News release

Nova Scotians Named to Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women List

Women of courage, a corporate executive, a deputy minister and a journeyperson are Nova Scotians named in this year’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN).

Premier Stephen McNeil is congratulating the five award recipients and their families.

Three women who lost their lives in service in 2020 were named in this year’s new category, Women of Courage. This award recognizes women who champion our country and its values with courage and compassion, even as it means risking their careers, reputations and, sometimes, their lives.

Const. Heidi Stevenson served as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for 23 years and lost her life in the line of duty, attempting to stop and apprehend an active shooter in April.

Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough was a naval officer serving on HMCS Fredericton. At the age of 23, she was one of six Canadians who died in a helicopter crash during a retrieval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea in April.

Capt. Jenn Casey, a public affairs officer with the Canadian Snowbird team, died in May in a jet crash during Operation Inspiration, the Snowbird’s salute to Canadians and frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the longest-serving deputy minister in Nova Scotia, Kelliann Dean was chosen as a CIBC Executive Leader for exemplifying what it means to be a great leader who builds confidence in, and champions, others. Ms. Dean has served and advised premiers and ministers since 2004. Currently, she is the deputy minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Trade and the chief executive officer for the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration.

Also named among the top 100 are Heidi Jamieson-Mills, senior vice president of finance, reporting and treasury for Sobeys Inc. who received an Intact Professionals award, and Raelynn Hawco, a power technician journeyperson who is being recognized for excellence in the skilled trades.

“These incredible women should be recognized and celebrated for their remarkable work in their professional and personal lives, and for their sacrifices,” said Premier McNeil. “The next generation of girls and women can take inspiration from these award winners as they pursue their own goals.”

Additional Resources:

WXN Most Powerful Women: Top 100 award winners:


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