Women in Tech: the Future of Canadian Technology 

​​​​​​​Read Time : 2 minutes 

In honour of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, RBC and TechTO recently hosted an afternoon of conversation on the 2021 theme #ChooseToChallenge. The virtual gathering set out to celebrate innovation led by women in the Canadian tech sector and to challenge participants to be as inclusive, accessible and supportive as possible in order to drive change in the industry.

The event featured a fireside chat with Tamar Huggins, Founder and CEO of Tech Spark Canada, a technology school dedicated to providing equitable tech education for students of colour, girls and teachers. Tamar spoke about the importance of women supporting women, how to be an impactful ally and amplify the voices of BIPOC people, as well as men’s role in support of women. The event also included breakout sessions with some of RBC’s most innovative female technologists. 

Here are some key learnings from the day: 

Support one another – forgo competitiveness and focus on supporting and uplifting other women, especially in tech. 

Fireside chat with Tamar Huggins and Kim Prado, Global Head of Client Insight, Banking & Digital Channels Technology, RBC

You don’t need to downplay femininity or change who you are to succeed in tech – stay true to yourself, and change the expectations instead.

Session on Challenging the Canadian Tech Industry to be a Better Place for Women with Caren Morrison, VP, Distributed Hosting Operations & I&TS Infrastructure, RBC and Bruce Ross, Group Head, Technology and Operations, RBC 

Men in leadership can better support women in tech by being intentional about supporting every woman on their team, create space and time to amplify the voices of women technologists, and provide a platform to showcase and celebrate their work.

Fireside chat with Tamar Huggins and Kim Prado, Global Head of Client Insight, Banking & Digital Channels Technology, RBC

Think about which skills you want to add to your portfolio, and look for opportunities to build them both in and outside of your current role. 

Session on Career Management Tactics with Christine Silva, Senior Director, T&O Employee Experiences, RBC 

Don’t let “Imposter Syndrome” hold you back – being nervous about a new role or opportunity demonstrates that you are pushing and challenging yourself. It does not mean that you aren’t qualified or that you don’t have the potential. 

Session on Pivoting into Tech with Pennie Santiago, Senior Director, Finance IT Delivery, RBC

Learn, test and adapt agile practices – they are increasingly effective as technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Any small steps will help – the agile methodology has a lot of different applications, and you don’t need to hit all of the principles at once to practice agile well. 

Session on Agile in Practice with Shohreh Mouri, VP, Quality Engineering, RBC 

In order to be confident, you need to be a good at what you do. Challenge yourself to truly learn and hone your skills, and put yourself in challenging situations to build resiliency.  

Session on Enabling the Next Generation of Women Leaders with Meera Rao, Vice President, Enterprise Architecture, RBC 

Think like an entrepreneur – even in a large organization, an innovative mindset is crucial to succeed in tech. 

Session on Entrepreneurship to Corporate Innovation with Cheesan Chew, Chief Operations Officer, RBC Ventures

For more information on TechTO and their upcoming news and talks, visit techto.org.