Faculty of Engineering

Western Engineering Alumna Catherine Karakatsanis inducted into Top 100 Women Hall of Fame

Image of Catherine Karakatsanis

Western Engineering News | December 21, 2016

Each year, the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) celebrates Canada’s strong, fearless female leaders with the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards.  Since 2003, WXN has recognized the outstanding accomplishments of Canada’s leading female executives, in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, who have broken barriers, raised their voices and paved a path for the next generation.  

“The purpose of the Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards is about celebration and inspiration,” said WXN Owner & CEO Sherri Stevens.  “By recognizing a community of now 939 remarkable women, we get the opportunity to look back, appreciate the hard work it took to get here and show the next generation of leaders what’s possible.”

2016 marks the fourth consecutive year that Western Engineering alumna Catherine Karakatsanis, BESc’83, MESc’91 has been named one of the most powerful women in Canada.  As a multi-time winner, the current Chief Operating Officer of Morrison Hershfield, Chair of Western Engineering’s Advisory Council and member of Western’s Board of Governors becomes one of only a select few to be inducted into the Top 100 Hall of Fame.

“Western’s engineering program started me off on my career with confidence and skills that I have relied on over the years,” said Ms. Karakatsanis.  “I not only received an excellent education but the faculty also created an atmosphere that was incredibly supportive and inclusive, and was oriented toward success of the individual, whether you were male or female.”

Ms. Karakatsanis is a true trailblazer and continues to break new ground and traditional barriers for women in engineering on a daily basis.At Western University, Ms. Karakatsanis was one of approximately12 females in her class of 190 engineering students when she graduated in 1983.  Since then, she has been a leader in her own right, and has greatly contributed to the business, academic and general community on behalf of women in a traditionally male dominated field.

She was among the first female Presidents of Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) and served as President of Engineers Canada.  She has long been committed to outreach activities in the community to encourage young women to consider a career in Engineering. (as speaker at Go ENG Girl, Lynda Shaw Memorial Lecture, and many more). She continues to be a role model, mentor and an inspiration to not only students and young engineers, but to young women.


To learn more about the many programs, initiatives and outlets for support for women in engineering at Western click here.


About the Women's Executive Network (WXN)

WXN delivers innovative networking, mentoring, professional and personal development to inform, inspire, connect and recognize the global community of more than 22,000 women, men and their organizations. WXN enables partners and corporate members to become and to be recognized as employers of choice and leaders in the advancement of women. 

Founded in 1997, WXN is Canada’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles. WXN is led by Owner & CEO Sherri Stevens, owner of the award-winning, multi-million dollar Workforce Management Company Stevens Resource Group Inc., which she established in 1990. In 2008, WXN launched in Ireland, followed by London, UK in 2015, creating an international community of female leaders.