Sem­i­nar con­nects women with tech

The Barrie Examiner - - NEWS - IAN MCINROY

Help­ing women con­nect with jobs in the city’s tech­nol­ogy sec­tor was the fo­cus of a meet­ing in Bar­rie on Tues­day night.

The city’s In­vest Bar­rie depart­ment was a part­ner in the event along with Women in Tech World as part of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s twom­onth long cross-Canada Driv­ing WinTech tour.

WinTech is work­ing on a re­port about the cur­rent state of women in tech in­dus­tries across Canada, ac­cord­ing to co-founder and CEO Ali­cia Close.

“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),” she said adding the per­cent­age of women work­ing in the field has barely changed in al­most 30 years.

The city’s di­rec­tor of cre­ative econ­omy, Karen Dubeau, said there is a need to pro­mote tech in­dus­tries in Bar­rie and that the city has done the leg work to make it hap­pen.

“We want to grow a vi­brant com­mu­nity of tech­nol­ogy-based firms at all stages of growth, from start up to es­tab­lished, and build­ing the con­nec­tions be­tween them,” she said. “That’s crit­i­cal to at­tract­ing more women into the tech com­mu­nity.”

With more than 30 stops across Canada, the Driv­ing WinTech tour was a good fit for Bar­rie, Dubeau said. “The com­mu­nity is grow­ing very quickly. It’s close enough to Toronto, but far enough away from Toronto to be its own unique com­mu­nity.”

“Bar­rie is get­ting a name as a good place for en­trepreneurs to set up shop,” Dubeau added. “That’s part and par­cel with the work be­ing done by the city, by Geor­gian Col­lege and a num­ber of our other part­ners like the Geor­gian An­gels Net­work.”

The net­work is com­prised of in­di­vid­u­als who pool their money to make early-stage seed in­vest­ments in start-ups.

“The com­pa­nies we’ve been work­ing with over the last few years are really start­ing to make a name for them­selves,” she said. “We’re all pros­per­ous and suc­cess­ful if our tech com­mu­nity in Bar­rie grows.

“The key is to have a net­work of peers and men­tors, male or fe­male, and build­ing as broad a net­work of sup­port as pos­si­ble,” Dubeau said adding it’s all about at­ti­tude.

“If you be­lieve in your prod­uct and you be­lieve in what you’re do­ing, you will find a way for­ward.”

For more information, visit www. wom­enin­tech­world.com. im­cin­roy@post­media.com

Dubeau

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