Digital Nova Scotia celebrated diversity in tech with its 4th annual Digital Diversity Awards earlier this week.
The Digital Diversity Awards, which were hosted in partnership with the Centre for Women in Business, recognizes female leaders and champions of diversity in the ICT and digital tech community in Nova Scotia.
“Since the awards program was incepted four years ago, twelve female leaders and diversity champions have been celebrated for their contributions in Nova Scotia and beyond, and two of those winners went on to be recognized nationally. Women still account for less than 25 per cent of our industry, which is why our awards continue to be relevant and important for our sector, community and overall economy,” says Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, president and chief executive officer of Digital Nova Scotia. “Diversity benefits everyone and is an economic driver of competitiveness. Our winners have proven themselves to be vocal, impactful and proactive in changing the narrative around gender diversity and women in tech. As our global industry continues to rapidly grow, we need to continue to embrace diversity from both a societal and business perspective. A diverse workforce provides a wealth of knowledge and perspectives, and thereby accelerates and improves problem-solving. It is well known that there are many reports and studies confirming the increase in profits and return of investment through diversity. Most importantly, both diversity and inclusion will allow us to tackle our sector’s largest challenge – access to talent.”
Selected by a panel of industry members, the award winners were as follows:
Power IT Up: Next Generation Leadership – Eilidh Lindsay-Sinclair
Eilidh is the Director of Operations at CloudKettle; a consultancy that specializes in optimizing revenue operations for B2B SaaS companies. While at CloudKettle, Eilidh has helped the company grow from two people to over a dozen employees, championed the company to become a 1 per cent company, and built a recruitment program which includes a blind screening process for interview candidates. Eilidh is passionate about advancing opportunities for women in technology and developing stronger equity for women in STEM fields. Through her role at CloudKettle, Eilidh founded and now co-chairs Digital Skills for Women, a learning cohort aimed at increasing digital literacy. Eilidh is also a Techsploration mentor and spends much of her free time meeting and connecting with women looking to enter the IT/technology field.
“I’m thrilled and honored to be the winner of Digital Nova Scotia’s Power IT Up: Next Generation Leadership Award! A huge thank you to my co-chair Emily Gorman, and CloudKettle for making Digital Skills for Women what it is today. This past year has been incredibly rewarding, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to encourage women to step outside their comfort zones and pursue knowledge and opportunities seemingly beyond their reach. Having fallen into the technology space myself, I see and have felt some of the barriers women face when working in male-dominated sectors. The smart, dedicated, and passionate women I’ve have met through DS4W inspire me and make me hopeful for the future.”
-Eilidh Lindsay-Sinclair, director of operations at CloudKettle
Women Leaders in the Digital Economy – Kim Scaravelli
Kim Scaravelli is a digital strategist, content creator, instructional designer, and owner of Trust Communications Inc. Working with corporations, non-profits, governments, and educational institutions across Canada, she has designed more than 300 online learning programs, and she provides digital strategy expertise to respected brands like Sport For Life Canada, Heart & Stroke Canada, and PCL Construction, to name a few. In 2016, Kim founded The Canadian Diversity Initiative, a social enterprise platform that presents online diversity and inclusion training from respected Canadian non-profits, including the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, the Canadian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, and Safety Services Canada.
“I’m honoured to receive this award from Digital Nova Scotia. It is wonderful to be recognized for my work and to join the ranks of past award recipients; all of whom have pursued their passions while empowering others. Innovation thrives on diversity. When all voices are equally heard and equally valued, the stage is set for growth and success!”
-Kim Scaravelli, owner of Trust Communications
Diversity Champion of the Year – Dalhousie University Faculty of Computer Science
Founded in 1997, Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Computer Science is the premier research institution in Information Technology in Atlantic Canada. Their mission is to develop in their students the deep technical, problem-solving and leadership skills needed to create – or leverage – new computing technologies to empower people, organizations and society. Through their WeAreAllCS initiative, the Faculty of Computer Science united leaders from education, industry, government and the student body to increase the number of incoming female students by 144 per cent in 2018.
“We feel honoured to receive recognition for the hard work made by our team in the Faculty of Computer Science with our WeAreAllCS campaign. In 2016 we had the bold idea that, with effort, we could double the number of women entering Computer Science in September 2018. Making such a substantive change did not happen overnight. Over the last two years, we developed new curriculum and course delivery methods, created new scholarship opportunities and peer mentorship programs, and hosted a national conference for women in technology. Our campaign addressed a complex challenge that required careful coordination alongside partners in industry and Nova Scotia’s K-12 system. We still have a long way to go to see a true gender balance in our classrooms and winning this Diversity Champion award further gives our WeAreAllCS campaign a platform to not only show our support for women in technology but to also inspire other institutions and industries to prioritize the attraction of female talent in the tech sector.”
-Andrew Rau-Chaplin, dean of Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Computer Science
*The award winner writeups were submitted by Digital Nova Scotia.