Digital Finance Institute names Canada’s top 50 women in FinTech for 2019

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The Digital Finance Institute has released its top 50 women in FinTech for 2019, a curated list of 50 women disrupting financial services through technology in Canada.

For this list, over 400 women were recommended to the Digital Finance Institute by various stakeholders in the industry during the institute’s outreach phase. The institute told BetaKit that the women who were ultimately selected and included in this list were selected based on their leadership, vision, and innovation, engagement and impact, in addition to their commitment to growing and supporting the FinTech community.

“Financial technology plays a vital role in the economic development of Canada, as FinTechs disrupt traditional financial services,” the Digital Finance Institute said in the list’s forward. “A digitalized economy, technology innovation, demographic changes and expanding market demands have been key drivers behind the fast growth of FinTech in Canada.”

The top 50 women in FinTech appear in alphabetical order.


Libi Berenson

Founder & CEO | Geenees | BC

Prior to starting Geenees, Berenson was the director of operations at Koho, in charge of the design and implementation of business strategies, plans and procedures at Koho for its future growth.

Linda Blair

Managing Partner | Deloitte | ON

Blair leads marketplace activities, strategy and operations for the Ontario practice of Deloitte Canada. Blair successfully led Deloitte’s Toronto consulting practice before taking her current role as a managing partner.

Rhonda Bosch

VP, Customer Success | TouchBistro | ON

Bosch has developed enterprise-wide transformational strategies for more than two decades. Prior to TouchBistro, Bosch held senior positions at Carrot Rewards, Think Research, Achievers, and RBC.

Angela Brown

President & CEO | Moneris Solutions | ON

After over 25 years in the payments industry, Brown joined Moneris as the president and CEO, where she leads Moneris’s strategy and growth. She has also held executive roles at MasterCard and CIBC.

Danielle Cerisano

VP, Finance | League | ON

Cerisano established specialized teams in League and has built finance departments from the ground up. She started her career at PwC and has worked at several Canadian technology companies.

Serena Chan

Partner | IBM | ON

Chan is a partner at IBM with consulting experience in financial services transformation and strategy. She grew IBM’s portfolio from 10 resources to more than 130, and also served as a management consultant at PwC.

Gigi Cheng

Head of Corporate Development | Fundever | BC

Cheng is the head of corporate development of Fundever, a Vancouver-based platform that connects mortgage brokers with lenders in Canada. She has a decade of experience in FinTech and private equity.

Stephanie Choo

Partner, Head of Investments | Portag3 Ventures | ON

Choo is a partner and head of investments at Portag3. She leads new FinTech investments in the wealth management, banking and insurance sectors. Before Portag3, she was a FinTech lead at BCG Digital Ventures.

Janice Conry

SVP | SterlingCard Payment Solutions | ON

Conry is a senior vice president and general manager at SterlingCard Payment Solutions. Through strategic acquisitions and global expansion, she has led the company’s initiatives in FinTech innovation.

Nora Curic

Senior Director, Digital Business Management | CIBC | ON

Curic leads CIBC Digital’s People, Workplace, and Client Advocacy team and chair of the CIBC Women’s Network. Under her leadership, CIBC Digital recently won the Most Innovative Workplace award.

Layial El-Hadi

Head of Responsible Finance & Curriculum | FinTech Cadence | QC

El-Hadi is the head of responsible finance and curriculum at Montreal-based FinTech Cadence. She is also a program director for the graduate certificate in Innovation, Technology and Society at Concordia University.

Amelie Foz-Couture

VP, Innovation | Diagram Ventures | QC

Foz-Couture is the vice president of innovation at Diagram Ventures in Montreal. She was also a Principal at Digital Ventures, a corporate investment and incubation firm.

Alyssa Furtado

CEO & Co-Founder | | ON

Furtado is an entrepreneur, digital marketer and the CEO of In addition to her entrepreneurial endeavours, Furtado is a financial educator who often speaks on FinTech issues.

Izabella Gabowicz

COO | Sensibill | ON

Gabowicz is the chief operating officer at Sensibill, which recently closed a $41 million Series B. Gabowicz has helped grow the company from five to 70 employees, and helped acquire some of Sensibill’s top clients.

Debbie Gamble

Chief Officer, Innovation Labs & New Ventures | Interac | ON

Gamble has worked with early iterations of the digital economy and is now an advisor for MaRS, Luge Capital, Women in Payments, and FINCA Canada.

Michelle Peng Greenberg

Senior Partnerships Manager, FinTech & Commerce Innovation | MaRS DD | ON

At MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, Greenberg is responsible for building the FinTech ecosystem for MaRS’s Finance and Commerce venture companies and helping companies enter new markets.

Tanya Gupta

VP, Strategic Initiatives | Financeit | ON

Recently, Gupta led the development and execution of the integration of Financeit’s acquisition of TD’s $339 million indirect home improvement financing business.

Rebecca Harrison

Director, Technology Account Management | MasterCard | ON

Harrison has over 20 years experience in the industry specializing in EMV and new payment flows. Before working at Mastercard, Harrison held positions at TD Bank and Chase Paymentech.

Christina Hatziioannou

Account Executive, Financial Services | Google | ON

Throughout her career, Hatziioannou has worked on disrupting traditional banking models. Before Google, she led CIBC’s Innovation Lab and developed its Canadian and US personal and small-banking digital agenda.

Maureen Higgins

Lead IT Advisory Partner | EY | AB

Higgins is EY’s IT Advisory lead partner for the energy market. She devises strategic direction, builds partnerships, and implements solutions that enable companies to grow. Before EY, she was the CIO at AltaLink.

Eleanore Ho

Senior Director, Merchant Solutions | Visa | ON

Ho has over 15 years of experience in FinTech. Her accomplishments include developing and spearheading strategy, as well as an acceleration plan, that led to revenue growth in seven market segments.

Allison James

SVP, Technology Operations | CIBC | ON

James is the senior vice president of technology operations at CIBC. Before joining CIBC, she was the vice president of infrastructure operations at Canadian Tire Corporation.

Tiffany Kaminsky

Co-Founder & CSO | Symend | AB

Kaminsky is the co-founder and chief strategy officer at Symend, a Canadian FinTech company. She has led strategy, partnerships, and internal business process implementation.

Zemfira Khisaeva

VP, Technology & Enterprise Strategy | Scotiabank | ON

Khisaeva is the vice president of technology and enterprise strategy at Scotiabank. She and her team have worked with the bank’s business and technology leaders to build and enable a forward-thinking bank.

Julia Kassam

Managing Director | CIBC Innovation Banking | ON

Kassam is a tech strategist responsible for driving innovation in Canadian markets. Prior to CIBC, she was responsible for driving the vision and strategy of the corporate brand for NEO Exchange.

Elisabeth Laett

VP, Business Development | Exagens | QC

Laett works with Exagens, a Montreal-based FinTech company that offers an AI-powered financial assistant. She has over 25 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience in startups and Fortune 50 tech companies.

Haijin Lee

Director, Enterprise Innovation, FinTech Partnerships | Scotiabank | ON

As director of enterprise innovation and FinTech partnerships at Scotiabank, Lee is responsible for executing strategy, and operating and governing models for the bank’s Innovation and FinTech Programs.

Jenny Lin

VP, Business Financial Services-Technology & Operations | RBC | ON

Lin is accountable for strategy, execution, and operations of key critical systems. In this role, she has built a track record of delivering innovations at scale through driving FinTech partnerships.

Laviva Mazhar

Investment Analyst | Luge Capital | QC

Mazhar is an investment analyst at Luge Capital, a FinTech focused venture capital firm. At Luge, she sources investment opportunities, performs due diligence and supports portfolio companies.

Jennifer McDonald

COO | Mylo | QC

McDonald is the chief operating officer at Mylo, which helps invests the change from user purchases. She has also developed mobile bank accounts for women in Africa and Asia, reaching over 1.2 million users.

Claudette McGowan

CIO, Enterprise Technology Employee Experience | BMO | ON

At BMO, McGowan leads a team of information technology professionals in bringing new workplace solutions to global offices. Her passion for technology led to the creation of BMO’s Women in Technology Program.

Monique Morden


Morden is the chief executive officer of JUDI.AI. She has a data-driven background, combining over 10 years in technology and over 20 years of experience in customer intelligence.

Ideshini Naidoo

SVP, Engineering | Wave HQ | ON

At Toronto FinTech Wave, Naidoo leads a team of over 100 engineers. Her knowledge within the FinTech space covers electronic banking with large scale, multi-country, multi-platform experience.

Amy Olah

Executive Director | CIBC Innovation Banking | ON

Olah provides financing to a wide spectrum of technology companies across Canada and the United States. She helps startups grow to scale and extend their runway in highly competitive landscapes.

Iliana Oris Valiente

Managing Director, Canada Innovation Strategy Lead | Accenture | ON

Oris Valiente oversees the Canada Innovation Hub as well as the blockchain practice at Accenture. She works across industries to create innovation strategies through emerging technologies.

Amanda Parker

Director, Innovation | FundThrough | ON

Before leading new product development at FundThrough, Parker was a serial entrepreneur. After successfully selling two venture-backed tech companies, she worked with brands like Microsoft, Pepsi, and Molson.

Susana Ponce-Froment

Executive Risk Advisor | iCreditWorks | ON

Ponce-Froment is the founder of The FinTech Lab, a lending modernization consulting firm. Before iCreditWorks, Ponce-Froment has held senior leadership roles at FundThrough, Scotiabank, and Citibank.

Gillian Riley

EVP, President & CEO | Tangerine Bank | ON

At Tangerine Bank, Gillian Riley is responsible for driving Tangerine’s strategic objectives. She is also the chair of Roynat Capital and the lead executive champion of The Scotiabank Women Initiative.

Lauren Robinson

General Partner | Highline BETA | BC

Robinson spent the early part of her career in capital markets and helped scale Highline VC from a single city accelerator program to a pan-Canadian pre-seed fund and acceleration platform.

Robyn Ross

CEO, ShareOwner & VP, Operations | Wealthsimple | ON

Ross is the vice president of operations at Wealthsimple and CEO of ShareOwner Investments, a Wealthsimple entity. She works on client experiences and scaling operations across the company.

Isobel Russell

Senior Director, Business Operations | Justwealth | ON

Russell is a financial professional with 18 years of experience in the financial services industry. She joined Justwealth in its infancy as Head of Client Experience and currently manages operations.

Simona Salter

VP, Payments Strategy-Payments, Cards, and Banking | RBC | ON

As the vice president of payments strategy for cards, payments, and banking at RBC, Salter leads a portfolio focusing on the future of payments. She mentors individuals inside and outside the organization.

Katherine Seeley

Senior Account Manager, FinTech | Google | ON

Seeley is a senior account manager of FinTech at Google. Prior to Google, She served as a mid-enterprise account executive at Black Box Network Service, a technology solution.

Saba Shariff

Head of New Product Development & Innovation | Symcor | ON

Shariff is responsible for incubation and development of industry-leading services. She spearheaded the COR.IQ Alliance, empowering organizations to unite against fraud.

Ying Soong

Founder & Managing Partner | La Tourelle Capital | ON

Soong is the founder of La Tourelle Capital, an investment firm focused on early-stage companies. She has worked on private equity investments at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan as well as AIG Energy.

Irena Storic

Director, Credit Card Operations | Flexiti Financial | ON

Prior to Flexiti, Storic led credit card operations on MasterCard and private label portfolios, managing all operational aspects of the card programs. She also managed business partners at CIBC.

Jennifer Stott

SVP & Chief Data Officer | RBC | ON

Stott oversees data governance for the bank. She has held a variety of roles within RBC, and has been an influential voice for promoting gender diversity in tech.

Kendra Thompson

Former Managing Director, Wealth & Capital Markets | Accenture | ON

Thompson led Accenture’s North America wealth management practice. She directed the vision and strategy for the practice as well as delivered solutions to help wealth executives thrive in the digital era.

Louisa Thue

VP, Data & Analytics | PayByPhone | BC

Thue is the vice president of data and analytics at PaybyPhone. Prior to her current role, she worked at Hootsuite, where she supported the growth of the company from 20 to 1,000 employees.

Eva Wong

Co-Founder & COO | Borrowell | ON

Wong is co-Founder and COO at Borrowell, a FinTech company that helps people make smarter decisions about credit. She is an advocate for diversity and inclusion, and holds degrees from Queen’s and Harvard.

Read the Digital Finance Institute’s full report here.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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