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Recipients Of Canadian Industrial Leadership Award to Meet Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

The meeting provided an excellent opportunity to recognize the demonstrated leadership abilities and academic successes of the award recipients and highlight the importance of mentorship in the aerospace, maritime, defence and security industries.

The Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry commented "By investing in the next generation of STEM talent, the Canadian Industry Leadership Award is helping Canada to cement its position as a leader in innovation and inclusion and is promoting a more diverse and educated workforce. That’s why it is amazing to witness the success of the initiative in continuing to support young Canadian women in their careers within the defence and security sectors."

CILA was established in 2019 to enable industry to invest in future leaders in the defence and security industries while promoting a more diverse workforce. Since then, participating companies have awarded over twenty students enrolled in STEM programs at Universities across Canada with paid internships, executive mentorship, and financial support to offset university costs. Additionally, each recipient is given the opportunity to participate in cross-company learning activities, exciting project challenges to meet their academic requirements and to develop their skillset as the next generation of STEM talent.

“We are grateful to Minister Champagne for his continued support of the CILA program as well as taking the time to personally meet with these exceptional young women. It is wonderful to see the positive effect this program has on the careers of young professionals in our industry,” said Rich Foster, Corporate Vice President, Canada, L3Harris.

France Hébert, Vice-President and General Manager, CAE - Defence & Security Canada added, “We are proud to offer eligible students the chance to intern at our companies and expose them to the strategic and executive aspects of our businesses.”

“Our hope is to inspire young professionals to pursue careers in the defence and security industries and to take advantage of mentorship opportunities available through programs like CILA,” remarked Jerry McLean, CEO, Babcock. 

In addition to meeting the Minister of ISED at CANSEC, CILA students from the four participating companies will be attending a collaborative event at Thales’ offices in Montreal, QC in June where they will speak to executives, mentors, and colleagues about the projects they have been working on and their experiences at their respective companies. The event will also feature a keynote on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG). CILA’s annual cross-company events allow the award recipients to network, share experiences, and learn about the industry, the companies and leadership opportunities.

“We look forward to hosting this year’s CILA students in Montreal in June,” said Chris Pogue, CEO Thales Canada. “The event’s ESG theme is timely and relevant in helping to build a safer, greener and more inclusive world. Engaging these future leaders is crucial in collaborating to solve some of industry’s most significant challenges.”

For more information on the CILA program, please visit

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