The Top Female Safety Leaders in Canada

Safeguarding success

In a statement of empowerment, 2024's Top Women in Safety are shattering gender stereotypes. 

“You now see women excelling in industries such as mining, forestry, oil and gas, and other industrialized sectors,” says Natalie Carscadden, governor at the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals. “Organizations are looking for the best fit within their workforce and have widened the talent pool to include anyone who applies, no matter what gender.” 

HSE consultant and winner Amandeep Beesla believes education and mentorship are key. 

She says, “I grew up around construction, but not everybody is given that opportunity as there’s a lot of gender stereotypes and biases. I’ve done presentations with school kids and told them, ‘It’s okay to be whatever you want.’ To encourage people to join the field, there needs to be a welcoming community and work atmosphere.” 

This year’s Top Female Safety Leaders have demonstrated a commitment to: 

  • continuous learning

  • creating a culture of caring

  • data-driven decision-making


The Top Female Safety Leaders in Canada

Continuous learning 

As director of health and safety field support at Hydro One, Janet Holt is bolstering industry standards through safety management tools. 

Implementing Edison Electric Institute’s Safety Classification and Learning Model, Holt has created a culture of continuous learning. 

“When we have an incident, we’ll read it using this model. But it’s not about blaming or who’s at fault,” she says. “It’s about determining what incidents can potentially cause harm and classifying them so that we can learn and put proactive measures in place.” 

Since adopting the Edison model between 2022 and 2023, Hydro One has seen improvements in: 

  • serious injury and fatality rates: 0.16 to 0.13

  • reported near misses and safety catches: 9,340 to 10,068 

  • workplace safety observations: 12,515 to 14,505

After noticing repeated spikes in workplace incidents between June and September, Holt encouraged Hydro One’s leadership to adopt proactive measures to reduce operational risks. 

As a result of these efforts, between the summer months of 2022–23, Hydro One reported decreases across several metrics: 

  • 25% in total incidents 

  • 30% of recordable injuries 

  • 30% of serious injuries

“I never thought I’d be excited by reporting, analytics, and data,” says Holt. “But when you’re able to see improvement, you know that it’s meaningful. We’re putting action behind our data.” 

Fellow winner Marina Petrušić, director of HSE at Mondelēz International, prioritizes making safety education personal. 

In partnership with Spencer Beach, who became a motivational speaker after a serious injury from a workplace flash fire, Petrušić developed the program “Building a culture we can all be proud of.” Introduced in 2023, it aims to share the real-life experiences of those who have suffered occupational accidents. 

“We brought [Beach] to every manufacturing site, distribution centre, and shift to have him share his story,” says Petrušić. 

In acknowledgment of her efforts, for two years running, Petrušić has received internal recognition. 

“It was a testament to our collective effort, fostering top-tier performance, and fueling the growth of both our people and our business,” she says. “I also received an award in the Individual Role Model category, recognizing my leadership in transforming safety culture.” 

Marina Petrušić Mondelēz International Canada
“My role is to empower our workplace with a culture of continuous improvement. It’s not just about setting policies; it’s about fostering a caring safety mindset that’s ingrained in our everyday operations”
Marina PetrušićMondelēz International Canada

Caring cultures 

During corporate meetings, Petrušić encourages team members across her organization to share anecdotes about physical and mental health experiences. 

“I had the buy-in from the entire organization,” she says. “The CEO was doing it, and the chief supply chain officer was doing it – procurement and research and development.” 

Petrušić ultimately strives for personalization in the policies she implements. 

She says, “Safety cannot be a rule on the wall; we have to connect the heart and the mind of absolutely every individual in the organization.” 

This is echoed by Holt, who recognizes that empathy and diversity go hand in hand. 

“Safety is about people. Challenges can be seen differently from different perspectives, and an organization is better at looking at things from all angles,” she says. 

Janet Holt Hydro One
“I am aware of the impacts decisions have on frontline employees and strive to be proactive when addressing challenges”
Janet HoltHydro One


An important component of Hydro One’s culture is the National Day of Mourning (April 28), commemorating those killed, injured, or who have suffered illness in the workplace. 

“We do a ceremony for the families. When you’re standing with the moms, dads, and siblings of those you’ve lost, it hits you,” says Holt. “It also motivates me no end to say we are not adding another family to this ceremony.” 

Industry expert Carscadden agrees that creating a supportive culture is paramount for safety success. 

She says, “Contributing to a diverse and inclusive workplace is no simple task. However, safety leaders can help organizations achieve this goal by creating an environment where employees feel valued, appreciated, and that they belong.” 

Lisa Hallsworth, also a 2024 winner and CEO at software solutions company SDS RiskAssist, stresses how valuable safety management systems have been in creating the culture within her firm. 

“Especially in occupational health and safety, people are often overwhelmed by the number of issues they have to address in the workplace,” she says. “Without tools, it can be a time-consuming thing.” 

And for Hallsworth, great leaders in health and safety are defined by their vision. 

She says, “There are lots of amazing people in safety, but the people who are pushing forward and making the entire industry better – that’s what makes a Top Woman in Safety.” 

The Top Female Safety Leaders in Canada


The Top Female Safety Leaders in Canada 

  • Adeeta Bandoo
    Director, Safety
  • Amal El Nahas
    Director, EHS
  • Amanda Krenbrink
    Vice President, Health, Safety, Environment, Training and Human Resources
    Hundseth Power Line Construction
  • Amanda Nash
    Safety Specialist
    Bass Pro and Cabela’s
  • Amandeep Beesla
    HSE Consultant
    Amandeep Beesla Consulting
  • Angela Barratt
    Occupational Hygienist
    Workplace Safety and Health
  • Apala Mukherjee
    BASF Canada
  • Candace Sellar
    Program Manager, Worker and Public Safety Standards
    CSA Group
  • Cassandra Babcock
    Director, Public Works Operations
    City of Peterborough
  • Chalena Biggar
    Director, Health and Safety
  • Christl Aggus
    CEO, President, and Senior HSE Consultant, Principle Safety
    President of the Board, Canadian Society of Safety Engineering
  • Corinne Paul
    Specialist, Industrial Hygiene
    Cenovus Energy
  • Elisa Koene
    Senior Specialist, Occupational Health and Safety
    University of Ottawa
  • Esther Thibault
    Conseillere Santé Sécurité du Travail
    Hydro Québec
  • Gabriela Silva
    Manager, Sustainability
  • Heather Aide
    HSE Lead
    Michels Canada
  • Jackie Spain
    Health and Safety Consultant
    Golden Solutions
  • Jenna Adams
    Manager, Health and Safety and Supply Chain
    Obsidian Energy
  • Jennifer Kotylak
    Head of Safety Operations
    SAT Consulting and Construction
  • Jennifer Ruszkowski
    Manager, Corporate Safety
  • Jill Sturwold, CRSP
    Senior Advisor, Incident Investigation and Emergency Preparedness
  • Jodi Huettner
    Helga Wear
  • Julia Paradis
    Safety Manager
    LH North
  • Katya Ponich
    Lead Investigator
    Government of Alberta, OHS
  • Kelly Bishop
    Director, Health Safety and Environment Client Services Canada
  • Lisa Hallsworth
    Chief Executive Officer
    SDS RiskAssist
  • Luz Mendez
    Head of HSE, Onshore Renewables
    Northland Power
  • Lynn Smith
    Canadian Non-Manufacturing Workplace Safety Leader
    General Motors Canada Company
  • Melissa Gould
    Director of EHS
    Linamar Corporation
  • Molly Chisholm
    Specialist, EHS Systems and Compliance
    University of Calgary
  • Natalie Edery
    Health and Safety Manager, North America
    Eclipse Automation
  • Patricia Vilarinho-Randazzo
    Health and Safety Director
    Verdi Alliance Group of Companies
  • Paula Campkin
    Vice President, Operations and Safety Centre of Excellence
    Energy Safety Canada
  • Randi Kozak
    Manager, Safety Engagement Programs
  • Sara De Iuliis
    EHS Specialist
  • Sarah Wilson
    Canadian Safety Group
  • Sascha Mills
    Senior Health and Safety Specialist
    WSP in Canada
  • Serese Selanders
    Founder and Chief Executive Officer
    SolusGuard and ORA
  • Shannon Bolger
    Benchmark Safety
  • Shayna Helal
    Chief Safety Officer
    Mott Electric
  • Stephanie Benay
    Director, Safety
    BC Hydro
  • Sylvie Hudon
    Senior Medical Consultant
    Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development
  • Terry Nusyna
    Chief Executive Officer
    TN Security Intelligence
  • Tiffany McLaughlin
    Health and Safety Consultant
    Safety First Consulting
  • Tsitsi Pena
    Principal Safety Consultant and Industrial Hygienist
    Journey to Zero, Safety Solutions




As part of our editorial process, Key Media’s researchers interviewed the subject matter expert below for an independent analysis of this report and its findings.



Canadian Occupational Safety invited OHS professionals from across the country to nominate exceptional female leaders for the fourth annual Top Women in Safety list. Nominees had to be working in a role that related to, interacted with, or in some way influenced the health and safety sector. They must also have demonstrated a commitment to their profession. 

Nominators were asked to describe the nominee’s standout professional achievements over the past 12 months, the initiatives and innovations, and contributions to the OHS industry. 

To narrow down the list to the final 65 Top Women in Safety, the COS team reviewed all nominations, examining how each individual had made a meaningful contribution to the industry.