February 11, 2020

Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science and International Women’s Day

We are happy we have two days dedicated to celebrating Women and Girls in Science and all Women. Inclusive leadership, fully tapping into the inspiration, creative energy, intelligence and drive for purposeful excellence, and creating a culture of belonging (essential to elevating teams to their very best), means intention and awareness EVERY day.

CATA joins Sarah Paquet, Executive VP Shared Services Canada, and Sonya Shorey, VP Strategy, Comms and Marketing, Invest Ottawa in amplifying women contributing to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in our workplaces and communities. CATA tapped women doing outstanding and innovative work across STEM in Canada. In the days between International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11 and International Women’s Day on March 8, these remarkable talents are featured on CATA’s Twitter and LinkedIn.

Follow along:
@CATAAlliance
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/37239/

DAY 1

Sowmya Rajasekaran Ottawa Program Lead, Lighthouse Labs

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Always stay curious, never allow anyone to tell you what career you should be getting into, and always dabble in different things to find your passion. Push to make the “impossible”, possible!

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

Between 14-18

DAY 2

Pooja Chitnis Head of Marketing, Driftscape

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Conquering the unknown will always seem difficult, impossible even. But you will never truly know till you try. So don’t be shy to put yourself out there. Persistence, being bold and confidence are key to your success.

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

While I was always curious about technology and loved to explore things like coding, integrations, website development, etc. I had no idea that I would be interested in STEM. Things changed when I got into an artificial intelligence company at the age of 27. Since then I have grown to head the marketing department of a tech start-up in Canada. And in my spare time, I support CATA and other companies with similar interests in their initiatives to support women in STEM.

DAY 3

Julia Slanina Founder & CEO, Treehouse Medical

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Avoid being rigid and fixed on a vision that you think is perfect. Success stems (no pun intended) from malleability, flexibility and the experiences and opportunities in your life. The biggest disservice you can do for yourself is that when you lose, you don’t move on and remain in a runt about what you should have done better. Find a solution, ask for help, ask questions, and make a change so that you can succeed and move forward.

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

At around age 25, after my masters and working for several years I realized I wanted a career that could help people directly and make an impact in their lives.

DAY 4

Shannon Parker Detective/Constable, Saskatoon Police Service

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Be Fearless! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t. Go for it!

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

30 Years old

DAY 5

Jaston Louie Hong Stockall Biomedical Mechanical Engineering Student, Carleton University

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Take action whenever there’s curiosity.

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

13

DAY 6

Fal Dieso Head of Brand and Supplier Marketing, Allied Electronics and Automation

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Speak up and ask more questions.

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

21

DAY 7

Keren Moynihan CEO / Co-Founder, Boss Insights

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

There’s so much waiting for you.

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

STEM found me, not the other way around.

DAY 8

Sheila Harris Head of Business Transformation, Farmers Edge

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Be bold and be brave.

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

16

DAY 9

Cara Wolf Founder and CEO, Ammolite Analytx

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Don’t take everything so seriously.

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

9

DAY 10

Thusha Agampodi Engineering Manager, Magnet Forensics

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Have courage to try things you might not be good at. Don’t decide against things you haven’t tried. Don’t take failure personally, ie. “you failed at that thing but it’s great you tried”, not “you’re a failure”.

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

8-10 ish

DAY 11

Caterina Rizzi Co-founder, Breather // Founder & CEO, Hotline

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

“Be the CEO your parents want you to marry” or “Be the girl who just went for it”.

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

I didn’t need to know that I wanted the career to have the career.

DAY 12

Temanuia Noble IT Services Manager, Société Générale

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Done is better than perfect.

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

14

DAY 13

Naomi Morisawa De Koven Managing Lawyer, Ottawa, MDK Business Law

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Remember to savour life’s sweetest moments, unabashed and without regret, when they happen. Also, your mind can linger too long in thinking of the past or planning for the future. You live in the here and now, so make sure you are totally present for the special people in your life.

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

15 years old, with many pivots along the way.

DAY 14

Dimple Thomas Line Manager (Customer Engagement and Support), Ericsson Canada, Inc.

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Opportunities are everywhere. Carpe Diem!

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

6 years old – wanted to become a pilot.

DAY 15

Emily Boucher Manager, Communications and Strategic Partnerships, Techsploration

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Stop doubting yourself!

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

I never intended to work in a STEM-related career — it found me. I love that Techsploration empowers young women to explore careers in STEM and skilled trades — it’s a program I wish I had access to when I was younger!

DAY 16

Usha Srinivasan Chief of Staff, Elevate

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Believe in yourself.

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

Quite early perhaps in Grade 4.

DAY 17

Kim Caves Founder, Kim Caves & Associates

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Try everything ( legal and ethical), never be afraid to make a mistake – you will always learn! Never believe anyone that tells you it isn’t possible! Most of all, be confident, be heard — even if it makes you feel really uncomfortable.

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

21 years old. I landed a job at TELUS and the technology was growing so rapidly I wanted to take the ride along with them – wireless data, IOT, Digital Transformation, CyberSecurity! It was so exciting I couldn’t see myself doing anything else! Now I’m helping technology companies with tools and resources to expand their businesses from start-up.

DAY 18

Vanessa Kanu CFO, Mitel

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Your parents kind of know what they’re talking about (go figure)!

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

It wasn’t a conscious decision. A degree in economics & finance can take you to any industry, and I landed in technology. So glad that I did! It also shows that there are many ways to end up in STEM.

DAY 19

Mary T. McDowell President and CEO, Mitel

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

If you can survive middle school as a nerd girl, you’re ready to take on the world!

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

23

DAY 20

Colleen Patterson Senior Research Associate, Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Q

What life and or career advice would you give your 13 year old self?

A

Fearlessly follow your interests

Q

At what age did you know you wanted a career in STEM?

A

16