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Anne Sado

What is your current job?

I am President of George Brown College in downtown Toronto. We are a comprehensive college serving 24,800 full time and 36,000 part time students. We offer credentials from apprenticeships, to one year certificates, two and three year diplomas and four year degrees in key sectors linked to the economy of the city and region. My role is to manage a large and diverse organization and drive our strategy, including ensuring we remain relevant and that our programs are of the highest quality. We are an applied education post secondary institution that prepares our graduates for job success.

What made you want to pursue a career in engineering?

I always loved math and sciences, and while originally focused on a possible career in medicine – I realized in first year that the life sciences weren’t for me. I was encouraged to look into engineering and quickly realized that it was the “application” of knowledge in math and science that really interested me. I saw engineering as a valuable knowledge base for a broad range of careers.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

Every day I feel like I am doing “work that matters”. Education opens doors and opportunities for thousands of students every year. I love working in an environment that offers “applied” education – taking me full circle to my education as an engineer. I also love working in the college sector – which isn’t as well known or established as the university sector – but one that is so relevant to the needs of our economy and labour market.

How do you celebrate National Engineering Month?

I look forward to participating in several Iron Ring ceremonies this month. As a Warden of Camp 1 – sharing the story and meaning of the iron ring, and reminding soon to be graduates of their responsibility as future engineers, is a deeply meaningful experience for me. This year I’ll also have the honour of “ringing” my younger son as he prepares to graduate from Geological Engineering at Queen’s University.

What advice do you have for young women who hope to pursue a career in your field? Go for it. Don’t be daunted by the math and science. You can do it. Engineering seems to be the last hold out in terms of having equal participation of men and women. The engineering profession needs the balance of diverse views – and our economy needs STEM graduates to ensure we continue to innovate and grow. I truly believe the opportunities are limitless.


A native of Toronto, Anne Sado has been President of George Brown College since 2004. Her impact on the vision, direction and culture of the college has resulted in significant growth and has activated a critical public discussion on the value of college education in Ontario’s economic development.

Beyond her leadership of George Brown College, Anne has been recognized as one of YWCA’s 2012 Women of Distinction in Education and twice by The Women’s Executive NetworkTM as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women of 2010 and 2012. She is Chair of the Board of Orion and past chair of Trillium Health Centre. Anne also sits on the boards of organizations such as the Toronto Board of Trade, Legacy Private Trust, Mount Pleasant Memorial Services and the Toronto Financial Service Alliance. In the past, Anne has also served as Chair of Colleges Ontario’s Committee of Presidents and sat on the boards of the YWCA of Greater Toronto, Junior Achievement and the Canadian Hearing Society Foundation. These volunteer efforts have given her a 360-degree perspective on the social and economic challenges facing the GTA.

She was inducted into the University Of Toronto’s prestigious Engineering Hall of Distinction in 2010 and awarded the Ontario Professional Engineers Gold Medal in 2007. In 2012 she received The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for her role impacting the socioeconomic vitality of the city through her work at George Brown College. She was also named as one of the 2012 Women of Influence Canadian Diversity Champions. In the past, she has received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for her work with the YWCA of Greater Toronto, the Professional Engineers Ontario Citizenship Award for contributions to her community, and an Arbor Award from the University of Toronto.

Anne holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Toronto as well as a Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering. Anne was also awarded a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from the University of Toronto in June 2011.

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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