Driving WinTech talks to Brandon

Driving WinTech Event Recap

Talking to Brandon! Community Conversation Recap

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By Shahbano Zaman

The Driving WinTech Community Conversation in Brandon was made possible through the support of event partners: Brandon University, Netset Communication, Leech Printing, and Entrepreneurship Manitoba.The panel shared inspiring stories, candid advice and helped us gather valuable data on women in tech.

Tami-Rae Rourke Clements is Partner and COO at Netset Communications, President of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce and a founding member of I-NetLink Wireless. She acknowledged that the tech ecosystem in Brandon is expanding as technology is now touching every industry. Her entry into the tech business included offering to work at a computer store to pay for a printer she couldn’t afford. One busy, understaffed day she helped sell a computer then she met her business partner when selling him a computer. The biggest challenge her company faced was that it grew too fast, while the best thing was being surrounded by incredible people. Her advice to the next generation of women in tech: ‘Surround yourself with the right people and don’t be afraid. If you have an idea but no money, other people can provide it!”

Bonnie Nay-Draper, Business Services Division Manager Entrepreneurship at Manitoba offered advice for new businesses. She noted the value of relationships. When she found herself missing diverse opinions, the kind she found in earlier jobs, she decided to recreate the environment, saying, “When you don’t have access to the resource you become resourceful.” . She formed a lean in group, inspired by Sheryl Sandberg, where women came together to discuss, debate and support each other. As someone who’s had several mentors, she noted that mentors tend to change over the course of one’s career as people grow. Focusing on opportunities versus problems is a personal philosophy of hers, and she counts her diverse network and peer group as her biggest learning opportunity. Her advice to the next generation of women in tech is that Brandon has money and investors – building relationships and trust and sharing one’s ideas is crucial to accessing these investors. She also advised women to take advantage of their ability to multitask better than men.

Cathy Snelgrove, Founding Partner of Siere, helps people grow and build their businesses. She’s authored several books on the subject of starting a business. She noted there are two types of businesses:

  1.     Those that understand the old business model is fading
  2.     Those that ask questions, keeping the inevitable spread of technology in mind

She noted that Manitoba can benefit by seeking local talent and using technology to attract opportunities. Having worked closely with both men and women she noted a difference in how they use mentoring: men jump off the cliff, women worry about the obstacles they might face. Women underestimate their own resourcefulness. Her advice to the next generation of women in tech: “Go for it – figure it out after! Most importantly, support other women along the way.”

Stay tuned for recommendations in future blog series!

Driving WinTech talks to Brandon

Driving WinTech Event Recap

Talking to Brandon! Community Conversation Recap

br2a
br3a

By Shahbano Zaman

The Driving WinTech Community Conversation in Brandon was made possible through the support of event partners: Brandon University, Netset Communication, Leech Printing, and Entrepreneurship Manitoba.The panel shared inspiring stories, candid advice and helped us gather valuable data on women in tech.

Tami-Rae Rourke Clements is Partner and COO at Netset Communications, President of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce and a founding member of I-NetLink Wireless. She acknowledged that the tech ecosystem in Brandon is expanding as technology is now touching every industry. Her entry into the tech business included offering to work at a computer store to pay for a printer she couldn’t afford. One busy, understaffed day she helped sell a computer then she met her business partner when selling him a computer. The biggest challenge her company faced was that it grew too fast, while the best thing was being surrounded by incredible people. Her advice to the next generation of women in tech: ‘Surround yourself with the right people and don’t be afraid. If you have an idea but no money, other people can provide it!”

Bonnie Nay-Draper, Business Services Division Manager Entrepreneurship at Manitoba offered advice for new businesses. She noted the value of relationships. When she found herself missing diverse opinions, the kind she found in earlier jobs, she decided to recreate the environment, saying, “When you don’t have access to the resource you become resourceful.” . She formed a lean in group, inspired by Sheryl Sandberg, where women came together to discuss, debate and support each other. As someone who’s had several mentors, she noted that mentors tend to change over the course of one’s career as people grow. Focusing on opportunities versus problems is a personal philosophy of hers, and she counts her diverse network and peer group as her biggest learning opportunity. Her advice to the next generation of women in tech  is that Brandon has money and investors – building relationships and trust and sharing one’s ideas is crucial to accessing these investors. She also advised women to take advantage of their ability to multitask better than men.

Cathy Snelgrove, Founding Partner of Siere, helps people grow and build their businesses. She’s authored several books on the subject of starting a business. She noted there are two types of businesses:

  1.     Those that understand the old business model is fading
  2.     Those that ask questions, keeping the inevitable spread of technology in mind

She noted that Manitoba can benefit by seeking local talent and using technology to attract opportunities. Having worked closely with both men and women she noted a difference in how they use mentoring: men jump off the cliff, women worry about the obstacles they might face. Women underestimate their own resourcefulness. Her advice to the next generation of women in tech: “Go for it – figure it out after! Most importantly, support other women along the way.”

Stay tuned for recommendations in 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.