The BitWide Women in Leadership initiative seeks to highlight their contributions to our society. Last month, in recognition of International Women’s Day, March 8, we ran a contest where participants were asked to nominate women who inspire them.

Although the contest has ended, we are grateful to have received over 50 submissions from women who showed gratitude toward other women who had helped them in their journey.  

We have compiled a few of the entries received into one spot, so more people can read about them and we will also be uploading the video interviews soon! You’ll find some great tips and some pretty amazing stories here, so we hope they will inspire you to show appreciation to the women in your life wherever you can. 

The winner of the grand prize is included below. 

IWD winner banner


Maxine Morrison is a trusted advisor and leader in the real estate industry. I have never met a more humble, kind-hearted person. She treats all individual beings with the care they deserve, and she leads us all to be better people through her own example.” – Harsha Vachher


Puninda Thind is a sustainability professional and Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leader – Canada. I can honestly say that I have never met someone as positive and hard-working as her. I am inspired by her passion and dedication to her work in the field of sustainability. Her valuable insights have always helped me to deliver great results. She is a role model for anyone looking for an excellent example of women in sustainability.” – Harsha Vachher


Courtney Cooper is a Principal at Alate Partners. With her human-centric approach, she empowers entrepreneurs who are rethinking real estate. I am inspired by her innovation and the way she paves the way for other women in the industry.” – Harsha Vachher


Julia Chelaru is a business consultant and advisor for early-stage tech founders. She supported me in every big and small way throughout my journey at K Tech Labs. She inspires me to push a little harder, to learn something new, to be proud of my goals, and to help others. What has constantly impressed me about Julia is her infectious energy.” – Harsha Vachher


Cat Coode is the founder of Binary Tattoo and is a leading advocate for data privacy. She is phenomenal at what she does. Cat left the corporate world and started Binary Tattoo, a data privacy consulting firm specializing in Global Data Regulation Compliance, including GDPR, CCPA, PIPEDA, HIPAA and LDGP. She is on a mission to inspire and empower women in cybersecurity.” – Harsha Vachher


Sivan Tehila is Director of Solution Architecture at Perimeter 81.

I am inspired by her enthusiasm to promote women in Cybersecurity. She is the Founder of Cyber Ladies NYC and is committed to bringing awareness to the opportunity for women in the cybersecurity field and encourages a culture to retain, attract and utilize women.” – Harsha Vachher


Antoinette King, PSP is a Key account manager at Axis Communications

She is generous in every sense of the word — especially when it comes to compassion and success. She radiates kindness and wants to see others fulfill their dreams like the way she did.” – Harsha Vachher


“Nominating – Giselle Gagnon, MBA is an operations and sustainability executive, a strong and visionary leader. I am inspired by her passion for the work and her ability to share that passion in a way that enables others to feel passionate, too. She is my mentor who guides me to own my skills and knows my worth.” – Harsha Vaccher


Emma L. as the founder of Women In Identity.  In addition to being an exceptional entrepreneur and executive, she has a passion for elevating women all over the world in the identity technology space.  It is a distinct honor to know Emma, who is making her mark on the world by helping other women achieve their technology career goals.” – Debbie Reynolds



“The queen of SmartCities Zoe Eather, is a fantastic engineer and thought leader helping to educate people on making future cities work for everyone. Zoe is an inspiration to me with her tireless efforts to educate and inform people around the world on improving the lives of others.” – Debbie Reynolds


“BitWide, this is a double nomination. Mary Mack, CISSP, and Kaylee Walstad, who have probably been destined to be entrepreneurs since birth, struck out on their own to run EDRM – Electronic Discovery Reference Model years ago and have not only put their unique stamp on it but have elevated it far beyond imagination.  I honor my dear friends and colleagues who dare to be different and make us so proud to know them. Bravo to you both.” – Debbie Reynolds


Arti Arora Raman who is her authentic self and brings her heart, talent and moxie to her technology endeavours.   I am in awe of Arti and what she has and will continue to achieve as a tech entrepreneur.” – Debbie Reynolds


Mechie Nkengla, Ph.D. Who is a data scientist, mathematician and entrepreneur.  She has been successful in her career and she continues to share her knowledge with others.  hashtag#BWCelebratesWomen” – Debbie Reynolds


Pamela Gupta is a fierce but humble leader and business owner who has deep experience in 14 domains of Cybersecurity. She is the person I call when I have questions.  She is a steller professional and a role model for anyone looking for an excellent example of women in technology!” – Debbie Reynolds


Colleen Wtorek  – nomination for being her authentic self and teaching me that it’s okay to have bad days and you can still power through it. She has been an excellent business coach for anyone looking!” – Sreenidhi


Paige Meekison – nomination for being an amazing mentor and a guide for me to give my best and face my challenges!” – Sreenidhi


Devika Jadhav – nomination for being a good friend and who pushes me to give my best at work and constantly motivates me! And for being a fellow hashtag #womenintech” – Sreenidhi


“Nominating – Crystal Bryce  for being an excellent co-founder to have built Embark Women with. I’m so Lucky to have wonderful women who motivate me to do my best!” – Sreenidhi


“I nominate Elena hernandez-kucey – not only is she the recipient of the National Philanthropy award but she is an activist for Women’s right to education. Being an immigrant herself (twice), she understands that education is power.  She has been an integral part of raising over $3 Million dollars for Norquest College to ensure that education can be a reality for all women regardless of their circumstance.  She now heads up the 1000 Women 1000 Possibilities committee to ensure many generation of women have access to resources such as child care to finish their education and provide a better life for their families. Then there is her side gig of being one of the best dentists in Edmonton and a female entrepreneur!” – Yana Read


“I nominate Glenda Checkley – She is a marketing guru who has rolled out amazing analytics based campaigns for over 30 years.  More than that – she is my friend! She has shown me how to lead with my heart and find a balance of work and family. She is my sounding board when I am not at my best and my first glass of wine to celebrate when I am.  She inspires me to put family first  and lead with passion and integrity. “ – Yana Read 



“I nominate Colleen Verville, Q.C!  I want to share below a junior lawyers perspective about this amazing woman!

As a female junior lawyer navigating the legal profession, I was extremely lucky to have Colleen as a mentor. She is someone who will go above and beyond both for her clients and the team around her. The legal profession can, at times, be a challenging and intimidating landscape for female lawyers to navigate, and I was extremely lucky to have an incredible lawyer like Colleen guide me through the process. She took me along to every questioning, hearing, mediation, and made sure I got trial experience whenever I could. Through these experiences, I witnessed first-hand what it took to successfully advocate for clients both in and out of the courtroom. 

Colleen once stated to me that she hates unfairness, and this is a sentiment she carries into her legal practice when advocating for her clients. She is an extremely effective litigator, and her clients rely heavily on her for her opinion and advice. She is also a fierce advocate for the team of junior lawyers around her, and will go out of her way to ensure our professional achievements are being properly recognized.” – Yana Read


“I nominate Megan Stanley (she/her) – she is the owner of Dogma Training who has revolutionized dog training.  She is an advocate of training our Puppers with positive reinforcement rather than punishment. She started Dogma Training a decade ago to educate dog owners that bringing love and compassion to training will bring down their anxiety and help them understand commands much more effectively.  She helped me understand to train my own Puppers with Love rather than Fear!” – Yana Read


“I nominate Phoebe Fung Fund – dog lover, philanthropist, & Restaurateur! She is a deeply humble mentor who leads with compassion & empathy.  She is a powerhouse & a connector in the business community who is a champion of women & minorities.  To bring women entrepreneurs together, she created the Fur Baby Fare box ( a 3 course meal for Puppers ) which you can grab at any Vin Room locations.  

p.s To nominate Phoebe is not complete without also nominating her best friend who you can follow on insta @Domthesommpom” – Yana Read


“Thank you Harsha! That is so kind. 

I would happily reverse nominate you (I love that this is a thing) for continued efforts to educate the world on the importance of cybersecurity in the world of IoT and buildings! Your posts and podcasts are always full of useful information. And you are a wonderful human being to boot” – Cat Coode


“Thank you, Debbie Reynolds, for this incredible honor.  I do love the idea of reverse nomination, as you are always cutting edge, leading the way, mentoring others, and generally being fabulous! hashtag #DataDiva, you are so generous!”- Mary Mack


“Thank you for the shout out Debbie Reynolds! I love the idea of reverse nomination! And I would love to appreciate you! I am so impressed by your knowledge, experience and most of all your open mindedness. You are open to exploring new ways of thinking and new concepts… and might I mention – new technologies!” – Arti Arora Raman


“I reverse nominate Sreenidhi (Needhi) N. for being the gold star example of how to network and be fearless with her goals. I admire you so much!”- Colleen Wtore

We have our Winner! 

It’s Harsha VachherK Tech Labs Inc.

The prize includes a one-month subscription to the BitWide’s Leader Package.

Harsha Vachher BitWide

The name of the grand winner was randomly selected out of all the entries into the contest, and all the nominees will be featured as well. 

Get inspired by new posts on BitWide Women In Leadership every Wednesday!

Have a suggestion for something you want us to write about? 

Send us an email at stephanie@bitwide.com and we’ll have a look at it.

Spread the word!

Want To Boost Your Business Today?

drop us a line and keep in touch