Dean Catharine Whiteside Named One of Canada’s Most Powerful Women in 2012

Dec 4, 2012

Dean Catharine WhitesideThe Women’s Executive Network has named the Dean of the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women for 2012.
Professor Catharine Whiteside is the first female Dean of U of T’s Faculty of Medicine. She joins women from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors on the prestigious Top 100 list, which recognizes the professional achievements of women across the country.

“It’s a huge honour to be recognized alongside women who have had such an extraordinary impact in their fields,” said Prof. Whiteside, who is also the Faculty’s Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions. “I hope this recognition will inspire other women to seek challenging professional roles in which they can reach their potential and make a difference in the world.”

The network’s Top 100 award recipients are chosen for their strategic vision and leadership, their organization’s financial performance, and their commitment to their communities. Past awardees include Sheila Fraser, former Auditor General of Canada, and BMO Financial Group executive Sherry Cooper.

“On behalf of the WXN community of 18,000 women, we congratulate each of this year’s winners who we honour as part of the 10th year of the Top 100 Awards,” said Pamela Jeffery, Founder, Women’s Executive Network. “This is an extraordinary group of female leaders who join our community, and they truly embody the qualities WXN strives to recognize; they are dynamic, inspiring and engaging leaders blazing new trails for the next generation.”

Prof. Whiteside has been Dean of U of T’s Faculty of Medicine since 2005. The Faculty of Medicine at U of T is Canada’s largest, graduating nearly half of the medical doctors in Ontario and 25 per cent of the country’s health and biomedical PhDs. As Vice Provost, Prof. Whiteside oversees the Faculty’s partnership with nine fully affiliated hospitals and 18 community-affiliated hospitals and health facilities. With those partners, the Faculty conducted over $900 million in research in 2011 – 2012, making it one of the largest academic health science networks in the world.

Co-presented by Scotiabank and KPMG, the WXN Top 100 acknowledges women in several award categories, spanning a variety of industries: corporate executives, entrepreneurs, public and not-for profit administrators, and social and cultural trendsetters. Prof. Whiteside was honoured in the category of Public Sector Leaders.

Prof. Whiteside completed U of T’s Undergraduate Medical Education program in 1975, followed by postgraduate training in internal medicine and nephrology and a doctorate from U of T’s Institute of Medical Science. She joined U of T’s Department of Medicine in 1985 as a clinician-scientist and has engaged in basic research in the field of cellular mechanisms of kidney disease. In 1996, Dr. Whiteside became a full professor of medicine; prior to being appointed Dean of Medicine, she served as Associate Dean of Graduate and Inter-Faculty Affairs.

Top 100 award winners will be celebrated on December 5 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto during a leadership summit, which will offer insight to more than 400 women attendees. A gala dinner follows the summit, where attendees will hear from Laureen Harper, who will present the Public Sector Leaders Award category. Jeanne Beker, entrepreneur and TV personality, and Bonnie Brooks, Hudson’s Bay Company President and CEO, will also give keynote addresses.

A complete list of 2012 WXN Top 100 awardees can be found at


Feb 27 Evidence to Policy 101 Workshop
Workshop/Seminar | 12:00pm–2:00pm
Feb 28 U of T's 18th Annual Black History Month Luncheon
Luncheon | 12:00pm–2:00pm
Feb 28 BRITE Movie Night: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Other | 6:00pm–9:00pm
Feb 29 Black Physicians' Association of Ontario Annual Health Symposium
Symposium | 8:00am–4:00pm
Mar 5 CANSSI Ontario Research Day
Research Day | 10:00am–3:30pm
8 – 11
Aging & Brain Health: Mental Health and Well-being
Conference | 7:30am–5:30pm
Mar 10 Pharmacology & Toxicology Distinguished Visiting Lecture Series with Dr. Yasmin Hurd
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