We’ve reached the end of our Driving WinTech tour

Driving WinTech Week in Review

The end of our Driving WinTech tour

driving-wintech-rv-sunset

By Marwa Ridha

We did it!

It’s been an eventful few months driving across the country for the Driving WinTech initiative. We’ve explored the country, from coast to coast, and completed 31 Community Conversations. The final three Conversations took place in Charlottetown, Halifax and St. Johns. Here’s a recap, in case you missed any of it.

Charlottetown, PEI

The Charlottetown Community Conversation took place at Startup Zone, where discussion centered on the city’s growing tech space. Our panelists were Danielle White (Senior Manager of Development for Ooka Island), Rosie Le Faive (Digital Infrastructure and Discovery Librarian at UPEI), and Teng Liu, aka Tammy (former Quality Assurance Manager and Customer Support at Optimum Path Inc). Rosie believes girls need positive role models. She argued that women have been stereotyped as being weak at math and advocated that girls need to see examples of women who succeed in math-related fields. Danielle advised women to ask questions, since the best ideas grow from there rather than from trying to have all the answers. Tammy noted that adding a woman to a tech team can provide a major shift in attitude. She believes women have a moderating presence on men. All three panelists felt that more positive role models in the media will render more female leaders in tech. Many thanks to EA Sports and to Startup Zone for their support.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Our Halifax Community Conversation was held at Volta Labs, generously sponsored by Volta and supported by community partners Digital Nova Scotia and Techsploration. Panelists Stephanie Holmes-Winton, Arylene Reycraft and Jenn Priske spoke about lessons learned and offered lots of advice for young people in tech. Stephanie believes the greatest advantage of being a woman in tech is female insight. “Women own 78% of the buying power. If you only rely on male insight, you’re only speaking to half the population.” Arylene’s company gives high school girls the chance to explore science, trades and technology. She argued that people tend to forget the positive and remember the negative messages they hear. “We need to repeat you can do it, over and over again to encourage and motivate. Jenn emphasized the importance of self-confidence, adding that girls need to be encouraged to take risks.

St. John’s, Newfoundland

The final Community Conversation took place at the Genesis Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Moderator Paula Sheppard (CEO of NLOWE) introduced: Charlene Brophy (President and CEO of FONEMED), Farah Anwar Deen (Co-founder and Project Lead of Event Ryno), Amy Chafe (Design Engineer at Avalon Holographics) and Emily Bland (President at Enactus Memorial). Fear and failure were key topics of the night. Charlene offered,“It’s okay to fail – that helps us learn and then can we go on.” She believes women put more pressure on themselves than men and advises women to dream big. Farah empathized the importance of mentorship and believes our peers can “light a fire in us.” Emily advised women to find the lesson in failure, instead of fearing it. Amy told women to be unafraid to ask questions. “Don’t fear looking stupid – that’s how we learn.” A big thank you goes out to Genesis Centre and You x Ventures for sponsorship.

Thank you to everyone who participated, rooted for or followed the Driving WinTech initiative. Thank you to all our sponsors, partners and helpers for all the support. We couldn’t have done it without all of you!

 

The end of our Driving WinTech tour

Driving WinTech Week in Review

We’ve reached the end of our Driving WinTech tour

driving-wintech-rv-sunset

By Marwa Ridha

We did it!

It’s been an eventful few months driving across the country for the Driving WinTech initiative. We’ve explored the country, from coast to coast, and completed 31 Community Conversations. The final three Conversations took place in Charlottetown, Halifax and St. Johns. Here’s a recap, in case you missed any of it.

Charlottetown, PEI

The Charlottetown Community Conversation took place at Startup Zone, where discussion centered on the city’s growing tech space. Our panelists were Danielle White (Senior Manager of Development for Ooka Island), Rosie Le Faive (Digital Infrastructure and Discovery Librarian at UPEI), and Teng Liu, aka Tammy (former Quality Assurance Manager and Customer Support at Optimum Path Inc). Rosie believes girls need positive role models. She argued that women have been stereotyped as being weak at math and advocated that girls need to see examples of women who succeed in math-related fields. Danielle advised women to ask questions, since the best ideas grow from there rather than from trying to have all the answers. Tammy noted that adding a woman to a tech team can provide a major shift in attitude. She believes women have a moderating presence on men. All three panelists felt that more positive role models in the media will render more female leaders in tech. Many thanks to EA Sports and to Startup Zone for their support.

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Our Halifax Community Conversation was held at Volta Labs, generously sponsored by Volta and supported by community partners Digital Nova Scotia and Techsploration. Panelists Stephanie Holmes-Winton, Arylene Reycraft and Jenn Priske spoke about lessons learned and offered lots of advice for young people in tech. Stephanie believes the greatest advantage of being a woman in tech is female insight. “Women own 78% of the buying power. If you only rely on male insight, you’re only speaking to half the population.” Arylene’s company gives high school girls the chance to explore science, trades and technology. She argued that people tend to forget the positive and remember the negative messages they hear. “We need to repeat you can do it, over and over again to encourage and motivate. Jenn emphasized the importance of self-confidence, adding that girls need to be encouraged to take risks.

St. John’s, Newfoundland

The final Community Conversation took place at the Genesis Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Moderator Paula Sheppard (CEO of NLOWE) introduced: Charlene Brophy (President and CEO of FONEMED), Farah Anwar Deen (Co-founder and Project Lead of Event Ryno), Amy Chafe (Design Engineer at Avalon Holographics) and Emily Bland (President at Enactus Memorial). Fear and failure were key topics of the night. Charlene offered,“It’s okay to fail – that helps us learn and then can we go on.” She believes women put more pressure on themselves than men and advises women to dream big. Farah empathized the importance of mentorship and believes our peers can “light a fire in us.” Emily advised women to find the lesson in failure, instead of fearing it. Amy told women to be unafraid to ask questions. “Don’t fear looking stupid – that’s how we learn.” A big thank you goes out to Genesis Centre and You x Ventures for sponsorship.

Thank you to everyone who participated, rooted for or followed the Driving WinTech initiative. Thank you to all our sponsors, partners and helpers for all the support. We couldn’t have done it without all of you!

 

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.