Voices of Women in Tech

WiTW Brings you the First Series of Interviews

In our first series of interviews we meet with six amazing women that are making a difference in their communities, breaking down barriers and creating innovations in tech.

Voices of Women in Tech

By Kristine Vacola

Welcome to our inaugural series for Voices of Women in Tech! From over 70 nominations we’re featuring six amazing women who are making a difference and breaking down barriers. This series is a culmination of efforts that started with Driving WinTech tour last year. During our Community Conversations it became clear that there are some amazing voices out there that needed to be heard. So with that we put the call out to #Nominate8, and wow, what a response!

In this first series, we have women in all stages and places, from seasoned veterans of the tech world, to young women just getting started. We have young new voices creating content online to help demystify the tech world, to tech founders giving back and helping expose tech opportunities to the First Nations community in Canada.

Renée Safrata – Founder and Owner of Vivo Team Development

Renée had a vision to innovate engagement, training, and team development in the workplace. The “Swiss Army knife of a leader” saw a need and used tech to build online training solutions for all types of businesses. Read more here on Renee.

Melissa Kargiannakis – CEO of Skirtswap

Melissa may not know how to code, but that didn’t stop her from diving straight into the deep end of tech. She made her start-up dream a reality with a lot of hard work and planning. Read more about Melissa here.

Bobbie Racette – COO and Founder of Virtual Gurus

Bobbie’s can-do attitude and fearlessness is just part of what’s made her a success. Being open to opportunities, creating wins from losses, and giving back to the community of First Nations tech entrepreneurs are the others. Read our interview with Bobbie here.

Shelly-Ginelle Sicat – Software Engineer, Master’s Student and YouTube Star

Shelly wears many hats during the day, from a full-time job as a Software Engineer, to Master’s Student in Ryerson University’s Digital Media programme, and YouTube tech guru showing the next generation of women how to master tech trends and what life-in-tech looks like. Find out more about Shelly in our interview here.

Aashni Shah – Software Engineer at Square and CEO of Elixir Labs

Described as “truly inspiring” by her coworkers, Aashni seems like a superhero to take on not only a full-time job and still be the CEO of a non-profit. As an immigrant to Canada, she sees diversity as a strength we need more in tech. Find out more about Aashni’s story here.

Soodeh Farokhi, PhD – CTO and Founder of C2RO Cloud Robotics

Soodeh came to Canada to pursue her dream of becoming an Engineer. She faced a culture shock coming from a country where 70% of the university students around her were female. That didn’t deter her; she fought her way through, earned her PhD in three years, and started a successful company that integrated AI with Robotics. Read about Soodeh’s story here.

Voices of Women in Tech

WiTW Brings you the First Series of Interviews

In our first series of interviews we meet with six amazing women that are making a difference in their communities, breaking down barriers and creating innovations in tech.

Voices of Women in Tech

By Kristine Vacola

Welcome to our inaugural series for Voices of Women in Tech! From over 70 nominations we’re featuring six amazing women who are making a difference and breaking down barriers. This series is a culmination of efforts that started with Driving WinTech tour last year. During our Community Conversations it became clear that there are some amazing voices out there that needed to be heard. So with that we put the call out to #Nominate8, and wow, what a response!

In this first series, we have women in all stages and places, from seasoned veterans of the tech world, to young women just getting started. We have young new voices creating content online to help demystify the tech world, to tech founders giving back and helping expose tech opportunities to the First Nations community in Canada.

Renée Safrata – Founder and Owner of Vivo Team Development

Renée had a vision to innovate engagement, training, and team development in the workplace. The “Swiss Army knife of a leader” saw a need and used tech to build online training solutions for all types of businesses. Read more here on Renee.

Melissa Kargiannakis – CEO of Skirtswap

Melissa may not know how to code, but that didn’t stop her from diving straight into the deep end of tech. She made her start-up dream a reality with a lot of hard work and planning. Read more about Melissa here.

Bobbie Racette – COO and Founder of Virtual Gurus

Bobbie’s can-do attitude and fearlessness is just part of what’s made her a success. Being open to opportunities, creating wins from losses, and giving back to the community of First Nations tech entrepreneurs are the others. Read our interview with Bobbie here.

Shelly-Ginelle Sicat – Software Engineer, Master’s Student and YouTube Star

Shelly wears many hats during the day, from a full-time job as a Software Engineer, to Master’s Student in Ryerson University’s Digital Media programme, and YouTube tech guru showing the next generation of women how to master tech trends and what life-in-tech looks like. Find out more about Shelly in our interview here.

Aashni Shah – Software Engineer at Square and CEO of Elixir Labs

Described as “truly inspiring” by her coworkers, Aashni seems like a superhero to take on not only a full-time job and still be the CEO of a non-profit. As an immigrant to Canada, she sees diversity as a strength we need more in tech. Find out more about Aashni’s story here.

Soodeh Farokhi, PhD – CTO and Founder of C2RO Cloud Robotics

Soodeh came to Canada to pursue her dream of becoming an Engineer. She faced a culture shock coming from a country where 70% of the university students around her were female. That didn’t deter her; she fought her way through, earned her PhD in three years, and started a successful company that integrated AI with Robotics. Read about Soodeh’s story here.

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.