WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HIGHLIGHT WOMEN IN TECH?
In Canada, we pride ourselves on pursuing diverse workforces with equal opportunity for everyone. However, women continue to be vastly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). STEM career salaries pay on average $15,000 more than non-STEM counterparts. Therefore, the resounding lack of women in this field is a significant factor in the national wage gap, which indicates that as of 2022, there is a 16 percent difference between the average salaries of men and women. The gender pay gap impacts racialized women more severely, who make 33 percent less than white men.
According to Statistics Canada, women make up just 23 percent of the Canadian tech industry. Representation is an important step in achieving equal opportunities; women and girls are more likely to consider a career in computer sciences if they see people like them in these roles. As the largest tech conference to date, Collision is committed to changing the gender disparity in tech by highlighting influential women in the field. In 2021, 44 percent of Collision attendees were female. With this year being their first in-person conference since 2019, Collision is featuring 34 female speakers who have made significant contributions to the tech field.
The event will also host several women-led start-ups who will have the opportunity to network amongst a diverse community of tech giants. Here are profiles on five of the amazing women in tech from around the world speaking at Collision this year.
Maelle Gavet is the CEO of TechStars, a worldwide tech network that aims to make tech and business more accessible for everyone. Maelle achieved a Bachelor of Russian Language and Literature form Paris-Sorbonne University in 2000 and a master’s from Sciences Pro University in 2002. Maelle is an advocate for empathetic tech, a movement in favour of bringing humanity and technology closer. Maelle wrote about this topic in her New York Times bestseller Trampled by Unicorns. Now, Maelle was named as one of Fortune’s 40 under 40 and is a leading voice in tech creativity.
Constance Wang is the COO of FTX, a FinTech exchange that helps crypto currency traders find the best markets. Constance achieved a Bachelor of Finance from the University of Singapore in 2016. After completing a 4-year honours degree in just 3 years, Constance worked in private banking at Credit Suisse before moving into the tech sphere. As the COO of FTX, Constance is responsible for ensuring user growth, securing partnerships, marketing and servicing clients.
Eynat Guez is the Co-founder of Papaya Global, a payroll management platform. Eynat combined her two passions – technology and HR – to create a new system of payroll management that uses AI to provide more transparency with payroll information. Eynat achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and Political Science from The Open University of Israel in 2006. For 10 years, Eynat has volunteered as a mentor with a program called “Cracking the Glass Ceiling: Promoting Young Women to Science Education,” which aims to provide a better future for young girls in Israel.
Vanessa Ford is the Co-founder and COO of Kukua, a company that creates educational and empowering cartoons, games and music for children. Vanessa is the producer of Kukua’s popular children’s series Super Sema. Vanessa formerly worked as an Executive Creative Producer at the film studio formerly known as the Weinstein Company before starting Kukua. Vanessa has appeared on the cover of Forbes Africa among influential women leading conversations on diversity and inclusion.
Priyanka is the Co-founder and CEO of Evvy, a biotechnology start-up that aims to build a better understanding of the female body. Evvy has empowered AFAB people (assigned female at birth) by creating an at-home vaginal microbiome test, designed to help people test themselves for imbalances. Evvy states that about 30 percent of AFAB people experience vaginal imbalances each year, which can lead to significant health risks. Priyanka achieved a Bachelor of Science from Stanford University and started Evvy with her friend Laine Bruzek.
IN THE TORONTO REGION
Although women in tech continue to be underrepresented globally, the Toronto Region is proud of the number of women procuring the skills they desire and reaching new heights in their career goals. With 18 postsecondary institutions in the Toronto Region, there is more opportunity for women to find the program that suits their individual strengths. Across the province, 48 percent of the enrollment in STEM programs are women. Companies flock to the Toronto Region to have access to the highly skilled women in STEM who will bring innovation and creativity to their business.
Toronto Global supported Mentimeter, a presentation software company, in their expansion to the Toronto Region last year. During this process, General Manager Johanna Aronsson was impressed by the incredible diversity in the Toronto Region talent pool.
Johanna has been working with Mentimeter for six years and has held the position of General Manager for nearly two. Women who are leaders in the tech industry have the opportunity to hire and network with other talented women in the Toronto Region.
Women around the world are using their knowledge and unique experiences to empower, innovate and make change in the world of tech. These women will be sharing their stories at Collision Conference, June 20 to 23 2022, inspiring other women in tech to thrive in their roles.
To learn more about women in tech at Collision, visit their website.