Sheherazade Hirji is a former President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Sheherazade has worked in the philanthropic sector for the past 20 years. Sheherazade served on the Canadian Women’s Foundation violence prevention committee for several years and joined the Foundation’s Board of Directors in 2008. She has dedicated her career to the philanthropic sector, in such roles as the Vice President of Client Services at Tides Canada, Vice President of Grants at Ontario Trillium Foundation, Executive Director of the Royal LePage Shelter.
This interview was originally published by International Innovation.
Sheherazade Hirji, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, wants to put the organisation out of business – envisioning a generation of empowered women, gender equality and an end to sexual violence.
Having dedicated your career to the philanthropic sector, you are committed to helping women and girls in Canada. What led you to your present role at the Foundation?
I actually qualified as a solicitor in England first, so I’m a ‘recovering’ lawyer. I came to Canada in the 1980s and qualified again, got called to the Bar and started to work in the area of philanthropy. I very quickly found that the work I was doing with foundations resonated with my own personal values much more than law.
This week, twenty-three women will gather at the Bold Vision conference in Charlottetown. This event commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, where twenty-three men gathered to discuss the political union that would eventually become Canada. The Bold Vision event presents a female-oriented vision for Canada, looking ahead 150 years into the future.
The following essay was written by the Canadian Women’s Foundation to express the Foundation's own Bold Vision for the year 2164.
As you know, I recently joined the Canadian Women's Foundation as Interim CEO. In order for the Foundation to go through an effective transition process, the Board of Directors, and staff, have asked me to remain as CEO until December 2015. As a former Board member with a strong commitment to helping women and girls in Canada, I was honoured and pleased to accept their request. I have, over the last few weeks, met many of our donors, corporate partners and other stakeholders, and thank you for the generosity of your time, treasure and talent.