Inspiring and Empowering the Next Generation to Lead Change

Women in Leadership Foundation, launched in 2001, is a leading non-profit organization focusing on advancing women professionally, building the next generation of leaders and helping employers recruit, grow, and support a diverse workforce. We have presence in eight cities across Canada with the largest chapter located in Toronto. Through our global events, mentorship programs, speaker series, corporate best employer partnerships and diversity and inclusion initiatives, the Toronto-U.S chapter reaches a diverse community of professionals across Canada and in international markets. Collectively, we provide a safe space to connect and to support and inspire each other to succeed both personally and professionally. Today at 95K+ followers and rapidly growing, we continue to stay true to our mission of creating diversity, equity and inclusion, driving positive change and knowing how to “walk the talk”.




Toronto-U.S. HUBS

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Meet the Toronto-U.S. Team


Farhana Mahbub

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Farhana is the Chair of Women in Leadership Toronto-U.S. Chapter. She is passionate about driving change in the diversity, equity and inclusion space with practical tools, and proven solutions to accelerate women into leadership and build the next generation of leaders.  She is also Head of Global Market Strategic Initiatives & Integration at RBC Capital Markets, leading large scale regulatory and transformational programs.


Nadia Van

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Nadia, WIL-Toronto-U.S. Speaker Series lead, is a communications and design strategist with experience working in higher education, healthcare, and real estate. Her specialty is crafting human-centered narratives and visuals that tell a compelling story. She is passionate about intersectionality, equity and inclusion, and has a keen interest in the arts and all things digital.

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Pelin Kaya

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Pelin, WIL Toronto-U.S. Speaker Series lead, is a leader with experience in driving successful change in large-scale organizations. She is currently a Senior Project Manager at TD


Geraldine Esemezie

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Geraldine, WIL Toronto-U.S. Chapter Coffee Chat Lead, is a senior technology & services professional with over 17 years’ experience in managing several technology portfolios. She has expertise in Strategy development, Service management processes, integration and transformation, Operations management, Program execution and implementation of enterprise solutions and processes based on industry best practices. Exceptional interpersonal skills with a management style that is focused on mentoring.


Rachita Rajan

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Rachita, WIL Toronto-U.S. Coffee Chat Lead, is a Senior Manager - Projects by profession and D&I ally by passion. She values interpersonal relationship, mentoring & wellness, and enjoys problem-solving & leading strategic transformation initiatives. She has over 12 years of Banking and Consulting experience as a Strategic Initiative Leader and is actively involved in community as Mentor/Volunteer/Speaker.


Tamara Tang

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Tamara, WIL Toronto-U.S. Global Career Lead, is a strategic Business Partner with over 10 years’ experience in Change Management, Project Management, Human Resources and Diversity & Inclusion in high growth dynamic business environments. She is currently the Senior Manager Organizational Change Management at RBC.


Karolina Smith

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Karolina, WIL Toronto-U.S. Global Career Lead, is a Risk Management leader with over 10 years of extensive experience working within the financial services industry. Skilled in Risk Management, Project Management, Business Analysis, Business Relationship Management, Change Management, Financial Planning, and Finance. She is passionate about education, as well as various professional accreditations.  She is currently an Operational Risk Manager at TD.


Gayathri Kalyansundar

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Gayathri, WIL Toronto-U.S. chapter Event Lead, is a Senior Operations and Risk Manager with +11 years experience helping firms identify and eliminate inefficiencies and risks through streamlining processes, training, and automation. She is passionate about building high performance teams using combination of recruiting and developing individuals with diverse skills and matching skills with roles.


Sandra Shime

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Sandra, WIL Toronto-U.S. chapter IDEA Lead, is a leading voice in the legal community in Ontario for women. She has a passion for people, projects, and change in the legal world.  Sandra has had a successful career as a prosecutor in the US representing victims of domestic violence and violent crimes and as an adjudicator in Canada mediating and adjudicating workplace issues.  As a lifelong learner, she greatly believes in the value and power of community and mentorship.


Leona Lai

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Leona, WIL Toronto-U.S. Social Media Lead, is a Governance and Controls Leader with over 10 years of experience in banking, specializing in risk advisory and program/project management. Leona is currently a VP at RBC Capital Market.


Sumaiya Akter

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Sumaiya, WIL Toronto-U.S. Social Media Lead, is a soon-to-be  Economics graduate from Memorial University and has a solid finance background. She is passionate about empowering women and minorities to achieve their full potential.  An award-winning volunteer in her school, Sumaiya champions diversity, equity, and inclusion and believes empathy and kindness can take the world to a new high.


Miley Zheng

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Miley, WIL Toronto-U.S. Social Media Designer, is a student from the Western Ivey Business School, with the experience of co-founding two companies. She is inspired to advocate for cultural diversity and women’s leadership.


Elsje Riani

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Elsje (Elsie), WIL Toronto-U.S. Chapter Program Manager & Podcast Host, is a Business Architect/ Solution Lead in Utility industry, specializing in SAP Enterprise Application, Call Center Technology, M&A Integration, and Big Data analytics. She is passionate about supporting women’s entrepreneurship, advancing women in leadership, and promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the workplaces. Currently, she is with Liberty Utilities as a Retail Choice & Settlement lead.


Kristina Au

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Kristina, WIL Toronto-U.S. podcast host, is a leader with extensive success in leading strategic transformations in Financial Services and Technology and developing highly efficient teams. She thrives on solving challenging problems, being a change agent and continuous learning.  She is a firm believer in giving back to the community through leadership and is passionate about helping other women to achieve their career goals. She is currently the RBC Director of Market Risk-Program Management.


William Sze

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William, WIL Toronto-U.S. Podcast Host, is a strategist in the healthcare industry. He is passionate about working with children and leveraging his experience in management consulting to contribute to the continuous improvement in the healthcare sector. William is currently a Strategist at Children's Treatment Network; he also is on the Community Council at Special Olympics Ontario and a mentor at the University of Toronto.


Ivy Sun

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Ivy, WIL Toronto-U.S. chapter Ambassador, is a business development leader in Banking industry with a combination background in engineering and financing. She has a passion for supporting women entrepreneurship and empowering women to achieve person and professional growth. She is currently a Regional Manager of Business Financial Services at RBC.


Aliza Kazmi

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Aliza, WIL Toronto-U.S. ambassador, is a student from the University of Toronto Scarborough studying psychology. She believes in advocating for women and other minorities who continue to face disproportionate barriers within and outside the workforce.