October 8th Meetup

Confidence & Public Speaking

Allies gathered this month to discuss Public Speaking - how this skill affects our careers, bias around different communication attributes and some tips & resources for improving. Whether you are addressing a room full of strangers - or a board room of peers, “Glossophobia” (fear of public speaking) is something the entire group agreed to experiencing at some point.

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We welcomed first time attendee, Engineer & Procurement Specialist Jasmine Majdpour to share her expertise & experiences on this topic. Jasmine is the President of the Liberty Leaders Chapter for Toastmasters International - a massive worldwide organization that has helped millions achieve their goals.

She is all too familiar with the uneven playing field between men and women, having experienced it first hand in varying forms. Jasmine grew up Libya, and moved to Saudi Arabia at a young age. Surrounded by a culture in which women were stripped of many basic rights such as driving, travelling, voting. At university, she studied engineering - a field that has traditionally been very male dominated, although in recent history there has been significant effort to engage women in engineering and sciences. Now at work, again she is in a field in which she is a minority. As she navigates through these experiences, she explains she is learning how to display her strengths and has found that being female has served as an advantage. “Diversity is important and learning how to leverage qualities that are inherently female to your advantage is so key, especially in a society in which we are so frequently being told to act more like men.”

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We further explored this concept in an article from Gender & the Economy - Addressing the Gender Confidence Gap. Discussing how natural feminine attributes can actually be seen as positive. Ally David Machotka pointed out the differences he noted even during the meetup how women engage differently than their male counterparts - Men being traditionally competitive communicators and women being more on the cooperative side.

A large take away from this month’s meetup was FEEDBACK. Jasmine shared one of the major benefits of attending Toastmasters, either as a member or guest, was the valuable feedback & how it is delivered to someone trying to improve their public speaking skills. Seeking feedback from trusted individuals interested in your development, being aware of your “filler words” & finding your tone can make a huge difference on how your presentation lands.

Special thank you to  Emily Morris  for her major contributions to AIT since the beginning!

Special thank you to Emily Morris for her major contributions to AIT since the beginning!

October also marks our 12th consecutive Allies in Tech Meetup! We cannot thank our sponsors Beanfield Metroconnect & Regus enough for their allyship in helping making these events possible - along with all the attendees, speakers, volunteers & organizers for their vital and crucial contributions shaping this group into such a positive & necessary resource for the community.

Hoping to see everyone next month as we celebrate 1 full year of Allies in Tech!

Krista Sayer AIT

September 10th Meetup

Access & Resources

This month we discussed some of the challenges faced when trying to grow your career or business. As Allies we champion for inclusivity & equality but find one of the biggest road blocks is meeting the criteria for one of the most valuable resources: Funding.

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Frequent attendee Cherryl Bird volunteered to help lead our discussion by sharing her knowledge & experiences. Cherryl is the publisher and executive editor of coremagazines.com, a digital publication that connects people around the world on local cultural issues that inspire meaningful change. Through the independently-owned publication, she seeks to highlight voices and viewpoints often missing from mainstream media. She built Core Magazines from its foundation as a creative outlet for her writing. Her stories have reached a high of 1,500 views per day and through syndication, each article has a viewing potential of over 80 million people per month. Thanks to her collaboration with CNW, a newswire service with a broad, global distribution network that feeds into broadcast, print and digital media outlets.

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“Know what you don’t know.” There are actually SO many online & in-person places offering support & skill building at little or no cost to women and other minorities. These organizations understand the hurdles under represented groups face when it comes to funding & self development. The problem is, most of us don’t even know they exist - or where to look. Additionally, statistics have shown that unless a woman meets all - or almost all, of the criteria for a job or program they won’t pursue it. Quite often there are exceptions or modifications that can be made to ensure everyone has access to the resources they need.

There are some excellent local resources - Check them out!

AWS - Training - FREE - https://aws.amazon.com/training/

Codeademy  https://www.codecademy.com

Parkdale Centre for Innovation - https://www.parkdaleinnovates.org/

General Assembly https://generalassemb.ly/

 Khan Academy - https://www.khanacademy.org/

Bridge School - https://bridgeschool.io/

And of course Allies in Tech & our amazing sponsors Beanfield Metroconnect & Regus!

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Couldn’t attend this month? No worries - Allies in Tech meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month!

Save the date - Tuesday, October 8th!

August 13th Meetup

Discussing Leadership with Stephanie Fontaine

This month Allies gathered to discuss #leadership with Stephanie Fontaine. We exchanged ideas & stories on the journey of leadership & the many forms it takes, acknowledging a leader isn’t necessarily the individual to start something, but the first ally to support them.

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Stephanie shared her expertise as an industry leader in Supplier Diversity. How she is leading by doing despite the barriers she has faced along the way - many of us related closely to.

She kept the conversation going, providing insight on ways she is opening doors for diversity by the work she is doing with Teal Book, WBE Canada, Move the Dial & more.

We explored the different positive & negative attributes used to describe male & female leaders & assessed the biases found in an article published in the Harvard Business Review last year on “The Different Words We Use to Describe Male & Female Leaders

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As history has proven, many leaders don’t always see or benefit from their efforts - but pave the way for those to come. Frequent attendee Lillian Yee - who recently started a new chapter in leadership with the launch of her new concept business Liberty Dental Hygiene, proudly shared that her daughter’s Systems & Design Engineering class of 2021 at The University of Waterloo is comprised of 60% female students for the first time ever! This is a great example of how statistics are changing and a reminder to celebrate the positives.

 
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One of the main take away’s from this month’s meet up was how these issues are not always top of mind. First time attendee & advocate for Women in Tech Lara Manqui (All the way from Amsterdam!) shared - until she looked back and reflected on the negative experiences as a minority in her former Tech field, she realized it was what ultimately lead to her stepping away - despite her interest & ability. This resonated unanimously with the entire group, as Lillian Yee described it as “1000 paper cuts” - how it often isn’t just one incident, but many little things over time we are unaware are wearing us down. This is why showing up is so important - to be mindful, conscious, aware - & Dare to Lead.

Krista Sayer - AIT

July 16th Meetup

Amplification & Awareness

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We discussed Amplification as a strategy female staffers adopted during the Obama Administration: "When a woman made a key point, other women would repeat it, giving credit to its author. This forced the men in the room to recognize the contribution — and denied them the chance to claim the idea as their own." Suzanne Tamayo.

Making sure the best ideas are heard

This month, Libby Garg rocked an engaging and informative discussion on speaking up & how to be an ally for others who may not have the loudest voice in the room.

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Knee Capping - A concept you may have seen shared around social media here and there, almost everyone seemed to relate to & hold themselves accountable for.

We also explored meeting structure & moderator format as suggested by Shane Gunter of Beanfield Metroconnect, and how adjusting these formats and communication channels can help everyone be heard & meet their potential.

We shared stories of the barriers we sometimes face as a minority in the room that prevent us from contributing, or having our ideas misinterpreted, edited or miscredited.

 
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This group continues to prove to be a safe and supportive environment for anyone looking to improve, understand - or just vent! By facilitating very honest and sincere discussions with actionable tools.  One take away specifically we would like to share is that AIT is always open to topic suggestions, speaking or moderating volunteers or even just resource sharing!  We have many channels besides our meetings to have your voice heard - whether you didn’t feel comfortable contributing or thought of it later - please feel free to  contact us!

This group continues to prove to be a safe and supportive environment for anyone looking to improve, understand - or just vent! By facilitating very honest and sincere discussions with actionable tools.

One take away specifically we would like to share is that AIT is always open to topic suggestions, speaking or moderating volunteers or even just resource sharing!

We have many channels besides our meetings to have your voice heard - whether you didn’t feel comfortable contributing or thought of it later - please feel free to contact us!

Thank you to Beanfield Metroconnect & Regus for you continued support!

Krista Sayer - AIT

June 11th, 2019 Meetup

Mentoring, Coaching & Sponsorship - oh my, Allies!

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The Allies table was FULL of support & positive vibes this month as we discussed coaching & mentoring and the importance of sponsorship for women & other minorities and how it relates to Allyship.

Beyond grateful to have some expert opinions & insight from local Coaches & Consultants: Lianne Krakauer of Krakauer Coaching & Consulting, Nadia Tenorio of Nadia Tenorio Coaching Solutions, Dianna Byers of Rotman Commerce U of T and Lauralee Sheehan of Digital 55 - along with everyone who was able to attend & contribute making moderating this meetup an effortless and engaging experience!

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We explored the different levels of these relationships, how it can benefit both parties and the unspoken etiquette of growing & maintaining them - from both the perspective of seeking guidance & providing it. We also discussed how to ask by giving & “Micro-sponsorship” - more than just coffee.

Special thank you to Regus & Beanfield Metroconnect for their continued support!

Looking forward to next month!

Krista Sayer - AIT

May 14th, 2019 Meetup

This month's Spring Meetup marked the 5th gathering of Allies in Tech.

We re-visited past topics & shared opportunities, successes & challenges. We discussed trending topics & how to show up - looking beyond mentorship & coffee & focusing on sponsorship, leadership & accountability.

Always great to hear what people are reading on these topics & putting into action along with their personal experiences.

As always thank you to those who were able to attend and contribute & special thanks to Beanfield Metroconnect & Regus for their support!

Original Post  https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/activity:6535169562067951616/    Julie Kaye - Allies in Tech

April 9th, 2019 Meetup

“I” Before “D” - Why Inclusion is the Key to Diversity

This month we had a full house as we “sprung” into inclusion & diversity with expert Annemarie Shrouder! She lead an interactive discussion sharing how Inclusion is the Key to Diversity in her signature methodology: The ABC’s of Inclusion. Leaving us with many valuable takeaways, some new perspectives & above all - a genuine commitment to diversity.

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“All Space Camp - No Spacesuits”

This month’s moderator Emily Morris kicked off our meetup in a big way. Emily touched on a recent event where NASA scrapped its first all-female spacewalk (for now) because apparently there aren't enough spacesuits that fit.

Emily & Annemarie kept the conversation going while attendees asked questions & shared stories. Thank you to all those able to attend & contribute - with special thanks to The Regus Group in LibertyVillage for providing the space & Beanfield Metroconnect for sponsoring our lunch!


March 12th, 2019 Meetup

Allies in Tech Organizer and this month’s moderator  Tammy Yiu  kicks off our meeting with Amanada Small.

Allies in Tech Organizer and this month’s moderator Tammy Yiu kicks off our meeting with Amanada Small.

March 12th marked the 5th Allies in Tech Meetup since it’s inception in November 2018 - and how we’ve grown!

This month we focused on Inclusive Recruitment and Networking -with special guest speaker Amanda Small of Jibestream. Amanda shared her extensive experience and HR insight - along with data, stats and actionable takeaways not only from a recruitment/HR perspective but as well as a potential candidate or employee navigating the workforce as minority or under represented group.

Amanda shares some shocking stats & discusses Intersectionality: a concept often used in critical theories to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another.

Amanda shares some shocking stats & discusses Intersectionality: a concept often used in critical theories to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another.


This month also marked the launch of many of our social media platforms! Please like, join, share & help us keep the conversation going! @AlliesinTech

If you were unable to attend this month - a large portion of Amanda’s presentation was streamed LIVE on our facebook page! You can also watch it here —->

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Thank you to all those who were able to attend and contribute to this month’s meeting! And as always a special thank you to our Sponsors Beanfield Metro Connect & Regus - Liberty Village!

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Krista Sayer - AIT

February 12th Meet Up

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Here’s to another Allies in Tech high value event in Liberty Village, and to many more!

The conversation with Pansy Lee and the attendees was rich in valuable takeaways:

- The privilege walk video was very powerful to illustrate lack of awareness and unconscious bias

- How to not just talk about diversity, but actually practice inclusion

- How to not just say ‘all are welcome’, but create and nurture a space where we go out of our ways to invite people to participate

- How to become relatable by sharing experiences and organizing inclusive social interactions. - and so much more!

Stay tuned for more to come with co-founder Julie Kaye, and co organizers Tammy Yiu Coyne and Krista Sayer!

Thank you Beanfield Metroconnect for the yummy lunch, and Regus for the space! Thank you to the attendees who braved the weather to contribute to the conversation.

#AlliesinTech #libertyvillage #womenintech #allyship

Anne Flamant - Dare & Defy Strategic Consulting

Original post: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6501214352606052352

January 8th 2019 Meeting

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Happy New Year!

We kicked off our first meeting of 2019 with a focus on what it means to be an ally and actionable steps we can take to achieve this - not only for women in tech, but for all minorities in our community. This was our first meeting post the launch of our site AlliesInTech.ca - created & managed by Julie Kaye & Krista Sayer of TBD Telecom By Design Inc. It was also our first official gathering under the name Allies in Tech! Although our group is currently comprised of those who identify as women, we chose “Allies” specifically to include all those interested in getting involved with our movement.

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As we enter into 2019, set goals & take action - we need to first review and understand where we are at. Anne Flamant, who has been instrumental in establishing online communication forums for our contributors keep the conversations going between meetings, brought some stats to the table in a report published by Hackerearth for 2018: “Irrespective of the size of the organization, women were still under-represented in technology teams with most of the respondents quoting that only one-third (proportion ranging from 0% to 30%) of the team was represented by women. This indicates that under-representation of women is a serious problem even in larger organizations”

We took some time to revisit Molly Q. Ford’s 4 Actionable Steps to Becoming an Ally, presented at the #MoveTheDialSummit in Toronto last November, and shared ways we intend to Ask, Listen, Show up & Speak Up for each other in 2019.

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We also welcomed some new faces and new ideas! Ask & Give – a practice recommended by Nathalie Crosbie that involves asking for a particular need or want & in turn offering something you can provide to others. There is an entire Women in Digital community devoted to this, however the concept can be easily practiced within any group or organization to promote allyship.

Some other topics covered included: Recruiting bias and coding algorithms. How do we get more women in the door? What is preventing this? Some strategies and examples can be found at www.hiremorewomenintech.com. You will also find this link & other tools under our Resources section.

These are proving to be very honest and sincere discussions with actionable tools. 

Cheers to a new year of becoming better allies, changing stats & #MovingTheDial! - As Libby Garg quoted, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

Please check out our Event Calendar for details on our next meeting in February 2019!

Krista Sayer - AIT