The DMZ reveals inaugural award recipients of DMZ’s Women of the Year

New annual award celebrates inspirational Canadian women in tech and business for International Women’s Day

TORONTO, March 11, 2022 – In celebration of International Women’s Day, the DMZ has unveiled the inaugural winners of their highly anticipated annual award: DMZ’s Women of the Year. Launched this year, the award is designed to honour inspirational women in Canada’s tech and business community and highlight their outstanding accomplishments and contributions to creating impact.

Curated by the tech and business community, nearly 600 nominations for the award were received from across Canada. The final list of award recipients represents innovative women-identifying changemakers from diverse backgrounds and industries, including startup founders, corporate leaders, non-profit trailblazers, and emerging youth.


DMZ’s 2022 Women of the Year award recipients include:

  • Dr. Adeola Olubamiji, Founder of D-Tech Centrix Inc
  • Adetoun Abby Aiyeleye, Co-Founder of Clavis Studio
  • Andrea Gorog, Vice President, Fusion and Risk Governance at CIBC
  • Andrea Matheson, High Growth Coach and Advisor 
  • April Dunford, Founder of Ambient Strategy
  • Arati Sharma, Founding Partner of Backbone Angels and Co-Founder of Ghlee
  • Arielle Lok, Co-Founder of Peko Produce
  • Arlene Dickinson, Founder and CEO of Venturepark
  • Arya Dixit, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of WearWave
  • Claudette McGowan, Global Executive Officer for Cyber Security at TD Bank
  • Emma Kirwin, Co-Founder and CEO of DirtMarket
  • Erin Elofson, Head of Canada and APAC region at Pinterest
  • Eva Wong, Co-Founder and COO at Borrowell 
  • Eyitemi Popo, Program Manager, Tech Relationships at Mozilla Foundation
  • Fowzia Mahamed, Founder and CEO of EduCare
  • Jace Meyer, Executive Director at Indigenous Innovation Institute
  • Janet Bannister, Managing Partner at Real Ventures
  • Janice Fukakusa C.M., Chancellor of Toronto Metropolitan University 
  • Jayme Hoyte, Co-Founder and Director of SmartTerm Limited
  • Khushboo Jha, Founder and CEO of BuyProperly
  • Kirstine Stewart, Chief Revenue Officer of Pex
  • Lauren Steinberg, SVP of Loblaw Digital
  • Leen Li, CEO at Wealthsimple Foundation
  • Lucy Ho, Founder and Executive Director of Hackergal
  • Lyn Chen, Co-Founder and COO at webapp.io  
  • Maayan Ziv, Founder and CEO of AccessNow
  • Marie Chevrier Schwartz, Founder and CEO of Sampler
  • Meghan Chayka, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Stathletes
  • Micheline Khan, Founder of Althea Therapy
  • Michelle Caers, Founder and CEO of DesignedUX
  • Naila Moloo, Project Intern at Pond Biomaterials
  • Pamela Forster, Chief of Staff at LumiQ
  • Rebecca Rose, Co-Founder and CEO of Studeo
  • Rola Dagher, Global Channel Chief at Dell Technologies 
  • Roya Kachooei, Co-Founder and CEO of Walletifai
  • Sabrina Geremia, VP and Country Manager at Google Canada
  • Salma El-Yassir, Co-Founder and CEO of Womaneze
  • Samantha Ouyang, Founder of Superposition Toronto
  • Sang Le, Co-Founder of Peko Produce
  • Shingai Manjengwa, Director of Professional Development at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence
  • Snita Balsara, Investor at Graphite Ventures
  • Stephanie Florio, Co-Founder of Swob Inc.
  • Tanya Qadir, Director of Partner Success at The Rumie Initiative
  • Tara Deschamps, Business Journalist at The Canadian Press
  • Temilola Adebayo, Co-Founder and COO of HumanSquad Inc.
  • Teresa Marques, President and CEO of Rideau Hall Foundation

“It’s essential to recognize and celebrate the contributions of women who are driving the Canadian technology ecosystem forward – not just one month or day per year, but always,” said Arati Sharma, Founding Partner of Backbone Angels, entrepreneur and official award recipient. “We must continue to empower companies led by women and people of colour, in addition to the funds supporting these groups, as representation in positions of power is fundamental to driving impactful change. I am grateful to be recognized by the DMZ alongside this excellent group of women leaders.”

“The DMZ is ecstatic to officially reveal the inaugural winners of DMZ’s Women of the Year. Their contributions to the Canadian tech and business landscapes are immeasurable, said Abdullah Snobar, the Executive Director of the DMZ. “Women, and especially women of colour, do not have equal access to the tech and business ecosystems in Canada. This award was designed with one purpose in mind —  to put a spotlight on their work and achievements. 

For more information on all of the DMZ Women of the Year award recipients head over to dmz.to/woty2022

Nominations for next year’s DMZ Women of the Year awards will be opened early 2023. 

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Media contact
Luvy Hardy, The DMZ
luvy.hardy@ryerson.ca

About the DMZ

The DMZ is a leading startup incubator equipping the next generation of leading tech entrepreneurs with the tools needed to build, launch, and scale highly impactful startups. By providing connections to customers, coaching, capital, and a community, the DMZ’s customized approach helps innovators reach the next milestone in their entrepreneurial journey – whatever that might be. Through its award-winning programming, the DMZ has helped more than 670 startups raise $1.55 billion in capital and create 4,550+ jobs. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada with globally-accessible programming, the DMZ has a widely-recognized international presence with offices in Vietnam and India, and partnerships across North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

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