Advancing Female Voices in Corporate Boards

A special IWD message from Tabatha Bull

Looking back, I suppose as a little girl and a teen I have always been an advocate. In my high school in small town Ontario, I chose clubs such as the World Wildlife Fund and Amnesty International. 

Throughout my career, I have found myself “the only” at the table. Manytimes I have expressed frustration about that, but now I am looking at it as a responsibility, a gift and an opportunity.  

Last year, I was named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women by WXN, and while I have never sought “power”, and am uncomfortable with attention for the sake of it, I am proud that I have taken up space when provided, particularly when women have typically been excluded with great intentionality. 

We all see the situation improving, but I would challenge it is not at the rate that it would appear. 

Leading a national organization, provides another opportunity – responsibility – for me to lead. I am proud to say that four of CCAB’s seven executive team members are Indigenous women, including a female CEO and COO, and that over 50% of our Board is female.  

We are also strategic in ensuring women have a strong voice throughout every event we host. This May, CCAB is hosting our 40th anniversary with a national business forum, where we will feature a mainstage panel on female representation on corporate boards.

It is not enough to recruit women to individual positions, we need to change the fabric of organizations, of tables and conversations and weave opportunities for women throughout. 

Tabatha Bull

President and CEO of Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Tabatha is Anishinaabe, a proud member of Nipissing First Nation. Awarded CEO of the Year for 2022 by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Tabatha as CCAB’s president and CEO is committed to help rebuild and strengthen the path towards reconciliation and a prosperous Indigenous economy to benefit all Canadians. As an electrical engineer, Tabatha is committed to supporting Indigenous inclusion and diversity in Canada’s energy sector. Serving the Indigenous community through CCAB’s commitment to support the Indigenous economy, Tabatha is an appointee to many boards, including the Dexterra Group, Wigwamen Inc., Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and Catalyst CEO advisory board in Canada to name a few. Tabatha is dedicated to diversity and removing systematic barriers to improve opportunities for Indigenous business and women across all industry sectors.

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