News Release
March 23, 2022

The City of Toronto has selected 14 local women to participate in the second cohort of its Women4Climate Toronto (W4CTO) Mentorship Programme.

Through a combination of mentoring, training and networking opportunities, the program will provide tools to help the mentees advance their climate-related projects or business start-ups in support of key City strategies including the TransformTO Net Zero Climate Action Strategy, Resilience Strategy, Long-Term Waste Management Strategy, and Ravine Strategy.

W4CTO was created in partnership with C40 Cities to support the development of female climate leaders in Toronto. C40 is a network of mayors from nearly 100 cities collaborating to deliver urgent climate action to address the climate emergency. EY Canada is the local presenting sponsor for this year’s program.

Second-cohort W4CTO mentees and their climate-related projects and business start-ups are:

  • Agata Rudd – Packt: reusable packaging that helps Toronto food businesses switch from disposables to reusables
  • Carolyn Moss, Simona Sund, Adekemi Oke– Homes to Zero: an online platform to help homeowners navigate the process of making a home net zero and facilitate the mass-scale roll out of deep energy retrofits
  • Corina Ottnad – MyGroBox: a modular garden system that addresses the problem of gardening and growing food in small spaces
  • Deborah King –/ Global Measure: measures, validates and certifies sustainable and ethical fashion brands
  • Emma Bartolomucci – The Fourth R: reduce, reuse, recycle, Revolutionize: a high energy dance-theatre performance aimed at inspiring students to take action on climate change
  • Jenn Cerullo – Sustainable Athletic Events: achieve Evergreen Certification for the Toronto Waterfront Marathon and use it as a starting point for greening other athletic events in Toronto
  • Kim-Chi Tran – MUST(Multi-use Storage Technologies): allows businesses to track their reusable containers through a third-party labelling system
  • Manisha Malik – Clobe Connect: connects cleantech companies with businesses and investors through the Clobe platform
  • Romina Kwong – Eco-Friendly Events: educates event organizers on sustainable approaches to event management
  • Shabina Lafleur-Gangji – Seed, Soil and Spirit School: offers culturally respectful, self-determined, decolonial approaches to Indigenous medical and agricultural sciences
  • Simran Bahia – Waste Hackers: a platform that optimizes the design and implementation of waste recycling and reuse solutions
  • Zamani Ra – CEED Workshops: culturally-relevant curriculum to engage social housing residents in climate action

Over the course of the program, which runs until June 2022, mentees will consult with mentors from the public and private sector with expertise in a variety of fields, including climate change/action, business, finance, marketing and communications.

The Women4Climate Toronto mentors are:

  • Jigna Shah, Regional Market Leader, Business Taxation Incentives, EY Canada
  • Nadine Spencer, Chief Executive Officer, BrandEQ Group and President, Black Business and Professional Association
  • Cecilia Fernandez, Manager, Policy and Research, Environment & Energy Division, City of Toronto
  • Nancy Ruscica, Manager, Outreach and Engagement, Environment & Energy Division, City of Toronto
  • Nicola Lashley, Program Manager, Public Energy Initiatives, Environment & Energy Division, City of Toronto
  • Carol Aziz, Project Director, Climate Risk Institute
  • Lynda Bowles, Retired Senior Audit and Assurance Partner, Deloitte
  • Mei Burgin, Vice President, Professional Services, Opus One Solutions
  • Candice Batista, Environmental Journalist, Founder of Eco Hub and Eco Expert at the Marilyn Dennis Show
  • Keerthana Rang, Corporate Communications Lead, Uber Canada

The mentees were selected through a competitive three-step juried process. Jury members included representatives from the City, as well as EY Canada and C40 Cities:

  • Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of Infrastructure & Environment Committee
  • Heather Taylor, Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer
  • Selina Young, Director, Indigenous Affairs Office
  • Marsha John-Greenwood, Chief People Officer
  • Sunniya Durrani-Jamal, Senior Manager, EY Canada
  • Josephine Agbeko, ICA City Advisor, C40 Cities.

Following the program, the City and EY Canada will co-host a pitch competition to further support three mentees and their climate projects. The winner will receive a $20,000 award and two runners-up will each receive $5,000, plus additional support to advance their projects.

Toronto is one of three Canadian cities, and 28 cities globally, participating in C40 Cities’ Women4Climate Mentorship Programme, which is currently supporting more than 350 women across the globe to accelerate their climate projects.

More information is available at Women4Climate Toronto Mentorship Programme – City of Toronto 


“We must act quickly to address the climate emergency and I look forward to the contribution these women leaders – and their mentors – will make to our collective efforts to reduce emissions and create a better, more resilient future for our city.”

– Mayor John Tory

“I am excited to welcome these women to Toronto’s second cohort of the Women4Climate program. The program is an investment in people, ideas and a more sustainable future. The passion of the exceptional mentees and the dedication of their mentors, strengthens Toronto’s role as a leader in climate action, now and into the future.”

– Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park), Chair of Infrastructure and Environment Committee

“I am inspired by the talented and passionate Women4ClimateTO mentees and mentors and I am optimistic about the impact these future leaders will have locally and globally. We received many wonderful ideas from excellent candidates and these 12 women-led projects stood out. I am confident that these women have the potential to contribute in a meaningful way to our collective efforts to address the climate emergency and improve Toronto’s resilience.”

– Heather Taylor, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, City of Toronto

“At EY, we believe that gender equality is not a problem to solve, but rather the solution to business and society’s most complex challenges. The Women4ClimateTO Mentorship Programme is an impactful initiative helping to build a more diverse and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem, while empowering the next generation of women climate leaders. We’re proud to be part of a program that’s enabling journeys leading to ground-breaking innovations and creative solutions helping to address climate change and other growing issues.”

– Mark MacDonald, Ontario Government and Public Sector Leader and Global Public Finance Management Leader, EY

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media contact: Media Relations,