Le Lézard
Subjects: AWD, WOM, ASI, DEI



TORONTO, Oct. 18, 2022 /CNW/ - Four Filipino-Canadian trailblazers including the first Filipino woman elected as a Member of Parliament in Canada have joined the ranks of recipients for the prestigious "Most Influential Filipina Woman in the World" Awardtm (Global FWN100tm) from the Foundation for Filipina Women's Network.

The awardees are Rechie Valdez, a Member of Parliament for the riding of Mississauga?Streetsville, and the first Filipino woman elected as a Member of Parliament in Canada; Dr. Eileen de Villa, the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto; Joycelyn David, CEO of AV Communications, a leading multicultural marketing agency and the only Filipina-owned firm of its kind in Canada; and Anna Patrizio, a Pharmacist, and Owner of Schomberg Village Pharmacy.

The award announcement comes as the US celebrates Filipino American Heritage Month which is observed annually in October. A total of 13 Filipina-Canadian women have been recipients since the awards were founded in the US in 2006, and went global in 2013. The women were selected from an outstanding field of nominees from 10 countries this year, and have been extended individual invitations to the Gala Awards Ceremony at the 18th Filipina Leadership Global Summit on October 30 ? November 2, 2022, in Lisbon, Portugal. The Foundation for Filipina Women's Network recognizes women of Philippine ancestry who are changing the face of leadership in the global workplace; women who have done outstanding work in their respective fields and are acknowledged for their contributions to society, femtorship, and legacy. 

All four women were awarded in separate categories. Valdez, a small business owner and creative entrepreneur, turned politician won in the Policymakers & Visionaries category for the award that recognizes Filipina women leaders who have demonstrated exceptional business acumen combined with a forward-looking vision in the development or influencing of policies, campaigns or laws that impact business, industry, and society; leaders who enrich the lives, careers and businesses of others by sharing the benefits of their wealth, experience, and knowledge; actions that significantly change how we think and live.

de Villa won in the Builders category, for women who have demonstrated exceptional organizational impact at a large workplace environment; displaying deep passion for a cause through collaborative initiatives or alliances with institutions, corporations or nonprofit organizations on behalf of her own company.

David landed her award in the Innovators and Thought Leaders category, which recognizes women who have broken new ground in the marketplace, have delivered new and unique applications of emerging technology transforming the way people think, in the fields of business, sports, literature, the arts and pop culture, or have improved the lives of others by helping develop a product or service in the fields of finance, science, technology, engineering, fashion, cuisine, architecture, arts, film and entertainment. This award category is also for someone who has launched a new enterprise, a learning function or completely overhauled an existing way of doing things, resulting in new development or community initiative.

And, Patrizio won her award in the Founders and Pioneers category, which honours Filipina women in their capacities as the chief executive, president, executive director or founder of a company, community organization, non-profit, or business venture that they helped start, build or significantly grow. This award category is for the trailblazers who have marshaled resources and applied innovative practices, processes and/or technologies in a new and groundbreaking way to address a significant business or organizational opportunity.

Estimated at nearly one million, Filipinos are the third largest ethnic group in Canada, and continue to play a crucial role in healthcare and key industries across the country. "It's an honour to receive this recognition knowing the instrumental role that Filipinos continue to play here in Canada,'' said Valdez. "Massive shifts continue to take place globally since the pandemic, technology continues to expand our boundaries exponentially, and the world is evolving every day. But the one thing that has remained constant is the power of hope. My wish is that organizations like FWN and award ceremonies like this, will serve as an inspiration to generations of Filipinos, especially for women and youth. We must continue to dream big and imagine more of what is possible."

de Villa, who has led Toronto Public Health since 2017, shared similar sentiments. She was raised in a household where the expectation was to give back to the community and she has carried this principle throughout her life and work. Her goals are to address social inequality and improve the health of the people of Toronto, one of the most diverse cities in the world. Her award is an important step in establishing a legacy for Filipino-Canadian women in medicine and public service. "It's important that our youth see people who look like them shattering the 'glass ceiling' and taking leadership positions in order to positively impact our community," she said.

Speaking on the importance of her award, David said it's humbling and it's an honour. "We have each been working hard to make a difference for our families, and the many immigrants who live in Canada. Our parents and grandparents chose Canada as home. We're the beneficiaries of their legacy, and we wear that knowledge proudly." When asked what she hopes to achieve from this recognition, David said she wants to gain more awareness of the impact Filipinos are having in many industries in Canada and the world. "We're in media, health, government, policy, and industries that are the foundation of our economy. We're building bridges, contributing to development, and we're standing up for others and making a way where there once were only limitations," she said. "I will continue to focus on the need for greater representation, and speaking from my place as a multicultural marketing leader, I will continue to help companies and brands bridge the gap between themselves and diverse audiences across North America."

As a pharmacist who has been navigating the challenges of the pandemic, Patrizio and her team established resiliency and set a high standard for leadership through early participation in mass vaccination and rapid testing. Patrizio is a recipient of the Dean Epifania Plana Excellence Award for Escolarian Entrepreneur Pharmacist, one of the distinctions bestowed to 100 alumni of Centro Escolar University, School of Pharmacy, Manila, in its celebration of centennial founding anniversary.  On the brink of accepting this new award, she is reflective and grateful. "This prestigious award is a reflection of opportunities I embraced and predicaments I choose to rise above. It validates my personal growth from self-doubting, stepping outside the comfort zone, and challenging the status quo. I am so excited to be with like-minded individuals that see a common goal of moving Filipina greatness front and centre," Patrizio said.

Marily Mondejar, Founder and CEO of the Foundation for Filipina Women's Network, noted, "The Global FWN100tm awardees are innovators and thought leaders, dynamic entrepreneurs, rising stars under age 35, practitioners, and public service advocates, who have moved through the ranks in the public and private sectors. They are magnificent women doing extraordinary work trailblazing for the next generation leaders."

SOURCE Oasis Integrated Communications

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