The Globe and Mail reports in its Monday edition that retired Bank of Nova Scotia board chairman Tom O'Neill has counselled and mentored a small army of women, many of whom have risen to the highest echelons of Canadian business. The Globe's Tim Kiladze writes that over the years, his mentees have included Maryann Turcke, the chief operating officer of the NFL and a former executive at Bell Media; Sarah Davis, the president of Loblaw; and Colleen Johnston, the former chief financial officer of TD Bank, who is now on the boards of Shopify and WestJet.
"He was mentoring us and sponsoring us long before it became the thing to do," said former colleague Kathleen O'Neill. "He's had a quiet, but major, influence on corporate Canada."
For all his support, Mr. O'Neill has rarely received recognition. To fix that, 36 of Canada's most senior female executives and board members came together this month to show their appreciation. Days after Mr. O'Neill retired as Scotiabank's board chairman, they hosted a private dinner at the fancy Toronto Club where, fittingly, he was the only male attendee. Their appreciation showed that highly structured diversity programs are not always necessary; often, the small stuff does wonders.
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