Cynthia is an award-winning leader, speaker, facilitator and consultant who brings a unique lens of One Leader Two Genders of experience to every engagement. She helps organisations solve gender diversity challenges.
As a lifelong learner, she holds a Women in Leadership certificate from Cornell University, and a Certificate in Applied Management from the University of Manitoba, among other accomplishments.
Cynthia applies the lessons and insights from her three decades of experience as a senior executive & board leader in the technology sector & international trade/logistics industry. She developed the philosophy of acceptance without understanding™, and through this unique view, she strives to create spaces with her clients where all marginalised people feel safe and have a sense of belonging.
Cynthia also leverages her broad skill sets and experiences to consult with corporate clients on challenges and opportunities using a gender identity lens, including:
- Gender-related education and workshops
- Developing intentional cultures
- Policy language reviews
- System and process reviews
- Creating safe spaces where employees bring their authentic selves to work daily.
- Developing business & technology strategy
- Leading digital transformations
- Board governance
She has extensive board experience, including serving as the National Board Chair for Women's March Canada and Rainbow Resource Centre Board Chair in Winnipeg, Canada. In addition, she is a board member for Stonewall Housing (UK) and Board Member for the International LGBTIQ organisation and UN Secretariat OutRight Action International based in New York City.
Cynthia is an insightful speaker who shares stories with raw openness and a passion that connects with audiences on every level. You can experience her work in print and online. She is well-spoken, publicised in the media, and has presented at 350+ events in 30+ countries.
2020 Yahoo! finance & Involve Leading 100 LGBT+ Executives
2019 Finalist CIO of the Year by Women in IT Awards
2016, 2017, 2018 Financial Posts & Involve Leading 100 LGBT+ Executives
2016 One of the 20 Most Influential CIOs by CXO Talk
According to some folks, I was living the perfect life. It was a good life, but I was not feeling fulfilled or using words I will use throughout this book; I did not feel myself authentically. I was an actor playing a role that others told me who I was and how I was to act, think, and be. As a method actor, I watched others and copied behaviours to fill in the missing pieces when I didn't have guidance. Many would say I was successful as I accomplished much and achieved the things that define success in a patriarchal capitalist society.
Life is full of transitions, and mine was no different.
I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and due to the civil troubles in the early 1970s, my family of origin immigrated to Canada, where I grew up. That was my first transition, changing my home country at a very young age. I grew up in a middle-class neighbourhood and graduated high school at 17. I initially had no post-secondary education but returned after securing a role where I would benefit from the education. I began work right after high school. I was promoted into consecutively elevated positions, successfully changing industries during that career. I met this girl, and eventually, we got married. As we prepared for children, I changed religions from Irish Protestant to Roman Catholic. My second major transition in life was changing my religion, and although they are both Christian based, it wasn't conceptually very different; only the sacraments and services were different. We had a son and then a daughter, both June babies, although four years of age difference. I acquired post-secondary education throughout this phase of my life and grew from that naive junior role I started with into an executive position. That role blossomed into opportunities to participate in advisory group roles and not-for-profit boards, including creating groups to bring folks together around common points of view. This was a role model life of a successful man by many accounts, but I wasn't a man!