Catherine Dorazio

Vice-president, Connor, Clark and Lunn Private Capital Age: 36

At the age of 35, Catherine Dorazio became the youngest partner at Connor, Clark and Lunn Private Capital, only four years after joining the firm.

"Making partner was huge," she said. "I was the first female partner and I'm still the only one."

Dorazio said she benefited from Connor, Clark and Lunn's earn-in partnership structure. Instead of having to go before a board of "old, gray-haired men" who may have judged her for being too young, too inexperienced and even too blonde, she earned her partnership through meeting sales targets.

Dorazio has a past life as a professional snowboarder, an experience she's drawn on in the business world.

"It taught me a lot about myself, the drive and determination that came alongside getting to those levels, but I knew it wasn't going to be my career for life," she said.

After a mentor took her to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in her early 20s, Dorazio was hooked.

"Finance appeals to me for some of the glitz and glamour of the industry, but also knowing it was full of really smart people I would learn from and be challenged by," she said.

She's been driven to share her experience by speaking and writing about finance and appearing as a guest commentator on Global TV.

Dorazio is active with several charities and fundraising events, including the BC Children's Hospital Crystal Ball. She is on the advisory board of the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria and was an establishing member of the Vancouver Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. •