IT World Canada president Annan joins new CanWIT advisory council

Canadian Women in Technology has named 17 new members to its advisory council, including Fawn Annan, president and group publisher of ITBusiness.ca’s parent company IT World Canada.

CanWIT, a division of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA),today unveiled members of the new council who will advise the group onits programs and services. The new council is part of a move to broadenparticipation in the group from younger women and forge new ties withorganizations like Startup Canada and U.S.-based SpringboardEnterprises. The former is a non-profit exploring ways to supportCanadian startups, while the latter helps female entrepreneurs gainaccess to financing.

IT World Canada president FawnAnnan, at right, with former CanWIT chair Cindy Gordon.

CanWIT emphasized the push to appeal to a new generation of youngfemales in its announcement by stating that new advisory council“members range from both Gen Y and executive level demographics.” Newappointees falling into that age niche include Startup Canada founderVictoria Lennox and Sarah Prevette, founder and CEO ofSprouter/BetaKit.

The appointment is just the latest milestone in Annan’s longstandinginvolvement in leadership activities within the Canadian IT sector. Shealso currently sits on the Ontario board of the Information TechnologyAssociation of Canada, the iCanada advisory board, and works on twostrategic committees at the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

“I’m very honoured to have been chosen from such a talented array offemale leaders in our sector,” Annan said. “There is a lot of workrequired to improve our overall standing in the world community,especially given recent studies clearly showing an even greater needfor knowledge workers. We must tap into the talent base in our countryand begin to shape our youngest generation of girls to embrace thesciences to ensure we can man all the future jobs this country willrequire.”

Michael Atkins, chair of IT World Canada Inc., congratulated Annan onher appointment.
“IT World Canada has been at the centre of technology development andnews in Canada for more than 20 years and we’re delighted to have thechance to play a role in helping women benefit from and exploittechnology. No one is better placed than our president Fawn Anna togive a helping hand,” Atkins said.

In her own lengthy career, Annan has forged her way to the leadershipranks as a female within Canada’s media and IT industries. Educated at Boston’s Babson College and York University in Toronto,Annan was the CEO of Communications 2000 Inc. (which produced the OpenSystems shows) from 1985 to 1992. In 1993 she was contracted to createa telesales force for Hewlett Packard’s Panacom Division.

She joined IT World Canada in 1995 as general manager of executiveprograms and became publisher of its government portfolio in 1997.Annan was named vendor of the year in 1998 by the Municipal InformationSystems Association for her groundbreaking work in bringing threelevels of government together to discuss citizen-centered services.

Annan became chief strategy officer of IT World Canada in 2008 and wasappointed president and group publisher in 2010, becoming one of onlythree female presidents within International Data Group’s (IDG) globalpublishing network. (IT World Canada is the Canadian affiliate of IDG,which owns or partners with media properties in 97 countries.)

In her current role at IT World Canada, Annan oversees operations atITBusiness.ca, IT World Canada, Computer Dealer News, DirectionInformatique, ComputerWorld Canada and Canadian CIO.

A complete list of the new advisory council members at CanWIT can befound here.

Christine WongChristineWong is a Staff Writer at ITBusiness.ca and CDN. E-mail her at cwong@itbusiness.ca,connect on Google+,follow her on Twitter,and join in the conversation on the IT BusinessFacebook Page.
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