10 Montréal women who are making incredible contributions

published on March 8, 2022
What's New in Montréal Montréal Partners

International Women's Day is a global day to recognize and applaud the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It is celebrated annually on March 8.

The theme for this year’s International Women's Day is gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow:

“Women are increasingly being recognized as more vulnerable to climate change impacts than men, as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources which climate change threatens the most. At the same time, women and girls are effective and powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation.”

To mark the occasion, we wanted to highlight just a few of the Montréal-based women who excel in their fields. Naturally, with so many talented and innovative women breaking ground on so many fronts across the city, this list could have been virtually limitless. Here is an abbreviated look at women making their mark in Montréal.


Life Sciences and Health Technology


Dr. Lucy Gilbert

Professor, researcher

Dr. Gilbert has led a multi-disciplinary team through years of research and development to create the DOvEEgene (Diagnosing Ovarian and Endometrial Cancers Early), a screening test to help effectively detect over 70 percent of early ovarian and endometrial cancers before symptoms occur. In 2020, Dr. Gilbert was awarded $6.24 million in funding from The Genomics Applications Partnership Program to assist with continued research, making the finalization of the advancement of DOvEEgene that much more of a reality. Read more.


Dr. Soledad Miranda-Rottmann


With educational experiences that stretch from Chile to New York City, Dr. Miranda-Rottmann is a biochemist and holds a PhD in molecular and cell biology. She has 20 years of experience studying gene regulation in model systems of human health and disease. Dr. Miranda-Rottmann is actively involved with 500 Women Scientists, an organization that exists to make science open, inclusive, and accessible, and to transform society by fighting racism, patriarchy, and oppressive societal norms. Read more.


Startups + Investing


Sophie Forest

Managing partner

With Brightspark Ventures, Forest has led and overseen more than 50 investments in technology companies. She is a member of the Science and Technology Council of Canada, which provides external advice to the federal government in the domain of science, technology, and innovation. Through her career, Forest has often been the “only woman in the room” and wants to continue to facilitate the entry for other women.  Read more.


Audrey Bernard

Founder of Stimulation Déjà Vu

Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, Bernard is known for her resilience and the passion with which she leads projects. From the age of 17, she was responsible for organizing urban music shows across Quebec in order to promote the local scene in Montreal and other Quebec cities. Her company, Stimulation Déjà Vu, combines cognitive science with creativity to stir up emotions. Read more.


Geneviève Tanguay


Geneviève Tanguay has more than 20 years of experience in investment and has participated in the completion of numerous transactions in several innovative sectors, particularly in Life Sciences. From 2008 to 2017, she was Director of Investments at the Fonds de Solidarité, the largest Quebec network for development and venture capital investment in Québec. Most recently, Tanguay became the first woman to hold the position of CEO of Anges Québec. Read more.


Media + Culture


Maya Johnson

News anchor

Maya Johnson has been with CTV News for 15 years, first joining the newsroom as an intern while studying journalism at Concordia University. In 2016, she moved to Québec City as Bureau Chief at the National Assembly. This month, however, Johnson returns to Montréal as anchor of CTV Montreal News at 5 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Read more.


Nelly Bassily

Feminist, sexual rights and anti-racism activist

Born to Egyptian parents in Montréal, Bassily’s activism is informed by immigration, diaspora, and identity. She is currently the Director of Youth Initiatives and International Relations at DAWN Canada (Disabled Women’s Network Canada), where she focuses her work on young women with disabilities and Deaf young women. Read more.


Nahid Aboumansour

Immigration support advocate

Executive Director of Petites-Mains, which she co-founded in 1995, Nahid Aboumansour has dedicated her life to the cause of the poorest immigrant women, helping them integrate and live in dignity. Aboumansour has received many prizes and awards recognizing her exemplary work, which has contributed to the development of a harmonious and inclusive society that promotes gender equity. Read more.



Creative director, curator, storyteller

A Montrealer for 25 years now, Azamit has always lived in the universe of fashion. She has studied Fashion Design at Collège Lasalle and Fibres et Textile at École Supérieur des Arts Appliqués Dupérré. Azamit’s love for discovery and meeting new people has resulted in the creation of SOUK, an annual event for lovers of design. Read more.


Artificial Intelligence


Joelle Pineau

Computer scientist, associate professor

An associate professor at McGill University, Pineau co-directs the McGill Reasoning and Learning Lab and leads the Facebook AI Research lab. Joelle’s work involves applying planning and learning algorithms to complex problems in robotics, health care, games and conversational agents. Read more.


Valérie Bécaert

Director of research

Valérie Bécaert holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Polytechnique Montréal in environmental modelization. Her career started as a researcher in the field of life cycle analysis, a powerful tool employed to evaluate the potential impact of human activities on the environment. These days Bécaert works as the Director of the Research Group at Element AI, provider of artificial intelligence solutions that delivers new technologies to make businesses stronger, safer, and more dexterous. Read more.


Discover even more Montréal women making a difference…