Driving WinTech talks to Montréal

Driving WinTech Event Recap

Bonjour Montréal: Community Conversation Recap

Mtl2b
Mtl3a

By Nav Nagra

On a lovely Montréal evening, four amazing women in tech gathered to share thoughts on their industry. Moderator Emma Williams, Director of Maison Notman House, did an excellent job directing the conversation. Panelists included Beatrice Couture, the General Manager of InnoCite MTL; Dr. Natalie Tufenkji, Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Biocolloids and Surfaces Associates at McGill; and Soodeh Farokhi, Ph.D., Founder & Tech Lead at C2RO Robotics

The panelists offered their perspectives of the Montréal tech ecosystem – that it’s booming with incubators, small companies and resources. Unfortunately, there remain very few female founders. In spite of being an attractive ecosystem, women are reluctant to join. Panelists noted that despite the grants, bursaries and funding, the rooms are still mostly filled with men.

The question remains: what’s preventing women from founding tech in Montréal? Panelists suggested a lack of mentorship since it’s difficult to find female founders. How can women find other women with similar experiences and perspectives? Mentorship remains critical, panelists believed, even university students are wise to seek a mentor. It was worth noting that the panelists have found men willing to provide guidance. Although female mentors are needed and wanted, “We need to take it where we can get it.” Panelists encouraged using educational resources. They also spoke to cultural differences around the world. A staggering statistic was that many women (sometimes up to 70%) can be found in senior tech roles in countries such as Iran.

When asked what advice the panel had for the next generation of women in tech, they offered: forget about perfection, have drive, be yourself, have self-confidence and embrace differences.  “Be who you want to be and go towards it,” was a poignant piece of advice that really hit home with the engaged audience.

We’d like thank our host, CENTECH, for providing the venue and food for the Montréal Conversation. We also thank community sponsors, District 3 and XpertDoc for their support in making this event such a success.

Driving WinTech talks to Montréal

Driving WinTech Event Recap

Bonjour Montréal: Community Conversation Recap

Mtl2b
Image 3
Mtl3a

By Nav Nagra

On a lovely Montréal evening, four amazing women in tech gathered to share thoughts on their industry. Moderator Emma Williams, Director of Maison Notman House, did an excellent job directing the conversation. Panelists included Beatrice Couture, the General Manager of InnoCite MTL; Dr. Natalie Tufenkji, Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Biocolloids and Surfaces Associates at McGill; and Soodeh Farokhi, Ph.D., Founder & Tech Lead at C2RO Robotics

The panelists offered their perspectives of the Montréal tech ecosystem – that it’s booming with incubators, small companies and resources. Unfortunately, there remain very few female founders. In spite of being an attractive ecosystem, women are reluctant to join. Panelists noted that despite the grants, bursaries and funding, the rooms are still mostly filled with men.

The question remains: what’s preventing women from founding tech in Montréal? Panelists suggested a lack of mentorship since it’s difficult to find female founders. How can women find other women with similar experiences and perspectives? Mentorship remains critical, panelists believed, even university students are wise to seek a mentor. It was worth noting that the panelists have found men willing to provide guidance. Although female mentors are needed and wanted, “We need to take it where we can get it.” Panelists encouraged using educational resources. They also spoke to cultural differences around the world. A staggering statistic was that many women (sometimes up to 70%) can be found in senior tech roles in countries such as Iran.

When asked what advice the panel had for the next generation of women in tech, they offered: forget about perfection, have drive, be yourself, have self-confidence and embrace differences.  “Be who you want to be and go towards it,” was a poignant piece of advice that really hit home with the engaged audience.

We’d like thank our host, CENTECH, for providing the venue and food for the Montréal Conversation. We also thank community sponsors, District 3 and XpertDoc for their support in making this event such a success.

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.