The Rev. Canon Judy Rois, executive director of the Anglican Foundation, has been named as one of Canada’s 100 most powerful women by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN).
The awards are intended to “recognize Canada’s strong, fearless female leaders who have become agents of change in reshaping Canadian organizations at the highest levels,” according to a release about the latest recipients from WXN. The WXN is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to the “advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles.”
Listed with influential women such as CTV chief anchor Lisa LaFlamme and Indigo Books & Music CEO Heather Reisman, the WXN biographical information about Rois says that “strategic thinking and vision coupled with a capacity for whimsical creativity, resourcefulness and innovation have been the hallmarks of…Rois’ 29 years as an ordained minister.” Rois was appointed as executive director of the Anglican Foundation in 2010.
In an interview with the Anglican Journal, Rois noted that the WXN, to which she belongs, is a secular organization recognizing her work in the church. It is “really great when in the public square you get some acknowledgement,” she said.
Rois said she began her ministry as a priest in the years not long after the Anglican Church of Canada approved the ordination of women. “Rather than fight for acceptance or demand recognition, I chose rather to earn what I believed was a rightful place in a male-dominated profession,” she said.
“One of the things I’ve tried to do over the years is make a strong contribution to Canadian theological education,” she said. “That has included women and men, but [I’ve tried] really to uphold women in theological education and in the ministry of the Canadian church.”
In her experience, Rois said recognition often does not come quickly and may take years and years “of steadily pursuing what you feel is your vocation.” She noted that as a “privileged white person,” she is aware that she has had opportunities that many other women haven’t. “So whenever I have the opportunity to support somebody else who doesn’t yet have their voice, I will do everything I can to go to bat for people.”
The 2014 WXN awards are slated to be presented in Toronto on Nov. 27.