The Driving WinTech Tour talks to Vancouver

Driving WinTech Event Recaps

Here we go! Driving WinTech Community Conversations kick off in Vancouver

By Nancy Baye

Driving WinTech’s Community Conversations had a sold-out crowd at Vancouver’s CodeCore office. Alicia Close welcomed participants, sponsors and supporters to this first stop on Driving WinTech’s Canada-wide tour.

Vancouver Councillor George Affleck offered appreciation for the data the tour will collect, noting the challenge government has in creating policies for building better communities when they don’t have all the data. Sponsor Safe Software Director of Partner Programs and Events, Sonia Hubbes, congratulated the team and participants, noting, “Our collective voices help shape and determine where we’re going and the future of women in tech. We know that success comes from diversity.”

Moderator Stephanie Redivo, Senior Program Manager at SAP noted that having a board with 30% women  appears to be a magic number where things start to change. Her questions to the panel included:

  •        Thoughts on current state of Vancouver tech ecosystem
  •        How they got started in tech, what experiences led to their current career
  •        Learning opportunities
  •        What support or resources helped them

Iris Gutowski, Technical Lead at Safe Software drove home the point that there will always be challenges in business, that we need to get past our fear of these challenges, and we must have the confidence to step up and be heard.

Julia Taylor-Hell, Engineer at Microsoft 3D for Everyone Initiative, started out in political science but found programming exciting, so she switched majors. She finds the Vancouver ecosystem is growing, with larger companies emerging, bringing with them more jobs. She takes pride in Microsoft talking about what can be done to recruit and retain women. Julia reminds women to not be afraid in asking questions, and never pretend they know things they don’t. “Speak up and be part of discussions, get out of your comfort zone, be assertive.”

Louisa Thue, Senior Director of Datalab at Hootsuite, recently read that Vancouver’s tech ecosystem is classified as number one in Canada and number 15 worldwide. She attributes her success to working with good people and good mentors.

Tracy Huitika, Director of Data at Unbounce, admits she was always a nerd before going into computer science. She also commented on how vastly the field of study has progressed, “There are so many different things you can do now with a computer science degree.” Tracy feels that women don’t tend to take on things if they aren’t fully qualified, and suggests they need to take risks, take on challenges. She promotes getting comfortable with public speaking, reaching out and connecting with other women.

A discussion about the “brogramming culture” led each panelist to offer many groundbreaking recommendations. Stay tuned for more details in a future blog series.

The Driving WinTech Tour talks to Vancouver

Driving WinTech Event Recaps

Here we go! Driving WinTech Community Conversation kicks off in Vancouver

By Nancy Baye

Driving WinTech’s Community Conversations had a sold-out crowd at Vancouver’s CodeCore office. Alicia Close welcomed participants, sponsors and supporters to this first stop on Driving WinTech’s Canada-wide tour.

Vancouver Councillor George Affleck offered appreciation for the data the tour will collect, noting the challenge government has in creating policies for building better communities when they don’t have all the data. Sponsor Safe Software Director of Partner Programs and Events, Sonia Hubbes, congratulated the team and participants, noting, “Our collective voices help shape and determine where we’re going and the future of women in tech. We know that success comes from diversity.”

Moderator Stephanie Redivo, Senior Program Manager at SAP noted that having a board with 30% women  appears to be a magic number where things start to change. Her questions to the panel included:

  •        Thoughts on current state of Vancouver tech ecosystem
  •        How they got started in tech, what experiences led to their current career
  •        Learning opportunities
  •        What support or resources helped them

Iris Gutowski, Technical Lead at Safe Software drove home the point that there will always be challenges in business, that we need to get past our fear of these challenges, and we must have the confidence to step up and be heard.

Julia Taylor-Hell, Engineer at Microsoft 3D for Everyone Initiative, started out in political science but found programming exciting, so she switched majors. She finds the Vancouver ecosystem is growing, with larger companies emerging, bringing with them more jobs. She takes pride in Microsoft talking about what can be done to recruit and retain women. Julia reminds women to not be afraid in asking questions, and never pretend they know things they don’t. “Speak up and be part of discussions, get out of your comfort zone, be assertive.”

Louisa Thue, Senior Director of Datalab at Hootsuite, recently read that Vancouver’s tech ecosystem is classified as number one in Canada and number 15 worldwide. She attributes her success to working with good people and good mentors.

Tracy Huitika, Director of Data at Unbounce, admits she was always a nerd before going into computer science. She also commented on how vastly the field of study has progressed, “There are so many different things you can do now with a computer science degree.” Tracy feels that women don’t tend to take on things if they aren’t fully qualified, and suggests they need to take risks, take on challenges. She promotes getting comfortable with public speaking, reaching out and connecting with other women.

A discussion about the “brogramming culture” led each panelist to offer many groundbreaking recommendations. Stay tuned for more details in a future blog series.

Everyone knows that we are living in an increasingly tech-enabled world. Not surprisingly, this is reflected in the number of jobs that are now available in the tech industry. The problem is, while the Computer Science workforce has grown by 60% since 1991, the percentage of young women going into the industry has declined (Stats Canada 2011). This needs to change.