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April 9 2024 Jordan Walker

Featured Member: Axis Connects

Calgary skyline with Axis Connects logo

In the heart of Calgary, a dynamic force is at work dedicated to advancing women and promoting gender diversity in decision-making roles. Axis Connects, a non-profit organization founded in 2019, stands as a beacon of empowerment and collaboration in the community. With a mission to unite organizations focused on women's advancement, Axis Connects aims to bridge the gap and pave the way for more women in leadership positions.

Fostering Growth and Community Support

Since its inception in late 2019, Axis Connects has experienced continuous growth, skyrocketing to more than 4000 members in just 5 short years.

"We found an incredible level of support from the business community—and it took off really quickly," says Amber Griffith, Executive Director of Axis Connects, reflecting on the organization's journey. This rapid expansion underscored the pressing need for focused resources like Axis Connects, that has now supported close to 1400 women through their career journeys thanks to the networking events and unique programming they offer.

Leading with Vision and Purpose

At the helm of the organization is Amber Griffith, whose journey into advocacy for gender diversity began with her public policy master's degree research on on legislating gender parity on corporate boards.

“I had an opportunity to spend a year really diving into the legislative side of the issue and understanding how legislation can be most impactful knowing that there are a number of different barriers that exist that women specifically face as they progress in their careers,” she says. Through interviews and interactions with executives, Amber was able to isolate key barriers and provide meaningful and actionable recommendations which ultimately led her in the direction of the mission of Axis Connects.

“When I looked at the organization and I saw the action plan and the idea to actually be on the ground, implementing meaningful programming and events, it really attracted me to join,” she says. “I was brought onto the team to take the organization and execute on the idea of hosting a number of different programs to support women along their career journeys.”

Joining the Axis team in time for their third successful awards ceremony, the Calgary Influential Women in Business Awards, Amber soon realized just how passionate the business community felt about their mission. “We brought in more sponsorship than ever, which really indicated to us that there was a lot of interest from the business community to put their brand behind the work that we are doing.”

Calgary Influential Women in Business Awards

On April 12, Axis Connects will host their fifth annual Calgary Influential Women in Business Awards to celebrate professionals in the community who have championed diversity in corporate leadership. With a focus on those who have contributed to advancing women and diversity in the city, the Awards have become a flagship event in Calgary's business community.

“We truly believe as an organization that, in order to tackle these issues, we need the whole population engaged and involved, including male allies,” Amber says, noting the significance of the event and the importance of engaging the community in addressing gender diversity issues.

With this year’s ceremony and gala honouring individuals across six categories, the winners will also have the opportunity to be profiled in Business in Calgary and The Calgary Herald.

Leading by Example

Looking ahead, Axis Connects has a long-term goal to expand its impact beyond Calgary, recognizing the appetite for—and gaps in providing—gender diversity initiatives outside the city.

In addition to their current monthly lunch with a leader mentorship events, networking sessions and career development programs, Axis also recently partnered with the Business Council of Alberta to publish their first op-ed on the gender data gap.

“We really do seek out opportunities to partner with and think about these issues broader than within our own organization.”

As gender diversity remains a pressing issue, Axis Connects continues to lead by example, providing new tools and opportunities for businesses to diversify their leadership. Led by the vision of having more women in decision-making roles, they continue to break barriers, foster collaboration and empower women in Calgary and beyond. With unwavering dedication and a commitment to tangible action, Axis Connects is paving the way for a more inclusive and equitable future.

To learn more about Axis Connects, visit To register for the Calgary Influential Women in Business Awards, visit