Dr. Caitlin Schwartz, co-founder, CWIM

Dr. Caitlin Schwartz
Editor's Note

Each year, OBJ and the Ottawa Board of Trade honour 40 of the region’s top young entrepreneurs, business executives and civic leaders and recognize them for their professional achievements, expertise and community service.

Click here to see the full list of the 2020 recipients and click here to watch the special Ottawa Stronger Together broadcast honouring the year’s recipients.

As the co-founder of the Canadian Women in Medicine Organization and one of the brains behind the CWIM annual conference, Dr. Caitlin Schwartz and her fellow physician co-founder have grown the women’s health event to astounding new heights.  

Serving not only as an educational conference, but as a place for female doctors to share their own successes and experiences of working in the field and battling stress and workplace burnout, the CWIM conference has been on a fast track to success. In its inaugural year in 2017, the event saw 500 attendees, which Schwartz and her partner managed to double to 1,100 in just under three years. 

As co-founder, she has helped develop greater awareness around the brand, and played a key role in the planning and execution of the conference, leading to it selling out every year. The conference founders also use the opportunity to fundraise for local women's and children's charities, bringing in thousands of dollars a year.

However, the duo faced an unimaginable challenge this year, with COVID-19 shutting down conferences across the country. Instead of cancelling the event, Schwartz and her team doubled down on their efforts and turned the conference into a virtual experience in just a few weeks. They integrated a virtual exhibit hall, which allowed them to keep the original sponsorships, and with no limitations on the number of attendees they also opened the event up to 200 extra people, further expanding their reach. 

When she isn’t helping to organize the massive annual conference, Schwartz runs a large medical clinic in Barrhaven and has spearheaded fundraising campaigns through CWIM for several charities in the city such as Dress for Success and Interval House Ottawa.