Ms. Fiona Macfarlane is currently the Managing Partner of the British Columbia practice for Ernst & Young LLP, as well as the firm’s Chief Inclusiveness Officer.
Prior to her current role, Fiona was the Canadian Managing Partner, People and Ernst & Young’s Americas Chief Operating Officer, Tax; previously, she held the role of Ernst & Young’s Tax Managing Partner for the Canadian Tax practice, a team of more than 800 tax practitioners. Fiona is the first woman among the Big Four accounting firms to have held such a position.
Fiona is a member of the Board of Governors of the Business Council of British Columbia and serves on the organization’s Executive Committee. She was appointed by the BC’s Minister of Finance to the province’s Expert Panel on Business Taxation. Fiona is a member of the Aboriginal Business Investment Council (a provincially established council) and serves on the Executive Board of the Immigrant Employment Council of British Columbia. She is Governor of the Board of Shawnigan Lake School.
Before joining Ernst & Young’s South African firm in 1983, Fiona trained as a lawyer in Cape Town, where she was admitted to the bar. She joined the Canadian firm’s Calgary Tax practice in 1987 and relocated to Vancouver two years later to build a commodity tax practice in Western Canada. She was admitted to the partnership in 1991 and became the Tax leader for the western region of Canada in 2001.
Prior to relocating to Vancouver, Fiona was on the cabinet of Pathways to Education, an organization that provides access to education for youth in disadvantaged areas. Fiona has just completed her term on the Canadian Board of the International Women’s Forum (IWF), an organization dedicated to advancing women’s leadership across careers, cultures and continents by connecting the world’s most preeminent women. She currently co-chairs the IWF Canada Committee on Sponsorship of Women to Leadership roles.
In 2011, Fiona was awarded an Honourary CA. Fiona holds a bachelor of arts, commerce and law degree from the University of Cape Town. She also earned a master of law degree from Cambridge University.
Fiona’s efforts in the immigrant community have been recognized with two awards, the TRIEC CBC Business Leader Award in 2008 and York University’s makeMORE Ontario Connections Award for Immigrants in 2010, and she is a regular speaker and writer on the topics of diversity and inclusiveness and leadership.
Fiona has been recognized as a ‘Women of Influence 2012 Canadian Diversity Champion’, as one of ‘Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100′ (in 2011 and 2012), and was named as an IWF ‘Woman Who Makes a Difference’ in October 2013. In 2015, Fiona was selected as one of Business in Vancouver’s ‘Influential Women of Business’.