If you’re a woman in the tech or digital space being surrounded by men at your workplace is nothing new. But despite many successful women leaders in the industry, the conversation about gender inequality and tech has collided over the past year.
Tech’s so-called “brogrammer” culture has been cited as one of the main reasons many women leave otherwise flourishing careers. From public, headline-making affairs like #GamerGate, to live tweets of sexist remarks made by heavyweight tech execs, to a growing awareness of many women that they’re not alone in feeling somewhat uncomfortable in male-dominated workplaces - the past year has put women in tech in the spotlight.
This month, we’ve brought together an all-star panel of women working in tech, digital and media. They’ll be tackling the challenges confronting us in these industries today, the opportunities to be seized, and what we can do to create change in the industry we love (and all too often, leave).
Introducing our moderator & panelists:
Nicole Bogart (@nlynnbogart (https://twitter.com/nlynnbogart)) - Moderator
Nicole Bogart is the technology reporter for Global News' national website, based in Toronto. In addition to covering issues like consumer trends and online security for the website, Nicole also serves as an on-air tech expert for Global News shows including The Morning Show and The News at Noon (Toronto).
Lyndsay Kirkham (@HisFeministMama (http://twitter.com/HisFeministMama))
Lyndsay Kirkham is a writer, feminist activist and educator. She is raising 3 cats and a 5 year old ally. You can find her words on xoJane, Bunch Family, CBC, The Mother (UK), RoleReBoot, and Rabble.ca.
Ramona Pringle (@RamonaPringle (http://twitter.com/ramonapringle))
Ramona Pringle is an interactive director, producer and professor. She specializes in digital multi-platform production and has developed and produced work for CBC, TVO, CTV and PBS where she worked as interactive producer on Frontline’s Digital Nation. Named one of the “10 To Watch” of 2013 by entertainment trade publication, Playback, Ramona is writer, director and executive producer of Avatar Secrets (http://www.avatarsecrets.com/), a feature-length POV documentary developed for the iPad and featured in Mashable and The New York Times. Ramona is a faculty member in narrative and digital media at Ryerson University’s RTA School of Media and the editor-in-chief of rdigitaLIFE.
Dr. Laurie Petrou (@lauriepetrou (https://twitter.com/lauriepetrou))
Dr. Petrou is an artist, a writer, and associate professor at the RTA School of Media. With a background in fine art, design and fiction, Laurie continues to garner attention for her works in these areas. Her first book, Between, was a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book, and she has recently completed a novel. Laurie’s research and creative work focuses on gender, storytelling, and digital culture. In addition to presenting her work at conferences, she was recently a TEDx speaker on breaking gender conventions among children, and is continually working on projects that challenge conventions in creative ways.
Ashley Jane Lewis (@AshleyJaneLewis (http://twitter.com/AshleyJaneLewis))
Ashley Jane Lewis is a Maker and Youth Tech Educator. She spent a year and a half leading the ground-up development of Girls Learning Code, an attempt to encourage more young females to learn technological skills and help to close the gender gap in the field. She designs educational New Media content for the TIFF Bell Lightbox (including the DigiPlaySpace, 50 Years of Bond Making Gadgets Workshop, Maker March Break Camp and ongoing programming). After coming 1st in Toronto’s Startup Weekend Maker Edition and 2nd globally, Ashley and her team are working to create a product that makes reading more interactive for kids. Ashley has done Digital Media Production at TVO, is now the New Media Specialist at Ryerson University and the founder of Spark Makers, a combination of girl guides and maker culture.
Daniela Yánez (LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=1973225&authType=NAME_SEARCH&authToken=QTir&locale=en_US&trk=tyah2&trkInfo=idx%3A1-1-1%2CtarId%3A1426192526515%2Ctas%3Adaniela+yanez))
Daniela Yanez is an accomplished product manager and digital user experience professional with over 16 years of experience. Originally from Venezuela, her background in Computer Science led her into a nine-year career at Venezuela’s largest telecommunications company. She later relocated to Canada to work for an IPTV startup, where she spent five years as a product manager. For the past three years she’s been managing the roadmap and digital user experience for the website and self serve applications at Virgin Mobile Canada, where she is currently the Senior Manager, Digital User Experience.
Win free tickets to FITC Toronto:
We'll be giving away two tickets to FITC Toronto – a three-day professional celebration of the best the world has to offer in design, web development, media and innovation in creative technologies. It’s a conference that both unites and transforms the industry. We'll also be hosting the Women's Networking Lunch at FITC on April 12 for the 4th year in a row!
Pay $150 less for a ticket using code "GGTO". For complete event details and tickets visit FITC Toronto (http://www.fitc.ca/toronto) and follow on Twitter @FITC (https://twitter.com/fitc).
SYPA (Stuff You'll Probably Ask):
You: What time do the presentations start?
Us: Doors open at 6:30pm and we begin the talks at 7:00pm. Before and after the talks, there are opportunities for conversations, and the enjoyment of refreshments and hors d'oeuvres.
You: Hors d'oeuvres, you say? Is there dinner?
Us: We always organize food and beverages for everyone, be it sandwiches or hot appetizers. Come hungry.
You: Are guys allowed to come?
Us: Yes. Our group is accessible to all women and men while maintaining a strong support for women in technology.
You: Why the $10 fee?
Us: All monies collected go directly to bringing you a top tier experience with notable speakers each month. Some months we get help with sponsorship and others months we do not, so the small fee balances out over the year and ensures that the events can continue to grow. Food and refreshments are provided each month and vary based on the venue. Your $10 directly goes towards covering the costs of food, drinks, hosting of our web spaces and other costs incurred to run events. We are a non-profit group run by volunteer organizers and we do not make money through this group.
You: Are you taking pictures at the event?
Us: Please note that we may take photographs or videos of the event, including attendees, individually or in groups. These photos or videos may appear in future publications, on our website, social media channels, or other promotions. By participating in the event, attendees consent to have their photograph taken or for any video to be recorded and subsequently shown.