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Cathy Leonard

As a trainer, speaker and founder of Cathy Leonard Consulting, Cathy’s passion and expertise are in working with organizations to create diverse workplaces and inclusive workplace cultures. 

Cathy has spent almost two decades working in diversity and inclusion, human resources, and financial management.  A strategic thinker with strong interpersonal skills, what sets her apart is her ability to look beyond the obvious and ask probing questions to pinpoint significant issues and opportunities. 

Prior to launching her consulting firm, Cathy spent 15 years in Canada’s oil and gas industry. Throughout her career, she guided leadership teams across multiple business lines – including operations, refining, sales and professional services - on all facets of human resources as well as financial analysis and auditing.  As Diversity Manager for Imperial and ExxonMobil Canada, she managed compliance, training and employee cases for 5,000+ employees on diversity, harassment, human rights, equal opportunity and the Federal Contractors program. Cathy led the first review and renewal of the company’s diversity and inclusion program, led development of the $14 billion Hebron project diversity and women’s employment plans, and created recruitment strategies to attract diverse talent. Cathy brings this broad base of business, financial and human capital knowledge to every engagement, aligning the intended impact of D&I strategies and programs with her clients’ broader organizational goals. 

 Cathy is privileged to have learned from the “best in the business.” For several years, she worked alongside D&I pioneer Julie O’Mara. O’Mara, who is also president and board chair of The Centre for Global Inclusion, has described Cathy as “amazingly competent and results-oriented—always seeking real results, not just activities, that make a difference.”

 Cathy has a Masters degree in Business Administration (human resources), a Bachelor of Commerce (honours, accounting), and a Graduate Program in Teaching from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is also a former Certified Management Accountant. 

Cathy has lived, worked and studied in a variety of Canadian cities including Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Cold Lake (AB), St. John’s, Corner Brook (NL); as well as in Belgium.  Additionally, as a professional woman who has “off-ramped” and subsequently “on-ramped,” Cathy is especially attuned to the advancement of diverse individuals and those navigating non-linear careers.  

Today, she resides in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, with her husband and 2 children.