International Women’s Day

This week, we’re celebrating #InternationalWomensDay by highlighting UPP’s highly accomplished women leaders, who help drive our commitment to creating and sustaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.

Marked annually on March 8, #IWD2023 is an important opportunity to acknowledge women’s success, push for gender equality in work and society, and support women-focused organizations.

This year’s campaign theme, #EmbraceEquity, recognizes that every person brings with them a different lived experience, and ensures each has the resources and opportunities they need to help us all achieve an equal outcome for all.

Picture of Barb Zvan

Barb Zvan

President and Chief Executive Officer, UPP

“This year’s International Women’s Day challenges all of us to embrace equity. By creating inclusive, collaborative environments where all women can excel, we help ensure the success of our whole organizations, and inspire future generations of women leaders.”

Our President and CEO Barbara Zvan is a globally recognized expert on sustainable investing and an ambassador for defined benefit pensions. She was named Canada’s CEO of the Year and Corporate Citizen of the Year 2022 by the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business magazine in honour of her contributions and leadership in both areas.

Picture of Christine Chen

Christine Chen

General Counsel, UPP

“To me, IWD is a day to remember and honour all the women who have helped pave the way to date on our ongoing journey for equity, to express our gratitude to all the allies who have helped each of us collectively and individually achieve, and to recommit to continuing the work towards equity for the next generation of amazing women who will change the world.”

As UPP’s General Counsel, Christine Chen is a key member of our Executive Leadership Team who provides leadership and strategic direction on all legal matters, drawing upon her strong international expertise in law and finance.

Picture of Omo Akintan

Omo Akintan

Chief People Officer, UPP

“This year’s IWD theme invites us all to lean into the work of building equity for all women. We must each embrace our role in building the more equitable world we desire.”

Omo Akintan is UPP’s Chief People Officer and oversees all aspects of our people strategy, including our Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Reconciliation initiatives, and plays a key role in defining UPP’s strong, employee-led organizational culture.

Picture of Joanna Lohrenz

Joanna Lohrenz

Chief Pension Services Officer, UPP

“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the incredible women in my life, including my colleagues at UPP, and a reminder of how important it is that women hold each other up and look for opportunities to be powerful allies — every day.”

Our Chief Pension Services Officer, Joanna Lohrenz, is an experienced leader across the financial services industry who heads UPP’s day-to-day execution and oversight of member and employer services, and regulatory compliance related to pension administration.

Picture of Kathy Johnson

Kathy Johnson

Chief Engagement and Strategy Officer, UPP

“International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on the generations of women and allies who fought hard and took risks to achieve the rights we have today, and for us to think about our part in protecting those gains. Our work isn’t done!”

UPP’s Chief Engagement and Strategy Officer, Kathy Johnson, is a life-long advocate for the advancement of women. Kathy leads our teams responsible for outreach and relationship building with Ontario’s university sector, driven by her passion for meaningful work that makes a difference in people’s lives. 

Media Contact

Kelly Conlon
Managing Director, Strategic Communications and External Relations
[email protected]



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