Skip to content

Northern women land on list of top female safety advocates

Apparel-maker, educators selected among 66 Canadian honourees

A number of Northern Ontario women have been selected among the top women in safety across Canada for 2023.

Presented annually by Canadian Occupational Safety magazine, this year’s list names 66 women from across the country who have made important contributions to the field of workplace health and safety.

This year’s list includes Alicia Woods, the founder and CEO of Covergalls; Cindy Schiewek, the director of health and safety services for Workplace Safety North; Karen McKissick, the safety coordinator for the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board; and Mika Lees, a health and safety consultant and trainer with the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association.

Woods launched her company in 2012 after struggling to find safety apparel that fit her properly while working in the mining industry. Her coverall is designed to fit a woman’s body and includes features that make it safer, more comfortable and functional for the wearer.

Schiewek is a Canadian registered safety professional, a certified psychological health and safety advisor, and is completing her master’s degree in business administration. Among other tasks, she helped develop a tool that measures workplace safety culture that takes a holistic approach to measuring how health and safety culture and management systems interact and influence each other.

McKissick has been employed with the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board since 2013, where she is known for her creative approaches to health and safety compliance, including safety-themed Halloween costumes, and organizing trivia and games during safety week.

Lees is a health and safety consultant and trainer with the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association, a provincial group that provides training and consulting services for a variety of industries. Lees is based in Thunder Bay.

Those chosen for the top women in safety list were selected from nominees who, to qualify, 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.

A gala celebrating honourees will take place on Oct. 19 in Toronto.