Introducing our 2020 Women of the Year

By honouring female leaders across the province, our first annual awards highlight the vital contributions that women make to business in B.C.

By honouring female leaders across the province, our first annual awards highlight the vital contributions that women make to business in B.C.

As a strong supporter of B.C. women in business, we figured we had a handle on the key players and up-and-coming talents. Then we put out the call for the first Women of the Year Awards—and learned that this province is home to an even greater wealth of female leaders and entrepreneurs than we thought.

It all began this past winter, when we built on our B.C.’s Most Influential Women series of previous years by launching an annual competition. The new awards honour women in six categories:


Entrepreneurial Leader


Community Builder

Change Maker

Rising Star

Next, we presented our panel of judges (introduced below) with a short list of candidates. The result? A diverse group of 32 winners and finalists from a variety of industries, representing communities throughout the province. From a tech entrepreneur in Trail to a Squamish craft distiller to the Vancouver-based founder of a chain of physiotherapy clinics, they remind us that women make a huge impact on business in B.C.

Meet our judges

Katie Baker

Before joining the Vancouver-based Minerva Foundation for BC Women as director of programs last year, Baker worked as a communications and engagement professional, consulting for major energy, infrastructure and transportation projects. The retired Team Canada athlete played on the national field hockey team from 2006-12, serving as captain for the final three years of her career.

Laurel Douglas

Since 2004, Kelowna-based Douglas has been CEO of the Women’s Enterprise Centre, which provides business loans, advisory services, mentoring, training and export support to women entrepreneurs across B.C. She is a co-founder and director of, the national association of women’s enterprise support organizations; co-founder of the Web Alliance of Women’s Business Networks; and organizing partner of the We for She movement.

Jill Earthy

Earthy is an entrepreneurially minded leader who believes that diversity drives innovation. She is principal of Risery, a Vancouver-based boutique advisory firm committed to accelerating the advancement of female leaders, entrepreneurs and progressive organizations. Earthy serves on the boards of Sustainable Development Technology Canada, the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and the Women’s Enterprise Centre, and is co-chair of We for She.

Tina Strehlke

As CEO of Minerva BC, Strehlke leads a team of thoughtful, talented change makers who develop, empower and promote women’s leadership. She also serves on the executive committee of We for She, the advisory group for the United Nations’ WE Empower program and HR Tech Group‘s Diversity and Inclusion project, and the governance committee of the BC Construction Association’s Builders Code initiative.