The Association of Québec Women in Finance (AFFQ) was created to contribute to the professional advancement of women and underscore the strategic role they play in the economic development and growth of Québec, both at home and abroad. In fulfilling its mandate, the AFFQ accelerates the careers of its members by developing strategies and taking concrete action to help them become known and recognized within the business, government and media communities.
Building a network and getting involved in it is a must for any professional seeking to further her career. And while the results of your efforts may not always be immediately obvious, your network brings you closer to your objectives, one step at a time. The advantages and spin-offs are many, and we encourage you to actively develop and follow up on your AFFQ links.
FIVE EXCELLENT REASONS TO PARTICIPATE
Break the isolation, exchange tips and experiences Every day, you face a range of situations and must ask yourself many questions: "Am I in a conflict of interest situation? Does the decision I'm about to make comply with the code of ethics for my profession? Where can I find a resource for this issue or that? What are the current best practices for a given area of interest?" Some AFFQ events have the sole purpose of bringing together professionals from the financial sector, who, often facing the same problems or challenges, meet to find solutions, exchange points of view, share tips, and dispel doubts. Expanding your network of contacts allows others to get to know you better and in doing so increases your chances of professional referrals.
Acquire knowledge and reach your full potential Many networking opportunities take the form of training sessions, seminars and conferences, where experts from various fields share information pertinent to your particular area of expertise. Attending these activities will offer you the chance to join professionals who share the same challenges, handle the same issues and often aim for the same objectives as you. A wealth of information and opportunities is yours for the taking.
Build leadership, dynamism and enthusiasm Investing time in networking activities means giving yourself the opportunity to meet interesting women who share the same interests and aims as you - inspiring individuals who will infuse you with their dynamism and enthusiasm and who can often provide a new vision and fresh career perspective.
The next generation: a top priority The AFFQ is firmly committed to promoting the next generation of women in the finance sector. It is within this perspective that we are introducing an increasing number of initiatives that encourage networking, professional training and career development for the professionals of tomorrow.
Take advantage of an international network The AFFQ is the first international chapter of the prestigious Financial Women's Association of New York (FWA), an organization of women in finance founded in 1956 on Wall Street that our Association maintains links with even today. Building on this relationship, the AFFQ promotes a network of professional women in finance around the world, our focus squarely on the benefits we can deliver to our members.
Women on Boards
WOMEN ON BOARDS: PROMOTING THE TALENT AND EXPERTISE OF OUR MEMBERS
The AFFQ is dedicated to promoting and increasing the visibility of its members and encouraging the selection of accomplished women to sit on the boards of directors of public, private and parapublic companies as well as non-profit organizations. This is a priority for us and was the driving force behind the creation of the Women on Boards Committee.
Our objective is simple: we want to encourage our members to apply for these positions and in doing so raise awareness among companies and stakeholders in the business, government and academic sectors as to the importance of appointing more women to their boards. We open doors and facilitate the links between our members and organizations seeking competent women to sit as board members.
Through the Women on Boards Committee, the AFFQ informs, assists, promotes and encourages its members to take an interest in being selected to sit on a board of directors. In addition to the placement services offered, the committee provides integration services through advice and professional support from women who are already board members. We provide access to networks of decision makers and key influencers as well as to governance information and training programs (notably with the Institute of Corporate Directors, le Collège des administrateurs de sociétés at Université Laval, and the organization Bénévoles d'affaires).
To begin the process, we strongly recommend that our members:
complete their AFFQ - Women on Boards profile with relevant, accurate information about their career experience and objectives as well as their areas of expertise and interest;
For their part, NPOs, businesses and other organizations are invited to contact Caroline Émond or Murielle Sand, the co-directors of the Women on Boards Committee, to send us the profiles of the board members sought. It is also possible to post board openings in the AFFQ Careers section.
Board member candidates are selected as follows:
All requests are forwarded to the Association's Women on Boards Committee.
The committee pre-selects three candidates based on the profile sought by the requesting organization.
The pre-selected candidates are then contacted by the AFFQ to find out whether they are interested in the position, and the list of candidates is sent to the organization.
The requesting organization will select from among the candidates proposed by the AFFQ and contact those individuals directly.
If required, the Committee will follow up on the organization's request with the candidate selected.
The AFFQ announces all new appointments on its website and in its newsletter to members.
2020-2021 Edition – It's time to submit your application!
The deadline to register for the 2020-2021 Mentoring Program is September 20, 2020.
This video is available in french only
The mentoring program of the AFFQ-AQWF is an initiative established in 2013, allowing members to seek mentoring and guidance by experienced professionals, according to their goals, their specific needs and their particular challenges. It is a structured one-year program providing customized training and offering mentoring and monthly follow-ups, ensuring the success of the mentoring relations.
This personalised professional relationship, for both the mentor and the mentee, is an exceptional opportunity to share experiences, deepen reflections and enrich one's practices with professional experience and relevant advice.
With this program, the AFFQ-AQWF targets two objectives: support our members in their professional development and guide them in their career progression.
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is a means of development and learning offered on a free basis and based on a voluntary and confidential interpersonal relationship. It involves an experienced individual who shares his or her wisdom and expertise to foster the development of another person wishing to acquire skills and achieve professional goals. Mentoring has many benefits. It is a truly privileged relationship in which both parties benefit from a different enrichment but always reciprocated.
The AFFQ accepts applications for mentors and mentees once a year, at the end of the summer. Following the application period, a selection process takes place, dyads are created, and orientation and training sessions are held. Mentors and mentees then meet in person or virtually every month for one year.
The deadline to register for the 2020-2021 Mentoring Program is September 20, 2020.
If you are interested in participating in the Mentoring Program, we invite you to download the PDF online to work on your responses. After, when you completed the form, you can copy/paste your answers on the online application form on the website To ensure the success of the pairing and this experience, it is imperative that you answer this questionnaire frankly and diligently. The strength and the quality of your application are assets for the selection process and to find the best mentor for your needs. We will organize a virtual meeting on September 1st from 12pm to 1pm during which we will be available to answer your questions and help you with your application.
Because of the current situation, the training sessions and all the mentoring meetings will be held virtually until it’s possible to be in person.
All the transmitted information will remain confidential. We will contact you in October once your application has been reviewed.
(P.S. Considering the high demand and the limited number of dyads, we cannot guarantee that your application will be selected for the 2020-2021 Edition).
Tailor-made activities to help welcome and involve new members
This program is for all new members, regardless of their career stage.
The AFFQ has plenty to offer its members, and we work hard to ensure that all of the professional women who join us are able to fully benefit from the Association and the resources we make available. To this end, we create friendly, informal get-togethers with other women in finance who are also new to the AFFQ!
Les Étincelles offers a series of three activities designed to welcome, coach and connect new members to help them integrate, network and make the most of their AFFQ membership.
A first step, new professional friendships, a forward momentum.
CONNECT We believe in the strength of alliances, because we know that business connections are a powerful vector of professional growth.
ACCOMPANY We provide guidance and support, because we want all of our members to achieve their full potential.
ACCELERATE We encourage everyone to get involved, because the AFFQ is an outstanding vehicle to promote your career.
No need to be a next generation member to be part of Les ÉTINCELLES!
Welcome to the AFFQ!
THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNER
The Next Generation of Financial Professionals
TOMORROW'S WOMEN IN FINANCE
The AFFQ has made the next generation one of its priorities. The Association welcomes tomorrow's women in finance and organizes many initiatives to encourage them to join in our activities and take charge of their own career paths. Our Mentoring Program and the Relève Award (awarded at Les Talentueuses, our annual Gala) are two such initiatives. New projects will also soon be introduced to encourage young women in finance to embark on their careers with enthusiasm and confidence and to become active members of our network.
Learning and growing Organizing one-on-one meetings with experienced professional women, networking activities, seminars and specialized training sessions are all priorities of the members of our Board of Directors, who are also setting up a special working committee to promote and support career development among young professional women.
Establishing credibility and flourishing Starting out in finance and setting ambitious career objectives is a little like becoming a professional athlete! You must be passionate, intuitive and ready to work long hours. Career women from all walks of life will tell you that having know-how is good, but knowing how is better. While intelligence, skill and intellectual curiosity are all major assets, becoming involved in your business network is a must in order to develop, excel, recognize your talents, identify your strengths and areas of interest, establish your credibility, and as a result, flourish.
We cordially invite and encourage members of the next generation of women in finance to become actively involved in our activities and in the AFFQ network, your network.
THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNER
THE ENRICHMENT OF SHARING
Join the Cercles d'enrichissement de l'AFFQ.
Private meetings that focus on knowledge sharing and co-development.
The Cercles d'enrichissement de l'AFFQ offer you the chance to join a group of women and men in an atmosphere of trust and solidarity intended to help you achieve your professional goals faster and more efficiently. Each year, we will be offering a series of six private meetings that focus on knowledge sharing and co-development.
These meetings will take place simultaneously in Montreal and Quebec City.
They will consist of small groups, and all discussions will be strictly confidential.
The groups will remain the same throughout the season to enrich the discussions.
Are you familiar with co-development?
Co-development groups are generally comprised of 8 to 10 peers seeking to share their respective professional experience and learn from one another in an environment that promotes openness, respect and cooperation. The meetings provide venues in which to examine real or anticipated situations. Their aim is to improve the professional practices of the participants and help them clarify an action plan.
The benefits of co-development are many and include:
Sharing of knowledge and experience.
Reduction of stress and feelings of isolation and helplessness.
Building of skills and leadership.
Improvement of individual and collective interpersonal skills.
Development of behaviours and skills that promote collaboration.
Enrichment and improvement of professional practices.
Enhanced decision-making and better management of challenging or complex situations.
Identification of solutions and increased ability to take action.
New professional links.
THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNER
The AFFQ Career 4.0 initiative is being established for the purpose of promoting and supporting women in career transitions by providing a forum for them to identify their full skill set, reflect on new horizons and sensitize the Quebec business environment to their extensive and invaluable experience and expertise.
This initiative is focused on members in their 40's and older, who, by choice, or by force, are needing to take a step back and reflect on their careers; the skills, expertise and experience they have acquired and assess what the possible next steps in their career path could look like given their accomplishments to date.
It is our intention to provide these members with some expertise to help them in this journey through activities which center on skills assessment, career planning, and how to use what we have in new and challenging ways. In addition, another of our goals is to educate the business community as to the incredible resources, the knowledge and expertise of this sector of the population, and the risks associated with loosing the incredible brain power that network embodies.
The AFFQ's intention is really two fold: support members in assessing their knowledge and expertise and provide them with the forum, the tools, and the confidence to ensure a successful transition to the next steps in their career path.
Acknowledge, support and accompany women on their journey towards their Career 4.0
A) Identify and achieve full potential of options B) Identify skill sets C) Unlock new horizons
Raise awareness in the Quebec marketplace of this untapped talent pool
Create exchanges forums to showcase talents
Achieve winning results
The AFFQ presents...
WOMEN WHO HAVE EARNED OUR ATTENTION AND RESPECT
Many of our members have distinguished themselves in their profession. Whether through their awards and distinctions, involvement in a project or cause, prestigious appointment, research work, or other noteworthy initiative, Québec women in finance set themselves apart on a regular basis through the quality of their professional offering, their leadership, and the principles they follow in their practice. We want people to know about them, because they have earned our attention. Learn more about these women here.
Maria Patsios, CPA, CA, est associée en certification chez Mazars. Elle compte au-delà de 20 ans de pratique en cabinet et a acquis une connaissance approfondie de la gouvernance d'entreprise, notamment en ce qui a trait à la communication avec les membres de conseils d'administration, les dirigeants d'entreprise et les diverses autorités de réglementation. Ses compétences éprouvées en gestion financière et ses connaissances techniques des IFRS et des NCECF sont rehaussées par ses solides aptitudes en gestion de projet, plus particulièrement la gestion de mandats complexes d'audit et de communication de l'information financière. Elle est reconnue pour sa capacité à mener de nombreux projets simultanément en gérant de multiples échéances exigeantes.
Elle a servi des entreprises dans plusieurs secteurs comme ceux des services financiers, de la fabrication, du transport, de l'énergie, de la technologie, de l'exploitation minière, des produits pharmaceutiques, des organismes sans but lucratif ainsi que du secteur public.
Maria a reçu le titre de comptable professionnelle agréée (CPA, CA) en 1997, après avoir obtenu un diplôme d'études supérieures en comptabilité publique (avec distinction) et un baccalauréat en commerce (avec distinction) de l'Université McGill. Elle siège au conseil d'administration de la Société Générale (Canada) et fait partie du comité d'audit de cette dernière depuis 2012, et a été présidente du conseil d'administration de la Fondation Maison Elizabeth de 2013 à 2020.