Talking to St. John’s, Newfoundland

Driving WinTech Events

The final Conversation in St. John's, Newfoundland

New1b

By Nancy Baye

Moderator Paula Sheppard, CEO of NLOWE, was impressed as she announced the credentials of the St. John’s panel, “Wow, I feel I need to do more with my life!” Cue the audience laughter. So began the final Community Conversation, at the sleek Genesis Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Sponsored by Genesis Centre and You x Ventures, the Driving Women in Tech World tour ended in style. 

Panelist Charlene Brophy, President and CEO of FONEMED, felt that this is an exciting time for tech in St. John’s, but, “With that excitement comes challenges. Forums like this Conversation are important for us to grow, and to give women in tech a voice.” Charlene got into tech because she saw how it could help meet healthcare needs in the fast-changing medical industry. She recognized how sometimes she would retreat before she could advance, and now thinks that’s wise. “Women seem to put so much more pressure on themselves than men. It’s okay to fail – that helps us learn and then can we go on.”

Moderator Paula added that data supports that men fail three to four times more than a woman will in a business startup. “Women don’t talk about our failures – but we learn from them – so we don’t need to avoid talking about them.”

Asked about the gender gap in tech, Charlene shook her head. “I look forward to the day when we don’t talk about men and women in the industry, because gender bias doesn’t matter anymore.” As for advantages women in tech hold, she noted that women have a vision and they can hold to that vision. Plus, “Female entrepreneurs tend to do what they do so they can make a difference in the world. We’re not usually motivated by money.” She advised all women in tech to dream big and that no matter where you’re based, you can still make a global footprint.

Panelist Farah Anwar Deen is Co-founder and Project Lead of Event Ryno plus a web application developer at Clockworkfox Studios. As a kid in Dubai, her parents dreamed she’d go to medical school, but she was drawn to Computer Science. Dubai’s early education included Computer Science in first grade – with designing and coding! She”s learned through connecting with people in the community, notably the Genesis Centre. Participation in events and competitions, co-ops and internships helped her gain industry knowledge and experience.

As with all of the panelists, Farah noted her pride in being part of the St. John’s community, which helps each other to grow. She felt constantly inspired by working with others on various projects, especially volunteers out to change the world. She noted how a team of peers, with passion and drive can light a fire in us. She added that women might be over-thinkers, but she sees that as a big advantage in the tech world.  To her it is about willpower, it doesn’t matter what university degree you have. What matters is good mentoring, to tell someone, ”It’s possible. Whatever you want to create or dream. It’s possible.”

Panelist Amy Chafe, Design Engineer at Avalon Holographics, really liked electrical circuitry as a kid. She advised women in tech, “Don’t be afraid to ask questions, don’t fear looking stupid, that’s how we learn.” She suggested work terms as a great resource, to show newbies what’s out in the professional world. Her take on the advantage women in tech have was, “We stand out, often because we’re the only women in a room of men.” Her sage words offered to the audience: “Don’t be intimidated by the numbers. Don’t think that you don’t fit or belong. Think of it as a challenge.”

Panelist Emily Bland is President at Enactus Memorial. Although she didn’t plan to be an entrepreneur, she felt she didn’t fit in anywhere and always had the entrepreneurial spirit. Emily grew up on a farm, determined to get out of aggie culture, into a suit not a pair of overalls. Ironically, she got her start in tech with local home hydroponic systems. These grew to serve the international market, and are helping to overcome global food insecurity.

Emily’s advice was, “Don’t be afraid to fail, it’s all a learning opportunity, try to pivot when you don’t succeed or hit your target, find the lesson in it.” She saw it as an advantage that women always have back-up plans before they start any project.”Things change fast in tech, so we need to have those back up plans in our pocket.” She advised, “Believe in yourself and your dreams, passion gives us that extra drive. We never know what’s going to happen.”

We might not know what’s going to happen, but we do know one thing. Even though our tour is finished, we at Women in Tech World are only getting started with our mission to even the tech playing field, to empower and elevate women in tech. Stay tuned for so much more.

P.S. A giant thank you to our followers, a growing tribe of truly amazing women in and around tech, and those who support them.

Talking to St. John’s, Newfoundland

Driving WinTech Events

The final Conversation in St. John's, Newfoundland

New1b

By Nancy Baye

Moderator Paula Sheppard, CEO of NLOWE, was impressed as she announced the credentials of the St. John’s panel, “Wow, I feel I need to do more with my life!” Cue the audience laughter. So began the final Community Conversation, at the sleek Genesis Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Sponsored by Genesis Centre and You x Ventures, the Driving Women in Tech World tour ended in style. 

Panelist Charlene Brophy, President and CEO of FONEMED, felt that this is an exciting time for tech in St. John’s, but, “With that excitement comes challenges. Forums like this Conversation are important for us to grow, and to give women in tech a voice.” Charlene got into tech because she saw how it could help meet healthcare needs in the fast-changing medical industry. She recognized how sometimes she would retreat before she could advance, and now thinks that’s wise. “Women seem to put so much more pressure on themselves than men. It’s okay to fail – that helps us learn and then can we go on.”

Moderator Paula added that data supports that men fail three to four times more than a woman will in a business startup. “Women don’t talk about our failures – but we learn from them – so we don’t need to avoid talking about them.”

Asked about the gender gap in tech, Charlene shook her head. “I look forward to the day when we don’t talk about men and women in the industry, because gender bias doesn’t matter anymore.” As for advantages women in tech hold, she noted that women have a vision and they can hold to that vision. Plus, “Female entrepreneurs tend to do what they do so they can make a difference in the world. We’re not usually motivated by money.” She advised all women in tech to dream big and that no matter where you’re based, you can still make a global footprint.

Panelist Farah Anwar Deen is Co-founder and Project Lead of Event Ryno plus a web application developer at Clockworkfox Studios. As a kid in Dubai, her parents dreamed she’d go to medical school, but she was drawn to Computer Science. Dubai’s early education included Computer Science in first grade – with designing and coding! She”s learned through connecting with people in the community, notably the Genesis Centre. Participation in events and competitions, co-ops and internships helped her gain industry knowledge and experience.

As with all of the panelists, Farah noted her pride in being part of the St. John’s community, which helps each other to grow. She felt constantly inspired by working with others on various projects, especially volunteers out to change the world. She noted how a team of peers, with passion and drive can light a fire in us. She added that women might be over-thinkers, but she sees that as a big advantage in the tech world.  To her it is about willpower, it doesn’t matter what university degree you have. What matters is good mentoring, to tell someone, ”It’s possible. Whatever you want to create or dream. It’s possible.”

Panelist Amy Chafe, Design Engineer at Avalon Holographics, really liked electrical circuitry as a kid. She advised women in tech, “Don’t be afraid to ask questions, don’t fear looking stupid, that’s how we learn.” She suggested work terms as a great resource, to show newbies what’s out in the professional world. Her take on the advantage women in tech have was, “We stand out, often because we’re the only women in a room of men.” Her sage words offered to the audience: “Don’t be intimidated by the numbers. Don’t think that you don’t fit or belong. Think of it as a challenge.”

Panelist Emily Bland is President at Enactus Memorial. Although she didn’t plan to be an entrepreneur, she felt she didn’t fit in anywhere and always had the entrepreneurial spirit. Emily grew up on a farm, determined to get out of aggie culture, into a suit not a pair of overalls. Ironically, she got her start in tech with local home hydroponic systems. These grew to serve the international market, and are helping to overcome global food insecurity.

Emily’s advice was, “Don’t be afraid to fail, it’s all a learning opportunity, try to pivot when you don’t succeed or hit your target, find the lesson in it.” She saw it as an advantage that women always have back-up plans before they start any project.”Things change fast in tech, so we need to have those back up plans in our pocket.” She advised, “Believe in yourself and your dreams, passion gives us that extra drive. We never know what’s going to happen.”

We might not know what’s going to happen, but we do know one thing. Even though our tour is finished, we at Women in Tech World are only getting started with our mission to even the tech playing field, to empower and elevate women in tech. Stay tuned for so much more.

P.S. A giant thank you to our followers, a growing tribe of truly amazing women in and around tech, and those who support them.

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.