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Nominate Today!

Our reimagined award categories highlight frontline workers, innovators, advocates, change-makers, young trailblazers, and everyday heroes who rolled up their sleeves in response to the pandemic.

The Courage of Covid

YWCA Hamilton will leverage the Women of Distinction platform to shine a light on the women who have rolled up their sleeves in response to the pandemic. Join us for a special edition of our annual Women of Distinction Awards Program.

Purchase a table or ticket, donate or sponsor the event

Nominate a woman in a special award category

What you can expect at Women of Distinction

Meet the remarkable award winners of 2020

Have questions? Contact a member of our team

Who is a Woman of Distinction?

A Women of Distinction has made a commitment and a significant difference in her community in response to the Covid-19 pandemic 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, employee of YWCA Hamilton, or member of the YWCA Hamilton Philanthropy Committee

Note: Posthumous applications cannot be accepted

How to Nominate

Step 1:

Confirm where the nominee makes impact. Decide whether your will be nominating an individual for their remarkable achievements in either the City of Hamilton or the Halton Region. Review the award category descriptions below to determine a nominee’s best fit. Then, choose an awards category and get ready to complete your nomination.

Step 2:

Get ready to nominate! Submissions must consist of the following:

  • Signed and completed electronic nomination form. Please provide only 1 nominator per submission. Only 1 submission will be accepted per nominee.
  • Nominee profile (maximum of 120 words, approved by the nominee). Following review and editing, profiles will be made available to the media and published in the awards program.
  • Testimonials of support, from sources other than the nominator (minimum 2, maximum 5).

Step 3:

Submitting your nomination:

Complete the online nomination form for the category of your choice. Upload all mandatory supporting documents mentioned above in Step 2 in the appropriate spaces. Click submit when complete or save your application to login at a later date to finish.

2021 Award Categories

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This award honours the everyday heroes who roll up their sleeves day-in and day-out to ensure that all members of their community have what they need and stay safe. She is a woman who faces the Covid-19 pandemic head-on through her work on the front lines. She is considered an essential worker and is perhaps an educator, a first responder, a delivery driver, an early childhood care provider, a grocery worker or a custodian. She exemplifies courage and leadership on the front line and through her work, promotes the health and safety of her team and members of the community.


This award honours a woman who is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all people in her community. Through her work in the health care sector, she has directly responded to the needs of individuals impacted by the pandemic. Perhaps she is a doctor, a nurse, a medical officer or individual working in long-term care who provides patient advocacy, support and care. She is called by her duty of care and shows up time and time again for those who need her. She elevates the value of physical, mental or spiritual well-being of each person she comes across and demonstrates leadership in health care, athletics, recreation and/or community programming. She inspires and empowers individuals to make positive change in their overall health, supports the concept of building healthy neighbourhoods, and strives to make a difference in the lives of others. 


This award honours an exceptional woman who is an industry trailblazer who develops innovative solutions in response to the pandemic. Perhaps she enhances scientific, technological and/or industrial spaces to advance solutions and outside-the-box thinking. Or, perhaps she has leveraged her skillset in the fields of engineering, applied sciences, social sciences, life sciences, technology, or a skilled trade to support individuals and her community. She leverages her success to advocate for others. She is motivated to make real change and facilitate opportunities for others through her bold new ways of thinking.


This award honours a woman who is a visionary trailblazer, a source of strength for her community, and has improved and enriched the lives of others during the pandemic. She is an influential leader through paid work, and/or volunteerism in the private, public, or not-for-profit sector. She may work in the area of public affairs, women’s rights, intercultural relations, social justice, or peace. She has created positive and meaningful social, economic, or political change that will impact people for years to come.


This award honours a young women under the age of 25 who shows leadership at school, in the community, and/or in her workplace. In response to the pandemic, she demonstrates perseverance, innovation, and a keen understanding of the disproportionate impacts of Covid-19 on marginalized people and communities. She inspires others to follow her example, and sets the pace for others to walk alongside her. This exceptional young woman is committed to a cause or the pursuit of a personal dream. She challenges the status quo – and knows that “going back to normal” isn’t good enough. She is an advocate and leader who will continue to inspire us for years to come.


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 (with the exception of Young Trailblazer). 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. In response to the pandemic, she exhibits strength, wisdom, and character that serve as an inspiration to those around her. Nominees across all categories will be considered for the Lifetime Achievement Award should they opt-in. Nominees may only win in one category.

Mirela Marceta

For questions regarding nominations please contact:

Mirela Marceta
Events and Community Fundraising Coordinator
mmarceta@ywcahamilton.org or (905) 522-9922 ext. 171

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