Women in Law Summit Canada is a one-of-a-kind event that celebrates, empowers, and supports female leaders in the legal profession to reach their goals. 

Featuring panel discussions, keynote presentations, fireside chats and interactive networking to enable women in law to thrive at all stages of their careers, this event aims to promote gender diversity and allyship, encourage women to break barriers in law, and support the next generation of legal talent with meaningful connection. 

Join us at Arcadian Court Toronto on February 16, 2023 to recognize female achievement, discussion solutions for today’s hurdles, and build a more inclusive legal culture.

Why attend?

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    Re-connect in-person with colleagues from across the legal landscape with opportunities to network and make new connections throughout the day

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    Learn the latest insights on pushing forward DEI in law from inspiring senior partners, thought leaders and changemakers

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    Discover actionable takeaways on how to conquer challenges, lean into opportunities, and successfully negotiate

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    Stay ahead of the latest legal best practice and thought leadership to create positive change in the profession


Leila Rafi
Leila Rafi

McMillan LLP

Charlene Theodore
Charlene Theodore

Chief Inclusion Officer
McCarthy Tétrault

Sylvie Rodrigue, Ad.E.
Sylvie Rodrigue, Ad.E.


Sandeep Tatla
Sandeep Tatla

Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Sandra Perri
Sandra Perri

Vice-President and Associate General Counsel
Sun Life Canada

Janice Rubin
Janice Rubin

Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner
Rubin Thomlinson

Shereen Samuels
Shereen Samuels

Head of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Gowling WLG

Madam Justice Renee Pomerance
Madam Justice Renee Pomerance

Superior Court Justice
Ontario Superior Court

Teresa Donnelly
Teresa Donnelly

Crown Counsel – Criminal Law Division
Ministry of the Attorney General

Mana Khami
Mana Khami

Harrison Pensa

Shara Roy
Shara Roy

Chief Legal Counsel
Ernst & Young LLP


  • Registration and breakfast
  • Opening remarks from Chairperson
  • Keynote: Authentic leadership lessons
  • Panel: Breaking the boys club – a novel approach to business development as a woman

    In recent years, many traditional business development activities, like sports matches and client dinners, have shifted in priority, as clients re-evaluate their time and firms refresh their strategies. But where do we go from here? Business development still proves critical to female lawyers’ careers, but how can we approach it authentically, and what is proving effective these days?  

    • Explore alternative approaches to business development to impress your clients  
    • Gender neutral ideas and tips on how to reframe your approach to business development  
    • A look at natural relationship-building, rather than transactional incentives: remote group workshops, family-friendly activities, and more 
    • Discover fresh examples of business development best practices that work in a hybrid setting 
  • Interactive networking coffee break
  • Negotiating beyond the gender pay gap – How to represent and empower yourself

    Pay and power gaps still exist in the legal profession, with women largely compensated less than men, and with less representation in leadership and partnership positions. Law firms promote their diversity targets but very few firms release their data on renumeration or partnership diversity. This practical session will provide you with the confidence to demonstrate your value and negotiate your renumeration, while meeting the needs of your organization. 

    • How to prepare for the conversation to get the outcome you want 
    • Strategies for negotiation and demonstrating your worth beyond billable hours  
    • Understanding your compensation expectations, incentives, and career progression  
    • Alternative compensation models that value performance and outcomes
  • Panel: Taking action – Pushing forward gender parity, diversity, and inclusion in law

    Firms have stated the importance of women and diversity for over twenty years, but very little has changed to advance inclusivity. Women in equity partnerships remains low, with women disproportionally populating the bottom third of compensation lists. How can we push forward positive inclusive change – and what will it take to finally achieve gender equality in law? 

    • How firms can demonstrate their commitment to DE&I by providing equal work opportunities 
    • Considering restructured compensation packages to recognize areas of practice beyond the traditional billable hours structure  
    • How to engage more men to help – strategies that male allies can deploy to support women in law  
    • Does reframing the gender pay gap as the gender pay deficit help? 
    • How can we overcome unconscious bias to elevate more women into senior leadership roles? 
  • Networking lunch
  • Panel: Navigating mentoring and sponsorship as the workplace evolves

    Leveraging the support of different mentors throughout your career is widely acknowledged as pivotal to success, but how have approaches to mentorship changed in the hybrid workplace? Sponsorship is equally important for career progression, but how can remote working lawyers overcome proximity bias to remain visible for opportunities? This panel will navigate traditional and alternative routes to mentoring and sponsorship in a hybrid workplace.   

    • Best practices to maximize the benefits of mentoring relationships 
    • Mentoring vs sponsorship – how to know which type of support you need or should offer  
    • Optimizing mentoring relationships in a hybrid workplace – how has mentoring changed since the pandemic?  
    • How to find the best fit in mentoring relationships  
  • A woman’s path to the judiciary – I’m a judge, ask me anything!

    Representation of women judges is improving, but how do we encourage more women to apply when the bench doesn’t look like them? Demystify the process of becoming a judge in this interactive session with an established female judge. Revealing insights she wishes she’d known on her journey to becoming a judge, she will share her inspiring leadership story. This session is a valuable opportunity for you to ask questions you won’t find answers for online!

    • How can you improve your chances of becoming appointed as a judge?
    • What should your key considerations be if you are interested in the process?
    • Learn how to combine your practice and interests to improve your eligibility to be considered
    • Come armed with the questions you’d love to ask a female judge
  • Networking & coffee break
  • Panel: Attracting the next generation of legal talent – How can law firms change to meet new demands?

    With the challenging recruitment landscape and competition to acquire new talent, there is a need for the legal profession to make cultural changes. It has become clear that millennials and Gen Z do not share the traditional values of working all the hours for large compensation packages – many of their priorities are more nuanced and based on culture, increased flexibility and work/life balance. This panel will explore how to meet the demands of younger generations.  

    • Embracing the new norm: strategies to attract the next generations of legal talent 
    • A look at the priorities of emerging leaders and the benefits law firms can offer in response 
    • Should more law firms implement partnership agreements that specify when a partner will retire? 
    • Learn from the insights of young emerging lawyers and law students starting to plan their careers 
  • Closing keynote: The future of law and legaltech – The latest insights you need to know

    Developments in legaltech in recent years have reshaped the way that lawyers communicate and deliver their services. What are the latest legaltech trends shaping the profession post-pandemic, and how can lawyers leverage these trends to build their practice? In this session, hear from a key industry leader on some of the most pressing trends that are currently reshaping legal practice – and what you need to know to remain an informed and effective leader today.  

    • Legaltech trends and opportunities, such as digital transformation, AI, and integrated services, and how they impact women in law 
    • The influence of legaltech on the profession’s gender diversity and inclusion priorities 
    • What’s next? – Anticipating developments in legaltech in 2023 and beyond 
  • Closing remarks from Chairperson


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Registration for Women in Law Summit Canada 2023 is now open

Use your voice and join the conversation. Register today to break down barriers and advance the careers of female leaders.


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