UTM Celebrates International Women's Day: Susan Allen

Susan Allen
Susan Allen: Author, Independent Corporate Director, Audit Committee Chair, Former Audit Partner PwC. Photo courtesy of Susan Allen

This International Women’s Day, we are proud to spotlight Susan Allen, an esteemed UTM alumna and visionary donor committed to breaking down barriers and advancing gender equity. 

With over 30 years of experience in the accounting industry, Susan held various leadership roles at local, national and global levels. She became the first woman elected to the global board of PwC — a testament to her remarkable expertise and influence. Susan has also earned several accolades, including being named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and receiving the prestigious Catalyst Canada’s Business Leader Award. In 2023, the Women’s Executive Network recognized Susan with the Canadian Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award for Board Directors. 

Adding to her list of accomplishments, Susan recently published Count Me In: A trailblazer’s triumph in a world not built for her. This book is a deeply personal reflection that aims to help young, professional women navigate the complexities of career advancement, parenthood and achieving work-life balance. 

Fueled by a desire to continue empowering the next generation of female leaders, Susan established a scholarship to support women in STEM fields at UTM. While Susan is not a STEM graduate, she always excelled in math but was never encouraged to explore careers that matched her natural strengths and interests. She hopes that the scholarship will inspire female students to pursue their passion for STEM despite persisting barriers — for instance, according to a 2020 Catalyst report, men outnumber women graduates in these programs by three to one. 

Susan’s intention was that the scholarship help relieve the financial burden that students frequently encounter. Having experienced the challenges of financing her education through student loans and part-time jobs (including waitressing at the Blind Duck Pub!), Susan is committed to reducing financial stress while motivating and encouraging female students to continue following their dreams. 

When asked what advice she would offer young women considering a career in STEM, Susan shared the following: “Aim higher, take risks and never underestimate your potential. Don’t let imposter syndrome or perfectionism derail your career and life ambitions. Understand unconscious biases in the workplace that may be holding you back and learn strategies to identify and overcome them. And finally, you are worthy and capable – you’ve got this!”.

We are delighted to celebrate Susan’s achievements and look forward to seeing the positive impact of her philanthropy. Her generous support will create pathways for women to excel, lead and drive innovations that can transform the future.