2021 WiDS Emerging Leaders

As a community, we come together to connect, to reflect, and to celebrate our collective progress in creating a diverse and inclusive defence and security community.

We do this because it’s important.

It’s important that we provide women with a network that empowers them to be their whole selves. At WiDS, we’re proud of the work we are doing to ensure women are well supported throughout their careers.

But there is still work to be done.

As an industry, we need to make a collective effort and commitment to attract, retain, and promote women: to show our commitment to supporting women in leadership; to encourage educational pursuits and lifelong learning; to create connections and recognize excellence – all of which are the core of WiDS values.

With that said, we are excited to kick off the 2021 Emerging Leaders campaign centered on just that: recognizing excellence and celebrating emerging leaders.

What is an emerging leader?

Someone – in any stage of their career – who is doing great things; someone who is inspiring change; someone who is blazing a trail and setting an example for other young women to follow.

Please join us to recognize the incredible efforts these women are making.

And to Leonardo Canada, our Emerging Leaders Sponsor, thank you for leading the way. 


Leonardo is a global high-tech company and one of the key players in aerospace, defence and security. Leonardo has been an industrial partner of Canada for over 50 years. Purpose built to serve the Canadian market, Leonardo’s Canadian team leverages and draws upon the full strength and depth of the global company. Today, Leonardo’s local workforce across five operating sites is ready to provide comprehensive, competitive turnkey solutions that meet our Canadian customers’ requirements.

We are strongly committed to building a diverse workforce, including increasing the number of female employees at Leonardo, at all levels. This has been particularly reflected by a number of women holding senior executive positions worldwide across the Company.

Inspired by the vision, curiosity and creativity of the great master inventor, Leonardo is designing the technology of tomorrow.


WiDS Emerging Leaders Biographies

Kiera Antaya
Cyber Security Scholar
Coding for Veterans
Karen Arsenault
Project Manager for BMT Canada’s Cyber Assurance
BMT Fleet Technology
Robyn Azar
Supervisor, Operational Data
Canadian Coast Guard
Esther Berman
Chair, Network for Persons with Disabilities/Planning and Performance Officer with Innovation Planning and Engagement Directorate 
Canadian Coast Guard
Michelle Billingsley
Commercial and Procurement Manager
BAE Systems Canada
Meagan Bridge
Account Manager, NFTC
Emilie Broomfield
Chief Officer CCGS Terry Fox
Canadian Coast Guard
Katia Canciani
Head of the Conflict Zone Information Office
Transport Canada
Stefanie Couture
Director, People and Organization
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
Jessica Dempsey
Project Manager, Offshore Oceanographic Science Vessel
Thales Group
Lisa Dickson
Sales Executive - Defence, Security & Intelligence
Google Cloud
Alexandra Graham
Leonardo In-country OEM Support Manager
Sarah Grandinetti
Supportability Engineer
Babcock Canada
Carla Haché
Systems Engineering Lead
General Dynamics Mission Systems - Canada
Lindsey Hardcastle
Project Officer, Indigenous Relations & Partnerships
Canadian Coast Guard
Erin Hetherington
Senior Policy Advisor
Public Safety Canada
Tamara Kerelchuk
Software Engineering Associate Manager
Lockheed Martin Canada
Sara LaBelle
Superintendent, Fort Erie District, SOR
Nancy Lachance
Manager, CCG Uniform Project
Canadian Coast Guard
Julie Landgraff
Accounting Manager
DEW Engineering and Development
Rebecca Landry
Saab Canada, Inc.
Kaye Low
Initiatives Project Manager
Veterans Affairs Canada
Kim MacKinnon
Director, Strategic Policy
FedDev Ontario
Rebecca Marchall-Pritchard
Director, Legal and Contracts
Thales Canada
Shannon McCann
Director of Cyber Strategy and Partnerships
Bank of Canada
Anna Morelli
Manager Cost Accounting
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems Canada
Elizabeth Neufeld
Welding Chargehand
Kate O'Neill
Technical Training Associate Manager
Lockheed Martin Canada
Magaly Obas Compton
Lead, Emerging S&T Policy
Defence Research and Development Canada
Allison Paiano
Senior Policy Advisor
Michelle Peralta
Assistant Director, Security Intelligence Operations and Programs
Bank of Canada
Sarah Powell
Bella Bella Coast Guard Station
Canadian Coast Guard
Amber Reeve
Policy Advisor
Public Safety Canada
Vera Reifenstein
Sales and Marketing Director
Saab Technologies Canada Inc.
Dominique Rennie
Chief Cadet Captain, Canadian Coast Guard College
Canadian Coast Guard
Esther Rubenstein
Public Safety Canada
BGen Jamie Speiser-Blanchet
Cadets and Junior Canadian Rangers
Briana Stewart
Analyst, IT Security and Risk
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Jasmine Tatem
Chief of Operations, GTA Region
Canada Border Services Agency
Francesca Tomanelli
Product Line Manager
Thales Canada
Yanhui Tong
Project Manager, Centre for Security Science
Defence Research and Development Canada, DND
Carolyn Turner
Manager, Subcontracts and Strategic Sourcing
Stephanie Verbit
Portfolio Manager, Maritime and Civil Infrastructure
Canadian Coast Guard
Sgt Lee Vidler
Surveillance Operator
Royal Canadian Air Force
Sergeant Catherine Wood
Ottawa Police Service
Sana Zafar
Electrical Engineering Co-op
L3Harris Technologies Canada

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