Shaila Jamal, 2023 Hamilton Winner
Who is a Woman of Distinction?
A Woman of Distinction has made a commitment and a significant difference in her community by showing vision, creativity and initiative. She may have:
- Been a role model and inspired others through her leadership
- Broken new ground or old barriers, and been an agent for change
- Participated actively as a volunteer
- Made an impact in her chosen field or endeavor
- Assisted others to be successful in their achievements and/or pandemic response
- Inspired and encouraged women to take part in shaping the future of their own lives and their communities
- Shown an innovative approach to challenges facing women and the wider community
Who is eligible?
To be eligible to receive a YWCA Hamilton Woman of Distinction Award nominees must:
- Make their contribution in the City of Hamilton or the Halton Region
- Meet the selection criteria
- Not be a previous award winner
- Not be a current member of the YWCA Hamilton Board of Directors or employee of YWCA Hamilton
Note: Posthumous applications cannot be accepted
Nominations for the 2024 Women of Distinction Awards are now closed.
Nominations for the 2025 Women of Distinction Awards will open on March 7, 2024 and close in January 2025.
2024 Women of Distinction Awards
Award Category Update
As an organization, YWCA Hamilton is ever-evolving. We’re committed to reflecting the community as it changes – including how we recognize the fierce women and girls who make a difference in Hamilton and Halton.
The 2024 Women of Distinction Awards will ensure that nominees are recognized for their own unique strengths, achievements, and contributions while centering our organizations core values of equity, self-determination, inclusion, community and accountability.
The Women of Distinction Awards has one pool of nominees, rather than individual award categories. This provides the opportunity for every nominator to highlight their nominees unique journey and impact, rather than boxing their diverse experience into one category.
We know that the leadership journeys of those we honour are complex, and we hope that this change will provide nominators the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate their nominee without bounds.
YWCA Hamilton will present four Women of Distinction Awards plus three special recognition awards:
Young Trailblazers Award (25 and under)
This award honours young person under the age of 25 who shows leadership at school, in the community, and/or in their workplace. A Young Trailblazer is an exceptional leader and inspiration to their generation. They challenge the status quo, understand and address community issues and inspires other to do the same. Nominees must fall within this age range by March 7, 2024.
Lifetime Achievement Award (55 plus)
This award honours a woman who is 55 years or older who has made significant and varied contributions to the community in any of the Women of Distinction award categories. She is a role model who has tirelessly contributed to the community in many ways, for many years, as an advocate, volunteer and/or mentor. She exhibits strength, wisdom and character that serve as an inspiration to those around her. Must fall within this age range by March 7, 2024.
Honourary Woman of Distinction Award
This award is provided to a woman or girl who has shown courage within her life, her journey and has uplifted others along the way. She is a woman who is dedicated to self-empowerment and to the empowerment of others around her. She has participated in or has been supported by a YWCA Hamilton program or service, or volunteers her time with YWCA Hamilton. She is dedicated to self-advancement and to the advancement of others in her community. This is an internal award chosen by YWCA Hamilton staff.