OTTAWA – Two leading women technology executives were recognized last night (May 17) for their roles in expanding the frontiers of Canada’s technology industry.
Cindy Gordon, CEO and Founder of SalesChoice, and Fawn Annan, President of IT World Canada, were presented the Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation during last night’s Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) Innovation Gala.
The prestigious award is presented to women who have shown outstanding entrepreneurship, as well as technological innovation and leadership.
During the awards ceremony, Gordon was lauded as a business leader, a high energy community volunteer and advocate for advancing the stature of technology industries in Canada. She has mentored women from coast to coast, inspiring them to pursue careers in STEM.
“Her organization of a successful lobby campaign to legalize equity crowdfunding brought together hundreds of experts together to change the legislation in Canada,” said CATA CEO John Reid. “But that is but one her accomplishments. Cindy brings leadership, insight and strategic thinking into play in all of her initiatives.”
Annan, head of the nation’s largest content house serving the technology industry, was praised for her relentless commitment to improving Canada’s innovation environment.
“Fawn is a positive role model for women who continually demonstrates that with drive and passion, there are no problems that can’t be overcome – even in situations where traditionally women have not been able to demonstrate strength,” said Reid.
Sara Kirke is considered by many to be North America’s first entrepreneur. Sara Kirke arrived in Newfoundland in 1638 with her husband David Kirke, who was soon recalled to England. Sara, however, continued to reside in Avalon, and conducted business as usual from the Pool Plantation. Lady Kirke was a remarkable individual as she managed affairs at the Pool Plantation and became one of the most successful merchants on the English Shore — and was almost certainly North America’s first and foremost woman entrepreneur.
“Winning the Sara Kirke Award is a legacy moment in my career as a technology leader and innovator,” said Gordon after the ceremony. “I am honoured to be walking in the footsteps of entrepreneurial women who have paved the pathways before me.”
However, with less than one per cent of technology companies having a female board director and less than three per cent of venture capital going to projects headed by women, there is still lots of work to be done, she said.
Annan echoed the sentiment “As a woman entrepreneur in the communications industry, specializing in technology, I am thrilled to be a recipient of the Sara Kirke Award. I will take advantage of the honour by further advocating executive parity at all levels of the Canadian business landscape.”
Although there are an increasing number of role models for women in business, she said shattering the glass ceiling in the boardrooms ceiling of FP1000 companies is critical.
Gordon received the award from Stephen McIntyre, Partner, E&Y. Dr. Gordon is CEO and Founder of SalesChoice, a Cognitive Sciences AI-based sales analytics platform and Data Sciences company. She is recognized internationally for her innovation thought leadership with over 14 books in the market. She has an extensive community track record and is a Board Director /Advisor with Corent Technology, TouchTV, Kula and CoursePeer. She is also a recipient of the Governor’s Generals Award for Innovation.
Annan received her award from Tina Sarellas, Regional President, Ontario North & East at RBC. She is the President and CMO of IT World Canada. She is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Award in recognition of her significant contributions that have aided the progress of society and civilization, throughout the Commonwealth.
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ABOUT CATA/ SARA KIRKE AWARD
SalesChoice is a Cognitive Sciences: AI sales analytics performance platform currently serving marquee brands in US and Canada with three established AI products that produce unique models in predictive and prescriptive sales analytics to increase top line revenue growth. Their partners include Salesforce, IBM Watson, Accenture (#1 Salesforce SI partner globally) and RelationEdge (a Gold certified Salesforce SI mid-market partner). SalesChoice specializes in helping companies predict, prioritize and pace, using AI for competitive advantage.
ITWC is Canada’s largest creator of content for the technology sector. It operates several websites and publishes digital editions of three magazines. It also works with industry to develop stand-alone or fully integrated campaigns that build brands and connect customers with their audience.