Celebrating the Leadership of Women

By Ron Fanfair

Ron Fanfair


Women came together at the Toronto Police College to mark International Women’s Day by listening to each other’s stories, making meaningful connections and finding inspiration to further their journeys.

“I’m thankful for the leadership of the W-ISN (Women Internal Support Network) for creating this opportunity that allows us to pause our busy schedules to celebrate women’s achievements,” Deputy Chief Lauren Pogue said. “Today, we’re shining a light on the significant roles where women lead our organization while focusing on how we can positively influence the culture of our organization to ensure it is an inclusive one – safe, and full of equitable opportunities for all.”

Pogue reiterated that the Command Team is committed to improving women’s experiences within the Service by continuing to foster an inclusive environment and addressing and overcoming the unique challenges that women can face.

She noted W-ISN members have mentored women considering a job in policing. They have joined recruiting events led by the Talent Acquisition Unit, including Motivational Mondays PREP practice, in-person General Information Sessions, and a Women’s Only Mentoring and Fitness Camp.


Person speaks with microphone
CAO Svina Dhaliwal addresses Women's Day event Photo: Brent Smyth


This year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘Inspiring Inclusion.’

“In terms of being an inclusive leader, the theme for me speaks to listen, acknowledge, adapt and make space,” said Chief Administrative Officer Svina Dhaliwal. “The Service has put real resources, commitment and priority around those words and you see it. We have just launched our Equity strategy and there is an entire action plan around creating a respectful workplace. That plan is about making sure you have all the ingredients of success in a workplace to make sure everyone can come and thrive.”

Staff Superintendent Peter Code encouraged the women in the room to think about the impact they are having at work every day.

“Quite often our Service puts a great deal of emphasis on your current positional authority, or the leader you may develop into in the future. Instead, reflect on what you are doing right now, today, in the moment, regardless of rank or position. That is your brand,” Code said. “You are already leading, you are already inspiring, and the impact you have, that you may not even be aware of, is incredibly significant. It’s something every one of you should be very proud of.”

He said that his greatest mentors in the Service have been women, including retired Detective Wendy Leaver, who was the Service’s Sexual Assault Coordinator, and Kimberley Greenwood who he served as Executive Officer when she was a Staff Superintendent with the Toronto Police Service before joining Barrie Police as its Chief.

This is the second year the Service’s W-ISN has hosted an International Women’s Day event featuring speakers addressing such topics as leadership, professionalism, communication and well-being.

This year’s agenda also included Civilian Professionals and Police Officers who shared their journeys and described how they inspire inclusion in their teams.


People seated clapping
Jenniffer Quintero Arias moderates a panel discussion Photo: Brent Smyth


Jenniffer Quintero Arias, the Missing and Missed Project Team Lead, co-chaired an ‘Inspire Inclusion’ panel that included Corporate Communications Media Manager Stephanie Sayer, Analytics & Innovation Manager Marva Carter, Communications Service Manager Kerry-Anne Murray-Bates and the Service’s psychologist Catherine Martin-Doto.

International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on March 8.

The Service’s W-ISN was established in 2010 to support women seeking career advancement and enhancement opportunities.

Jenniffer Quintero Arias and Acting Superintendent Kathlin Seremetkovski are the W-ISN co-chairs.

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