The president and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Paulette Senior, has been appointed to serve as an independent senator in the Canadian Senate by Governor General Mary Simon.
Born in Jamaica, Ms. Senior immigrated to Canada in 1973 at the age of 11. She is one of three newly appointed independent senators and was selected in recognition of her commitment to removing systemic barriers and empowering women and girls from diverse backgrounds.
The newly-minted senator has dedicated her life to championing gender equity. Her remarkable journey of empowerment and activism has spanned various leadership roles and garnered numerous accolades throughout her career.
As the former Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Canada, Ms. Senior established herself as a thoughtful leader on critical women’s issues, including promoting gender equity, addressing gender-based violence, reducing women’s poverty, narrowing the wage gap, and empowering women and girls across Canada.
Her extensive experience includes leading, managing, and operating Toronto-based shelters, employment programs, and housing initiatives. Paulette Senior has also actively contributed to equity-focused organizations, having served on the Board of Directors of institutions like Women’s College Hospital and the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council. Currently, she holds positions on the Board of Directors of Oxfam Canada, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, and the Women’s Funding Network. In 2022, her expertise and dedication led to her appointment as a member of the Independent Advisory Board for Supreme Court of Canada Judicial Appointments.
Throughout her career, Senior’s remarkable contributions have not gone unnoticed. She has received several prestigious awards in recognition of her outstanding community service, including the African Canadian Achievement Award, the AfroGlobal Leadership Award, the Black Business and Professional Association’s Harry Jerome Trailblazer Award, the Top 25 Women of Influence Award, and, most recently, the Skills for Change Impact Changemaker Award.
Her academic achievements are equally impressive, with Ms. Senior holding a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Urban Studies from York University, as well as an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Lethbridge.
Senior’s unwavering dedication to advancing gender equality and empowering women and girls continues to inspire change and serves as a beacon of hope for a more inclusive and equitable future in Canada and beyond. Her leadership and contributions exemplify the positive impact individuals can have when committed to breaking down barriers and promoting the well-being of marginalized communities.