, director of accounts, SiteDocs, workplace safety management software firm, Abbotsford