Mississauga Fire Chief Deryn Rizzi honoured among Canada’s 100 most powerful women


Published October 19, 2022 at 7:43 pm

Fire Chief Deryn Rizzi leads a procession for a firefighter memorial. - via Rizzi's twitter.

Mississauga’s Fire Chief Deryn Rizzi has been honoured among Canada’s 100 most powerful women in a new list from the advocacy group Women’s Executive Network (WXN).

“WXN is on a mission to change the definition of power. To recognize it for what it really is. Quiet confidence. Unselfish giving. Authenticity, humility and honesty. Kindness and joy. Bravery in moments of adversity and difficulty. Helping others feel powerful,” the group says on their website.

Part of that mission is the development of a list of 100 “women who personify what it means to be powerful.” WXN released the full list of recognized women on October 19.

One of their many categories on this list is Women of Courage, sponsored by the Richardson Wealth management firm.

One of the five women who made the cut in this category was Chief Rizzi, a 20-year firefighting veteran. WXN described Rizzi as ” a trusted, results-driven leader who advocates for equity and inclusion in the North American fire service.”

Rizzi they say is “focused on creating opportunities for all firefighters to reach their full potential and meet the needs of the increasingly diverse communities that firefighters serve.”

Rizzi has served as Mississauga Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Services since 2021. She got her start in Vaughan, where she earned numerous awards and citations, eventually working her way up to Chief there before heading to Mississauga.

Additionally, she’s earned a bachelor’s degree from Queen’s University and a master’s from York University. She’s also headed and served on numerous committees including as Vice President of Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs

While at the top of Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services, and now ranked one of Canada’s most powerful women Rizzi seems uninterested in resting on her laurels.

She’s undertaken a PhD research project about opportunity and barriers faced by firefighters while gathering information about workplace cultures, policies and lived experience.

The city of Mississauga congratulated Rizzi saying she’s been “Recognized as a strong role model & making a distinct difference for all through dedication & bravery.”

Mayor Bonnie Crombie concurred in her congratulatory message saying, “She is a role model who constantly advocates for our first responders who put themselves at risk to keep us safe. Proud to have strong women in positions of leadership at Mississauga.”

Rizzi finds herself in prestigious company on the Top 100 list. The other women in the Women of Courage category include;

  • Dr. Roopan Gill, Co-Founder and Executive-Director of the Vitala Gloval Foundation and a Clinician Investigator and Assistant Professor at Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto,
  • Dr. Anne Innis Dagg, a zoologist, biologist and Honorary Director of the Anne Innis Dagg Foundation renowned for her research on giraffes,
  • Natalie Marchesan, a retired captain of the Canadian Air Force and SVP and Global Head of Procurement and Chief Administration Officer Shared Services for the Royal Bank of Canada, and
  • Dr. Katharine Smart a pediatrician and President of the Canadian Medical Association.

The full list of Canada’s 100 most powerful women is available online.

Rizzi herself did not immediately respond to a request for comment. This article will be updated should she respond. 

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