(Photo via Mirza Noormohamed)
Last month, B2BeeMatch attended the Women in IT Summit and Award Series in Toronto, Ontario. We listened to and learned from a diverse array of women and allies on how they’re pushing for gender equity across technology industries. Today, we’re giving an additional platform to the celebrated speakers and rousing conversations that happened at the summit.
What is the Women in IT Summit and Award Series?
Originating in London, England, the Women in IT Series works to dissolve barriers in tech and push for diversity and inclusion. Presented by DiversityQ in association with Information Age, the Women in IT Series now has a global reach with events everywhere from Europe to Asia to North America. Their informative series showcases industry role models and advocates alongside allies to help break down digital barriers and construct an inclusive future in tech. B2BeeMatch attended the Canadian edition of their global series in October, and we were thrilled to hear from all the incredible speakers.
(Photo via B2BeeMatch team)
What did the speakers say at the Women in IT Summit and Awards, Canada Edition?
Members of our B2BeeMatch team were lucky to be involved and active at the event, and what we heard genuinely inspired us. We’ll run you through several highlights, and then we want to give shout-outs to the inspiring advocates who spoke at the summit. These speakers are all changing the tech landscape, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for their names!
Between panels and workshops, we heard great advice for employees and employers who want to improve their company’s diversity and equity:
- Julia M. Satov, the Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion for Litera, reminded attendees that you need to care for your wellbeing and not just your job performance. When you’re in a workplace that drains you dry, as Satvov said, “It is not your job to set yourself on fire to keep a company warm.”
- Nasheen Liu, Partner and SVP at the IT Media Group, spoke on tech industry leaders who like to talk but aren’t willing to take real action: “Unconscious bias takes conscious effort to correct.”
- During their live discussion, KC Goundiam, CEO and founder of B2BeeMatch and Red Dot Digital Inc, and Cheryl Cole, the editor of DiversityQ, confronted the common microaggression used to deny racial identities and how they affect our social systems:
Cheryl:“What do you say to people who say they don’t see color?”
KC: “Go to your optometrist. [...] If you don’t see color, then it’s because you can afford not to.”
Following that sentiment, KC Goundiam spoke on what she believes to be true allyship: “To me, allyship is someone who sees you fall and actually calls an ambulance.”
- Sophia Dhrolia, the Director of Diversity and Inclusion and Employee Experience at the Toronto Region Board of Trade, questioned the continued preference shown for respecting and celebrating certain holidays over others: “Why should my holidays be any less important than yours?”
Not just confronting biases but actively correcting them can make huge waves across society—even if you start by only making ripples. These speakers represent the power of collective action. A strong, diverse workforce in the tech industry means a better future built for everyone.
Outside of these highlights, plenty more admirable women and allies spoke at the Women in IT Summit and Awards, Canada Edition. We think you should keep an eye on these rising stars!
(Photo via Kelly Mazur.)
Who else attended the Women in IT Summit and Awards, Canada edition?
- -Janet Lin, VP of Lending and Payments Technology at Equitable Bank.
- -Randy Singh, Engineering Manager at Wealthsimple.
- -Angela Mondou, President and CEO of TECHNATION.
- -Ainsley D’Mello, SVP of Global Infrastructure and Platforms at CI Financial.
- -Elain Oei, VP of Digital Products and Engineering at Cineplex.
- -Elena Sinelnikova, Founder and CEO of CryptoChicks and Co-Founder of Metis.
- -Michelle Joliat, SVP of Product and Delivery at Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
- -Melissa Carvalho, VP of Global Cyber Security at RBC.
- -Melissa Penton, Modern Workplace Lead at OMERS.
- -Tasneem Damen, Co-Founder and CIO of Connected Canadians.
- -Ted Maulucci, President of SmartONE Solution Inc.
- -Tania Ferreira, Portfolio Director and Head of Event Content Production at the Women in IT Global Series.
- -Rachel Goodman, Director of Client Success and Sales Operations at Marketing CoPilot.
- -Maddie Yule, Social Media Manager of Marketing CoPilot and Creative Director of On the Danforth Magazine.
- -Marie Wiese, President and Founder of Marketing CoPilot and Podcast Host of Women Tech Talk.
- -Marvin Wong, VP at Secure Energy.
- -Vanessa Vakharia, Founder of The Math Guru.
- -Adriana Zubiri, VP of Data Centers and Operational Resiliency at RBC.
- And many more!
(Photo via Women in IT Summit and Awards Series.)
We’d love to hear from you about your perspective on the summit if you attended—and even if you couldn’t make it, tell us about your current role and how you’re supporting a diverse and equitable future!