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UTSC grad is one of Canada's most powerful women

Victoria Prince (BSc, 1981), a corporate lawyer in Toronto, has been named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women's Executive Network.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows her that Victoria Prince (BSc, 1981) has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women of 2015 by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN).

Not only is Prince a corporate lawyer and partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, advising both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations; she serves in one of the firm’s most senior leadership positions. She also makes time to participate in Bar Association committees and to sit on the boards of the BLG Foundation and two other charities: Kids Up Front (Toronto), which redistributes unused tickets to arts and sports events to children in need, and The Hammer Band: From Violence to Violins, which provides music lessons to children in underserved schools.

“I get much more from my work on boards than I give,” she said. “I’m always learning something new and the work is inspiring.”

The WXN Top 100 awards, created in 2003, are a way to “both recognize talented leaders and inspire others—the next generation, their peers and themselves—to push the boundaries of what’s possible even further,” according to WXN publicity. In addition to celebrating the year’s winners at a gala, WXN hosts a leadership summit for them, as well as networking events. To date, more than 800 women are part of this network of outstanding women.

Prince, who was nominated in the professionals category, is delighted by the honour.

“It is humbling to be in a room with all these accomplished women,” she said. 

Having mentored many lawyers at her firm, Prince has volunteered to mentor other professional women under the WXN umbrella. She has already experienced the award’s power to inspire others; a number of the younger women in her law firm have congratulated her and told her that it’s great to know that there are a number of career and life experiences to which they can aspire.

“It’s really nice,” Prince said. “They have said that it has made them realize that it is possible to stay at the firm and build a career, but also have children and do community work.”

Prince, herself, gained a sense of infinite possibility during her undergraduate career at UTSC.

“One of the things that being at UTSC taught me is that there are many paths forward for each of us; with the right work ethic, support and passion, anything is possible,” Prince said.

“I took a wide range of courses, but the common denominator was that the professors were genuinely interested in the students and their futures. I hope that I’ve been able to carry that mentorship forward into my life and career.”

Once the recipient of a UTSC entrance scholarship, Prince is in the process of establishing an award that will give back by assisting an incoming UTSC student, based on both need and merit.

“Someone else helped enable me to get to UTSC,” she said, “and I hope that this will make a bit of difference to another future UTSC alum.”

© University of Toronto Scarborough