Kelly Davis Chief People Officer


Speaks:  English


Primary office:  Toronto



Kelly Davis

Kelly Davis is the Chief People Officer (CPO) at Gowling WLG, where she is accountable for advancing the firm’s commitment to prioritizing its people. In this role, Kelly is committed to fostering an inclusive work environment that encourages learning, mentoring, collaboration and community building, ensuring that everyone can thrive.

As Gowling WLG’s first CPO, Kelly leads the firm’s HR, legal talent, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), wellness, benefits and learning & development functions. She is responsible for creating an integrated overarching people strategy – inclusive of all legal professionals and business services team members – to develop, support and retain the firm’s people as its most important asset.

With over 20 years of leadership experience as a senior human resources executive, Kelly has worked with national and global employers in a variety of industries. Prior to joining Gowling WLG, she served as the CPO at Sunwing Travel Group, where she led a global talent team overseeing HR, total rewards, DEI and learning and development for 24,000 employees across 14 countries.

Kelly is actively engaged in supporting the broader community. She currently sits on the board of the Strategic Capability Network and is a proud member of the International Women’s Forum of Canada.  Notably, Kelly served as the co-chair of the BlackNorth Initiative’s CEO Pledge Committee from 2020 to 2022. Additionally, she spent a six-year board term as a board director and chair of the HR & Governance Committee for White Ribbon, the world’s largest movement working to end gender-based violence.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2023

    • Community
       2023
      George Brown School of Hospitality/Hotel Operations Program, Program Advisory Committee Member
    • Rankings & Awards
       2023
      Listed as one of the Top 10 CHRO’s committed to DEI by DiversityCan Magazine (selected from 147 nominees)
    • Community
       2023
      Strategic Capability Network, Board Director
  • 2020

  • 2015

    • Community
       2015
      White Ribbon (world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women, girls and people of all genders), Board Director and Chair of HR & Governance Committee (2015-2022)
  • 2013

    • Education
       2013
      McMaster University, Human Resources & Compensation Committee Certification
    • Community
       2013
      Big Brothers, Big Sisters Canada, Leadership Committee Member (2013-2017)
    • Community
       2013
      Eva’s Initiatives (supports homeless youth to rebuild their lives), HR Committee Member (2013-2017)
  • 2002

    • Community
       2002
      Pathways to Education Canada, At Risk Youth Group Mentor (2002-2003)
  • 1998

    • Education
       1998
      McGill University, Bachelor of Arts
    • Community
       
      HRPA Ontario, CHRE Advisory Board Member

Memberships

  • Human Resources Professionals Association of Ontario
  • Strategic Capability Network
  • International Women’s Forum of Canada