This fall, WCT hosted a series of events and chapter launches in new communities across Canada. With only 27% of the Canadian ICT workforce being comprised of women, creating a network of professional women and community of support is a key to closing the gender gap in Canada.
Here's a short recap of each of our chapter launches and events:
Women in Leadership Edmonton
Over 80 people participated in "Women in Leadership in Tech", a day-long event produced by ITAC and WCT on September 25 in Edmonton. The program was designed to equip women in technology with ideas and strategies for expanding their leadership talents and potential.
The day delivered a stellar roster of speakers. The Honourable Christina Gray, Minister of of Labour, Alberta, kicked off the proceedings. Katherine Emberly, President, Business, Brand and Communications at Shaw, followed with a compelling case for "The X Factor: Why the World Needs More Women Leaders". Jaime Leverton, General Manager and Vice-president, Canada and APAC and Lisa Lyons, President of Kids Can Press, shared their experiences as mentors, mentees and sponsors in WCT's Mentorship and Protege programs. Jennifer Ward, Partner at Odgers Berndtson, provided a primer on how (and why) women should prepare for positions on corporate boards and then chaired a panel of directors who shared their insights as well. WCT LEA award-winner Zainul Mawji (Telus Vice-president Home Solutions and Complimentary Channels shared her career story in conversation with Lisa Carroll, Senior Vice-president, National Capital Region for CGI.
The day also featured a roundtable discussion among all participants on the best strategies to close the gender gap in ICT. And a panel on the same topic composed of all the guest speakers brought the day to a close.
Manitoba Chapter Re-Launch
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights was a particularly appropriate setting for the reboot of WCT's Manitoba chapter on October 25. Over 60 people participated in a lively program called Breaking the Barriers: Women Empowering Women. APTN's Executive Producer, News and Current Affairs, moderated two panel discussions. The first featured Lisa Meeches, Executive Producer and Founder of Eagle Vision Production Company and President of Meeches Video Productions Inc and David Baker, the CEO and Founder of Think Shift. The second discussion featured technology leaders Kathy Knight the CEO of ICTAM (the ICT association of Manitoba) and Beverlie Stuart, Associate Vice-president of Business Development and Strategic Initiatives at MITT (the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology.
WCT directors Robin Hildebrand and Skye Bridges worked with a dynamic team of volunteers - Cindy Dowse, Diane Kashton, Kim Senkiw and Jennifer Burdett - to make the chapter relaunch a resounding success.
WCT Launches in Halifax with Dee Ann Lama
The launch of the WCT Halifax chapter was a huge success, demonstrating great interest in WCT’s mission. The room was abuzz with networking during the pre-event lunch. A sold-out crowd listened to Dee Ann Lama, VP of Sales at Cisco Canada in Toronto, speak about the advancement opportunities for women in the digital age. She encouraged women to create visibility and to find a sponsor who can help facilitate progressing to the next level in their careers. The event was held at the Nova Centre and was sponsored by Harbr.