Driving WinTech Community Conversation Recap – Barrie

Driving WinTech Event Recap

Driving WinTech's Community Conversation in Barrie

Bar3a
Bar4a

By Marwa Ridha  

Driving WinTech arrived in Barrie on October 10, to continue the Conversation with local women in tech. The Community Conversation was held at Suiteworks Business Centre, and generously sponsored by Clear-View Financial and Financial Horizons Group.  The panel included Krista LaRiviere,  co-founder and CEO of gShift, Marcia Woods,  co-founder and CEO of FreshSpoke, and Christine Whone, owner and Communication Designer of Actually and Chapter Lead of Barrie’s Ladies Learning Code.  

The discussion was moderated by Karen Dubeau, Director of Creative Economy at City of Barrie, who led the conversation with: 

  •            What challenges do women face in the tech industry?
  •            Can you share a pivotal moment in your career?
  •            What excites you in tech right now? What’s the next big thing you want to grab a hold of?
  •            What advice would you give your 15 year old self?
  •            Do you think there are more resources for women today than when you started?
  •            Can you name some role models in Canada: women, women in tech or tech entrepreneurs in general?

Krista believes it’s hard for both genders to work in tech. She sees many challenges to owning a company because no one knows what might happen from one day to the next. While there are more men in the industry, she believes that shouldn’t stop anyone from pursuing their goals. “You need to be tough in this industry.” A pivotal, career-defining moment was when, fresh out of college, she saw opportunity everywhere. The tech field was emerging and she realized she didn’t want to work for anyone but herself. She now owns a web presence analytics technology company, and says that technology is advancing rapidly. She’s excited about the application of artificial intelligence in her field but believes they have a long way to go before customers fully apply the technology. Krista believes there are more resources available today for entrepreneurs than ever before. especially financial and online. “There’s more knowledge available to us because people have failed and succeeded and they’re talking about it.” She believes government plays an important role in entrepreneurship and startups. Referencing Trudeau’s new tax laws, she argues that the effect will trickle down to the entrepreneurs struggling to get capital to fund their projects. Advice to her 15 year old self: “You were right!” Krista was always a hard worker and tells young people that passion, perseverance and persistence are critical.

When asked about challenges females face in tech, Christine says it’s all a mindset, “It’s a barrier you create in your mind and if you feel you can’t overcome it then you won’t.” She loved the creative element the tech field offered, which led her to her career. She’s most interested in Youtube and excited by all that’s happening for Canadian content creators today. As a chapter lead for Ladies Learning Code, she sees firsthand the level of persistence it takes and is inspired everyday by the women she meets.

While working at Durham College in 1994, Marcia had a life changing moment when the librarian gave her a glimpse of the internet. “I knew it was going to be huge and I had to be involved in it!” Having been business-minded her whole life, she took the leap and started one of the first web companies in Toronto. She faced challenges in her early career, trying to balance family and work life. She believes the most important challenge both men and women face is a lack of confidence, and investors are looking for confidence. She believes role models are important and we need more female representation in tech to inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs. She cites Arlene Dickinson as an influencer. What excites her is the current level of disruption happening with the sharing economy. She tells women to be unafraid to fail, “Expect it and make small failures.”

Thank you to Clear-View Financial, Financial Horizons Group and our community partners City of Barrie, Georgian College, and Creative Space for your support.

Stay tuned for more recommendations in future blog series! Next stops for Driving WinTech: Ottawa and Montreal.

Driving WinTech Community Conversation Recap –Barrie

Driving WinTech Event Recap

Driving WinTech's Community Conversation in Barrie

Bar3a
Bar4a

By Marwa Ridha  

Driving WinTech arrived in Barrie on October 10, to continue the Conversation with local women in tech. The Community Conversation was held at Suiteworks Business Centre, and generously sponsored by Clear-View Financial and Financial Horizons Group.  The panel included Krista LaRiviere, co-founder and CEO of gShift, Marcia Woods, co-founder and CEO of FreshSpoke, and Christine Whone, owner and Communication Designer of Actually and Chapter Lead of Barrie’s Ladies Learning Code.

The discussion was moderated by Karen Dubeau, Director of Creative Economy at City of Barrie, who led the conversation with:

  •            What challenges do women face in the tech industry?
  •            Can you share a pivotal moment in your career?
  •            What excites you in tech right now? What’s the next big thing you want to grab a hold of?
  •            What advice would you give your 15 year old self?
  •            Do you think there are more resources for women today than when you started?
  •            Can you name some role models in Canada: women, women in tech or tech entrepreneurs in general?

Krista believes it’s hard for both genders to work in tech. She sees many challenges to owning a company because no one knows what might happen from one day to the next. While there are more men in the industry, she believes that shouldn’t stop anyone from pursuing their goals. “You need to be tough in this industry.” A pivotal, career-defining moment was when, fresh out of college, she saw opportunity everywhere. The tech field was emerging and she realized she didn’t want to work for anyone but herself. She now owns a web presence analytics technology company, and says that technology is advancing rapidly. She’s excited about the application of artificial intelligence in her field but believes they have a long way to go before customers fully apply the technology. Krista believes there are more resources available today for entrepreneurs than ever before. especially financial and online. “There’s more knowledge available to us because people have failed and succeeded and they’re talking about it.” She believes government plays an important role in entrepreneurship and startups. Referencing Trudeau’s new tax laws, she argues that the effect will trickle down to the entrepreneurs struggling to get capital to fund their projects. Advice to her 15 year old self: “You were right!” Krista was always a hard worker and tells young people that passion, perseverance and persistence are critical.

When asked about challenges females face in tech, Christine says it’s all a mindset, “It’s a barrier you create in your mind and if you feel you can’t overcome it then you won’t.” She loved the creative element the tech field offered, which led her to her career. She’s most interested in Youtube and excited by all that’s happening for Canadian content creators today. As a chapter lead for Ladies Learning Code, she sees firsthand the level of persistence it takes and is inspired everyday by the women she meets.

While working at Durham College in 1994, Marcia had a life changing moment when the librarian gave her a glimpse of the internet. “I knew it was going to be huge and I had to be involved in it!” Having been business-minded her whole life, she took the leap and started one of the first web companies in Toronto. She faced challenges in her early career, trying to balance family and work life. She believes the most important challenge both men and women face is a lack of confidence, and investors are looking for confidence. She believes role models are important and we need more female representation in tech to inspire the next generation of female entrepreneurs. She cites Arlene Dickinson as an influencer. What excites her is the current level of disruption happening with the sharing economy. She tells women to be unafraid to fail, “Expect it and make small failures.”

Thank you to Clear-View Financial, Financial Horizons Group and our community partners City of Barrie, Georgian College, and Creative Space for your support.

Stay tuned for more recommendations in future blog series! Next stops for Driving WinTech: Ottawa and Montreal.

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.