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

12:30 - 1:00 
Early check-in & SWAAC café
1:00 – 1:10 
1:15 – 2:00

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

2:00 – 2:15
SWAAC café & discussion groups
2:15 – 3:10
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

3:10 – 3:15
SWAAC café & discussion groups
3:15 – 4:15
Plenary: Screw the apologies: How to lead with confidence 

Prof. Maja Jovanovic
Sociologist, author and TEDx speaker  

4:15 – 4:30
SWAAC café & discussion groups
4:30 – 4:35
See you tomorrow!
More information & speaker bios


Friday, May 14, 2021

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
SWAAC café & discussion groups
1:45 – 2:00
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

Register here

For any questions regarding registration, please email swaac2021.tls [at] mcgill.ca.

Accessing the conference

Information about how to access the conference will be made available soon.


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.


McGill University is on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. We acknowledge and thank the diverse Indigenous people whose footsteps have marked this territory on which peoples of the world now gather.

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