V. Ophelia Rigault
IDEAS4Gender Equality & Recovery
Meet the IDEAS for Gender Equality Support Team
IDEAS4Gender Equality & Recovery
Arriving in Montreal, Canada from Trinidad when she was five years old, she recalls waking up the first morning to the cold harsh blustery winter weather, dearly missing the sun and the warmth of her first home. Fortunate for us and the many who report that their lives have been positively shaped by Ophelia’s authentic capacity to inspire and lead, that Ophelia warmed up to Canada and remains a proud Black Caribbean Canadian woman. Her entrepreneurial spirit and intersectional lens will be instrumental in guiding the DEAS4GenderEqulity project. She embraces the best of technology and is equally savvy in social media, as she is at writing policy.
Ophelia strong comprehension of the needs and barriers faced by women in all their diversity will serve her well. Her experience includes newcomers, refugees, those living with mental health and addiction issues, racialized communities, survivors of sexual violence, 2SLGBTQI+ and other marginalized groups. She is certain to call upon her extensive training in mental health, disability accommodation, community building, and her vast connection to women-based organizations and networking groups. Ensuring all voices, experiences and perspectives are heard, especially those most impacted by the injustices and inequities that this project is designed to address, is second nature to Ophelia.
Ophelia brings over ten years of project management and community development to the IDEAS4GenderEquality project. A business consultant, entrepreneur, trainer and career coach, Ophelia has proven expertise in engaging with people from diverse backgrounds and sectors. Her experience as a Community TV host and producer demonstrates her skill in facilitating important and uncomfortable conversations about race, gender, privilege, equity, mental health and wellness, grief and resiliency. Inclusion, diversity, equity and access are at the heart of Ophelia’s work and central to her hard-won personal and professional success.
Julianah is very passionate about matters relating to women and the girl child. This passion stems from growing up in a society where women and girls were not often offered equal access to education and opportunities in a patriarchal culture.
Her active engagement on committees and working with diversity promoting groups both abroad in Nigeria and at home in Canada provides Julianah a deep appreciation for the goals of the project. Julianah’s participation in promoting equity and inclusion in the workplace, the effective implementation of equity and diversity related programs, as well as conducting community-based projects has exposed her to the complexities of administering a project of this nature and scope.
Julianah is currently a PhD student in Physical Geography (Biogeochemistry) at Queen’s University. During her graduate studies across different countries, Julianah attributes her success in planning and executing comprehensive research projects to paying special attention to detail. In addition to highly developed organization and project management skills, Julianah brings an exceptional tech savvy background to the project. Her comfort in learning new platforms and experience with leveraging several social media platforms to promote initiatives will be invaluable in her role.
She is especially skilled at collecting and analyzing data and communicating results. Across her career, Julianah has presented at several conferences and has written several award-winning grant proposals. She is a highly motivated and self-directed professional who equally enjoys working with a team.
Julianah is delighted to join the IDEAS4GenderEquality team in the Admin-tech support role, and she is excited to use her skills to further the empowerment of women through the project.
IDEAS4Gender Equality & Recovery
Global Community Champion for Women’s Economic Empowerment
Sheila began her professional career in the field of social work. Specializing in Mental Health, Addictions and Employee Assistance Programs she was quick to recognize the important role that work and economic empowerment play in promoting self-efficacy and quality of life.
Continuing studies in adult learning and organizational psychology, Sheila shifted her focus to systemic change, entered the field of manufacturing and obtained a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification. Her varied career and consulting work through SMC Performance Plus exposed her to a wide range of occupational sectors from health care, education, and not-for-profit to IT, retail and government public service, across Ontario, Canada, the US and Mexico. She has witnessed firsthand the impact of persisting intersectional gender-based bias and the liberating potential of inclusion, diversity, equity and access in the workplace.
With over 25 years of community service dedicated to the empowerment of women through the Canadian and International Federation of Business and Professional Women Sheila was named a Global Champion for Women’s Economic Empowerment by the UN Women empowerwomen team in 2016.
As the cofounder of the Canadian Coalition to Empower Women (CCEW) Sheila continues her collaborative efforts to promote the global “Women’s Empowerment Principles” introduced by UN Women and UN Global Compact, Generation Equality Change Makers, and the Sustainable Development Goals. At the national level she is an active advocate for the 50-30 Challenge and is honoured to serve as the Liaison for the BPW Canada/CCEW IDEAS4GenderEquality Project. She invites you to stay tuned for exciting opportunities to “be the change”. Now is the time to join collaborative multi-stakeholder partnerships on line and in your community to accelerate gender equality and inclusion for women and girls in all their diversity across Canada.
Immediate Past President
BPW Canada The Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women
IDEAS4GE & Recovery Project Lead
During her 43 year career with BMO Karin held a number of roles ending as a Regional Sales Manager where she coached employees to help them achieve their highest success potential. As a Senior Branch Manager, she led a large team within the branch and guided them to grow professionally, achieve their goals and exceed their career aspirations. Recognizing the importance of peer support to advance ones career Karin also served as a Peer Coach to other Branch Managers within her Area Team.
Retiring after 43 years with BMO Bank of Montreal five years ago Karin took her long standing community service career up a notch. As a member of the Trenton & District BPW club, now Hastings and Prince Edward Club, for 30 years at present she remains on the BPW Canada Board as Immediate Past President. Her 16 years serving on the National Board started during her term as BPW Ontario President, where she went on to hold such positions as: Vice President, Resolutions and By-laws, Vice President Membership, two terms as Treasurer and Budget and Finance Chair. Karin has been a trustee of the BPW Canada Capital Fund and is currently a director and member of the charitable organization Women’s W.O.R.K. committee.
She has met with Government of Canada and Government of Ontario officials on a number of occasions to present Briefs and urge policy changes to improve the lives of women. She has attended BPW Ontario Conferences and BPW Canada Conventions/AGMs as well as BPW International Congress and BPWI Regional Meetings, the BPWI Leadership Summit and Commission of Status of Women (CSW) at the UN in New York. Karin is pleased to be the Project Lead for the BPW Canada/CCEW project approved through the Feminist Response and Recovery Fund by WAGE – Women and Gender Equality Canada. The “Strategic partnerships for a COVID-19 response to promote the full participation and economic recovery for women” project will implement the IDEAS for Gender Equality strategy to integrate Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access into the Canadian workplace, marketplace and community. Karin is a member of the Board of Directors of the Trenval Business Development Corporation, which is a Community Development Corporation with a focus on Growing Jobs in the area. She is on a number of Committees within Trenval and has worked with new Directors to help them learn what Trenval has to offer.
Karin enjoys spending time with her husband of over 45 years and two grown sons living in and around the Ottawa region.
Past President – Women’s Empowerment Chair BPW Canada
The Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women
Canadian Coalition to Empower Women Co-Founder
IDEAS4GE & Recovery Project Lead
Doris is passionate about reaching equality for women and men in all aspects of life. Raised on a farm, doing barn chores and field work at a young age, and raising three young boys as a single mom, she understands the challenges women face in trying to make a better life for their families. As a mature student and graduate from the University of Western Ontario Doris knows too well the importance of equal access to education. Doris launched her entrepreneurial career experiencing many of the roadblocks to financial resources and challenges associated with biased competitive bid processes that continue today. Presently Doris is an Administration Manager at Sumagen Canada a development company engaged in clinical trials for a prophylactic HIC HCV and COVID vaccines and is a Cleric with ECKANKAR Canada.
In her extensive community service Doris has been recognized as a community leader, mentor and champion for Women’s Empowerment and equality for women and girls. A member of The Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW Canada) for over 35 years, Doris has diligently worked to gain the attention of governments and corporations to help them recognize the necessity and benefits of gender equality.
In 2010, Doris was elected to a two-year term as the National President for BPW Canada when she was introduced to the Women’s Empowerment Principles developed by UN Women/UN Global Compact. She formed a committee to garner support for the program across the country and as a result, the Canadian Coalition to Empower Women (CCEW) was formed. Today Doris serves as the BPW Canada Women’s Empowerment Chair and is a Project Lead for the IDEAS for Gender Equality initiative.