“Be an advocate in absolutely everything you do. This is a long-term journey that we’re on and it doesn’t just take action in the workplace; it takes action in every part of our lives.”

These words, spoken by Darlene Nicosia, President of Coca-Cola Ltd., perfectly summarize Friday’s International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration at Coke Canada’s head office in Toronto.

Run byWomen’s LINC (the Coke Canada’s internal employee resource group for women empowerment), the IWD event invited a thoughtful conversation between Coke employees and a special panel of senior executives at Coca-Cola, Cineplex, the Convenience Industry Council of Canada (CICC) and Petro-Canada.

Click here to view the full roster of panelists.

Associates filled our King St. Atrium to discuss gender parity, inclusion, diversity and advocacy in the workplace. With this year’s IWD theme being “Balance for Better”, special attention was placed on policies and tactics that empower, inspire and support women.

“It’s up to us to keep the pressure on and keep having conversations. Recognizing the decisions and steps that advocate gender equality.”
- Darlene Nicosia, President Coca-Cola Ltd. 


Moderated by Angie Balian, V.P. Commercial & Franchise Leadership for Coca-Cola in Canada, the panel touched on how organizations are finding new ways to close the gender gap and provide more balance in leadership positions.

“It starts with building a foundation and making people realize that it’s possible to work in these roles,” Nicosia shared when asked about what Coca-Cola is doing to ensure equal representations across the organization.

Particularly, the panel spoke about vocational training, mentorship and new ways to develop future leaders.

“Your best leaders may not be those who naturally stand out in a crowd,” said Shelley Felice, Vice President, Foodservice & Merchandising, Cineplex. “Look at the results and find out who drove those results.”

The panel also provided introspective advice to the crowd; urging them to ignore their “inner demons” and stay ambitious and motivated. This advice included taking mistakes and failures as learning opportunities, finding new ways to approach a task, keeping your mind stimulated, constantly asking questions and being a champion for female colleagues.

“It’s up to us to keep the pressure on and keep having conversations,” said Nicosia. “Recognizing the decisions and steps that advocate gender equality.”

“We need to keep going.”

International Women’s Day is a global day which celebrates and acknowledges the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  This year’s 2019 initiative is aimed at gender equality and creating greater awareness for women’s achievements. Follow the hashtag #CocaColaIWD2019 or #BalanceForBetter to learn more about how the world is building towards a more balanced future.

Panelists of Coca-Cola’s International Women’s Day 2019 Event Included:

  • Darlene Nicosia, President Coca-Cola Ltd.
  • Shelley Felice, Vice President Foodservice & Merchandising, Cineplex
  • Anne Kothawala, President & CEO, Convenience Industry Council of Canada (CICC)
  • Marc Goodman, Director Category Management, Petro-Canada
  • Scott Kirkpatrick, General Counsel & V.P., Coca-Cola Ltd.