First Canadian Pride in IT event attracts top speakers

Lily Zheng, Diversity and Inclusion Strategist

Author and diversity and inclusion strategist Lily Zheng will kick off ITWC’s inaugural LGBTQ2S+ Voices in IT event during Pride Week on June 23.

Zheng, author of Gender Ambiguity in the Workplace and a  regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, will talk about corporate pride and the non-binary revolution.

“We are delighted to have a keynote by someone from the community recognized throughout North America for their commitment to tackling diversity and inclusion in a no-nonsense fashion,” says Fawn Annan, ITWC CEO and a driving force behind the event.

LGBTQ2S+ Voice in IT, June 23: Let me be part of that!

 “The presentation will set the tone for the 100-minute event exploring and celebrating the IT accomplishments and talent in Canada’s LGBTQ2S+ community.”

Beyond Zheng, Canada’s first LGBTQ2S+ IT-focused conference includes senior leader panels, presentations, stories, and live networking opportunities.


The first panel of the afternoon will focus on how to build a diverse team and includes Hillary Hartley, Chief Data and Digital Officer, Province of Ontario, Ross Garrett, Head of Product at VW Automotive Cloud, Jennifer Williams, Senior Director, Information Security, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, and Sandeep Nair,  Manager of Business Operations, Pride at Work Canada.

The second panel will focus on lessons from senior leaders and how their experience can help others struggling with the challenge of being their authentic selves in the workplace. Offering up their stories are Rachel Clark, Sr. Information Security Specialist – Security Analytics, TD, Jose Nacif-Drah, IT Director, Centerra Gold, Sachin Aggarwal, CEO Think Research, and Zoe Knox, VP of Engineering, The OpenNMS Group. ITWC CIO Jim Love will moderate.

The audience can choose to attend one of two breakout sessions: How to be an Ally led by Microsoft Canada or Fostering a Trans-positive Space, led by event supporter the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP).

And there is more

There will be individual stories, a presentation by QueerTech founders Naoufel Testaouni and Andy Saldana, a live quiz sponsored by WatServ, and other surprises. The event host is Cynthia Fortlage, a former Canadian business executive and board member turned gender identity coach. The CIO Association of Canada is a conference sponsor.

For more information, check on the conference event page.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Steve Proctor
Steve Proctor
Steve is Vice-President Marketing and Communication with ITWC. He spent 25 years in progressively senior positions as a journalist and editor with the Halifax Herald, with his final ten years as Business Editor. He has published two books and his freelance articles have appeared in national and regional magazines. He has led social media and communication efforts for two crowdfunding ventures and written and directed numerous dinner theatres for charitable endeavours.

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