B.C. Tech Summit highlights gender diversity as well as innovation
The recent B.C. Tech Summit may have been as much about pushing gender diversity in the province’s growing innovation sector as it was about new technologies.
Several speakers, ranging from Premier Christy Clark to senior Microsoft executives to local entrepreneurs, delivered a message at last week’s summit that the male-dominated sector represents an opportunity to create both gender and ethnic diversity.
During her keynote address, Clark reiterated the province’s plan to teach coding in B.C. schools, and noted the presence of two female industry executives as evidence of Lower Mainland’s evolving tech demographic.
“We want to make it a lot easier for tech companies — in the world and in this country — to be able to hire and make sure that your companies are entirely gender equal,” she said while highlighting the achievements of both 82-year-old UBC mechanical engineering professor emerita Martha Salcudean and a 16-year-old coder who developed the summit’s SnapChat filter.
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