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