SWAAC 2021

SWAAC 2021 logo

The theme of Building trust and earning trust is ambitious and multi-faceted; it will invite attendees to consider how to build trust within post-secondary institutions, and how to earn the trust of society at large.

Suzanne Fortier"On behalf of McGill University, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2021 edition of the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada (SWAAC) conference, Building Trust & Earning Trust. This year’s lineup brings together exceptional women who are shaping the Canadian political, economic, social and education landscapes, while advancing the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. I hope that you will join us for what promises to be an inspiring event rich in insights for enhancing your own leadership practice."

Prof. Suzanne Fortier
Principal and Vice-Chancellor
McGill University



Thursday, May 13, 2021 (updated schedule) 

⏰  Note that all times listed are EDT (Eastern Daylight Time).

12:30 - 1:00 
Early check-in & SWAAC café
1:00 – 1:10 
1:15 – 2:00
Keynote: Our words are our story, our story is the truth. Reclaiming our power and our place.

Ms. Michèle Audette
Senior Advisor on Reconciliation and Indigenous Education
Laval University

2:00 – 2:15
SWAAC café & discussion groups
2:15 – 3:45
Panel: Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion in Institutions of Higher Learning 

Dr. Malinda Smith
Vice Provost (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion), Professor of Political Science
University of Calgary 

Prof. Nancy Simms, M.A. ADR
Director, Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion
Ed.D. Candidate OISE
University of Toronto 

Ms. Michelle Caine, MBA
Chair, Hospitality Management
Centennial College

Ms. Kit Malo (Moderator)
Organizational Consultant
Estuaries Learning Consulting Group

3:45 – 4:00
SWAAC café & discussion groups
4:00 – 5:00
Plenary: Screw the apologies: How to lead with confidence 

Prof. Maja Jovanovic
Sociologist, author and TEDx speaker  

5:00 – 5:30
SWAAC café & discussion groups
More information & speaker bios


Friday, May 14, 2021

⏰  Note that all times listed are EDT (Eastern Daylight Time).

10:30 - 11:00
Early check-in & SWAAC café 
11:00 – 11:10
Welcome and introduction

Prof. Suzanne Fortier
Principal & Vice-Chancellor
McGill University 

11:15 – 12:00
Keynote: Earning trust in an era of division and skepticism

Prof. Jennifer M. Welsh
Canada 150 Research Chair in Global Governance and Security
McGill University 

12:00 – 12:45
SWAAC café & discussion groups
12:45 – 1:30
Panel: Disruption, Innovation and Trust

Dr. Anja Geitmann
Dean, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
McGill University 

Dr. Marcy McCall MacBain
Founder, Director and Vice-Chair of the McCall MacBain Foundation 

Prof. Angela Campbell (Moderator)
Associate Provost (Equity and Academic Policies)
Office of the Provost & Vice-Principal (Academic)
McGill University 

1:30 – 1:45
1:45 – 2:00
SWAAC café & discussion groups
More information & speaker bios


​​The Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada organization was founded in 1987 to provide a forum and a collective voice for those who identify as women in senior administrative ranks in Canadian universities, colleges, and technical institutes.

The primary purpose of SWAAC is to create a safe space to engage and reflect on leadership issues and opportunities facing individuals who identify as women.

Aspiring female academics and women in senior leadership positions will come together to develop and enhance their leadership capabilities, offer mentorship to future leaders, and more importantly, find time to connect with each other.

Learn more about SWAAC   Join or renew your membership


  Early bird registration (until April 30, 2021) May 1–10, 2021

SWAAC members



Non-SWAAC members



Graduate students/post docs and in-career transition



Group rates

Open to SWAAC members and non-members.

  Early bird registration (until April 30, 2021) May 1–10, 2021

Tier 1: 2-5 attendees



Tier 2: 6-12



Tier 3: 13-20



Emeriti members

Free; please contact us at swaac2021.tls [at] mcgill.ca


Registration is now closed.

For any questions regarding registration, please see the "FAQ" tab on the left, or email swaac2021.tls [at] mcgill.ca.

Accessing the conference

Participants internal to McGill

If  you are internal to McGill, your access credentials are the same username and password as your  existing  institutional  credentials.  When prompted to sign into myCourses, please use the “McGill - Students, Instructors and Staff” button.  The direct link to the platform can be found here.


Participants external to McGill

After registering  for the conference,  the  online credentials  you used or created when paying  can be used to access the conference  platform  here.  Please use the “Guest – External Users” link.

If you were registered as a group, you will have received an automated email with guest credentials assigned to you. Please use these credentials to sign into the platform.

If you have forgotten these credentials, please follow these steps: 

  1. Go to the  myCourses  store  here. 
  1. Click on “Existing Participants Login” and “Login” 
  1. Click on “Guest - External Users”  
  1. Click on “Forgot your guest password?” 
  1. Follow the instructions to reset your password.  

If you have any trouble accessing  the conference  platform, please email  swaac2021.tls [at] mcgill.ca. 



We are committed to providing a barrier-free event for the Senior Women Academic Administrators Conference of Canada (SWAAC). This conference will take place virtually on Zoom. All participants will have the opportunity to enable closed captioning via Zoom which is powered by AI. If you have any additional accessibility needs or concerns please let us know by sending an email to swaac2021.tls [at] mcgill.ca.

We would appreciate hearing from you by May 1, 2021, so that we may ensure your accessibility needs are addressed.

Frequently asked questions


How do I register to be a member of SWAAC? What are the membership fees? 

To become a SWAAC member, please visit the  SWAAC website  to  learn more about the application process and  how to  submit  the  membership fee.  


How do I register for the conference?  

To register for the 2021 edition of the SWAAC  conference,  Building  Trust & Earning Trust,  please  visit McGill’s registration  webpage  here.  All major credit cards are accepted  for payment  (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express). 

If you have already  have  McGill credentials,  you will be asked to  log in to the registration platform  with your  existing  credentials  (username/password).  If you have never registered for a course/conference on the  myCourses  store  or do not have  McGill credentials, you will be asked to create a new account with a  secure  password.  

Please save your login information, as you will be using it to log into the conference platform  (myCourses) on May 13 and 14.


What is included in the cost of my registration?

The cost of registration includes  virtual access to the two-day conference, where you will be  able to find Zoom links to each event.  You will have access to the conference material, including recordings of all sessions, for  a month after the event.  


Can students register to attend the conference? Are there reduced rates for students? 

We encourage graduate and post-doctoral students to attend the conference, including those who have recently graduated or  who  are  currently  in  career transition.  Students pay $25 each.  


SWAAC 2021 electronic invitation graphicI’d  like to invite colleagues to attend the conference to take advantage of group rates. How can I invite them to attend? 

There are three tiers of group pricing available. You can purchase a registration ticket for friends or colleagues ahead of time, and invite them to the conference by downloading the e-invitation here or by clicking on the image to the right.


Do I need to have a Zoom account to attend the conference? 

No, you do not need to have a Zoom account to join the conference, however we recommend that you download the  latest  desktop version  (  of the Zoom application so that you can participate in breakout sessions.  You will be able to directly connect to the  meeting using the  meeting  ID and invitation link. 

If you already have a Zoom account, please ensure it has been  upgraded  to the latest version.   

Please note: If joining using a mobile phone, tablet, or the internet browser version of Zoom, there may be some differences in the layout or functionality of your settings.


Will the sessions be  closed captioned? 

Yes, English captioning will be available for all the conference sessions.  


Who do I contact for technical help if I continue to have access problems after troubleshooting on my own? 

 Visit the  Zoom Help Center  for any Zoom-related technical issues.  

 For any other inquiries, please email us at  swaac2021.tls [at] mcgill.ca  and we will do our best to  instruct you on how to solve the technical challenge you are experiencing.  


While this web page is accessible worldwide, McGill University is on land which has served and continues to serve as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. Teaching and Learning Services acknowledges and thanks the diverse Indigenous peoples whose footsteps mark this territory on which peoples of the world now gather. This land acknowledgement is shared as a starting point to provide context for further learning and action.

Back to top