Female Leadership: 100 Women Whose Success Will Inspire You

They are a diverse group – with different ethnic and educational backgrounds and of different ages. These women are highly active professionally in all sectors – the economy, finance, politics, culture, business and science. They put their hearts and minds into any challenge they take on. Three words sum up their careers – passion, action and success. All these women — each in her own way — have had a major impact on their respective line of work. Collectively, they have changed the face of Quebec and Canada.


Monette Malewski was born in a labour camp near Lausanne in Switzerland. As Jews, her parents suffered anti-Semitic persecution before they left Europe with Monette to immigrate to Canada. Despite this adversity, Monette grew up with great courage and a strong sense of determination. After the passing of her husband, she took over the leadership of the M. Bacal Group, a specialized insurance brokerage, and led it to new heights.

“I believe there’s a solution to every situation,” says Monette. “Strength is inside each of us. You may not control what happens on the outside but when it comes to yourself, you do.”

Today, the name Monette Malewski is well known in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada, especially in the business world where she is on the board of directors of several companies. She also devotes considerable time to various organizations including Investissement Québec, Montréal Relève and the International Women’s Forum, to name just a few.

Monette is also highly active in the arts and culture field in which she has supported many initiatives. “Culture is an inseparable part of who I am,” says Monette.

Entreprendre’s special issue on 100 successful women leaders in their respective fields includes an essay which gave added recognition to seven trailblazers and featured their views on leadership.

“A good leader has certain personal qualities,” Monette, one of the seven, told Entreprendre. “These include charisma, courage, wisdom, the capacity to adapt and not too much ego. Life is a dance driven by love and not by fear. One becomes a leader because one is not afraid.