Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

December 09, 2011 09:00 ET

Canadian Forces Officers Ranked Amongst Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 9, 2011) - Three Canadian Forces senior officers have been recognized among Canada's top 100 most powerful women for 2011 by the Women's Executive Network.

Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 is Canada's most recognizable award for the country's highest achieving female leaders in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

"I am pleased to extend my congratulations to Rear-Admiral Jennifer Bennett, to Major-General Christine Whitecross and to Colonel Jennie Carignan for their career achievements and for their dedication to the Canadian Forces," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "These women have defined their careers with the Canadian Forces and their status amongst Canadians through a strong work ethic, integrity, vision and loyalty − a commitment to the values Canadians hold dear."

Rear-Admiral Jennifer Bennett, Chief Reserves and Cadets, received an award under the Public Sector Leaders category, while Major-General Christine Whitecross, Chief of Staff-Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment), and Colonel Jennie Carignan, Chief of Staff-Joint Task Force Central/Land Force Central Area, both received an award under the Trailblazers and Trendsetters category.

"As these awards make clear, women form a rich and vibrant part of Canada's military legacy," said the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women. "The theme for Women's History Month 2011, which we celebrated in October, was Women in Canadian Military Forces: A Proud Legacy, and that legacy continues today."

The three senior officers were selected from a pool of female business and community leaders, academics, artists, educators and health care providers as representatives of achievement and success in Canada.

"Rear-Admiral Bennett, Major-General Whitecross and Colonel Carignan have gained some very well-deserved public recognition for their exemplary service to Canada. This is another clear signal to the next generation of Canadian women that the Canadian Forces is an excellent career choice where professionalism, integrity and personal drive are highly valued traits," said General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff. "I am extremely proud of their leadership and commitment to the Canadian Forces, and to Canadian society as a whole."

Note to editors:

Biographies of Rear-Admiral Bennett, Major-General Whitecross and Colonel Carignan are posted on-line at: under '2011 Top 100 Winners' section.

DND/CF Backgrounder: Women in the Canadian Forces (CF)

DND/CF Fact Sheet: Women in the Canadian Forces (CF)

Contact Information

  • For interview requests:
    Department of National Defence's Media Liaison Office
    (613) 996 2353 or at 1 866 377-0811