Ottawa WIT e-news Chapter Forum Newsletter November/December 2007
November 23, 2007

3 | November 2007

Farewell 2007, Hello 2008

We hope that you will enjoy reading our November/December newsletter which continues our current focus on mentoring. I also encourage you to follow this link to the recently announced research results conducted by the CATA WIT Forum and University of Ottawa Telfer School of Management examining the under-representation of women in the advanced technology sector. CATA WIT Ottawa will be engaged in activities in 2008 to raise awareness of the study's results and to support efforts to develop more pro-active strategies to address the gender imbalance.

The US$5 billion purchase by IBM of Cognos has stirred a simmering debate on the ability of Ottawa-based companies to compete globally. CATA WIT Ottawa is focused on providing unique learning opportunities to the talented and ambitious tech women in our region which will help them to meet the challenges posed by a global business environment. Please take a few minutes to complete our short survey which will allow us to plan a spring professional development event containing the right balance of practical information imparted by technology leaders and other experts and the welcoming networking for which CATA WIT Ottawa is known.

As we close out the year, we would like to thank our e-newsletter readers, event speakers and sponsors for support of CATA WIT Ottawa in 2007. And a huge THANK YOU to all of our hard-working volunteers! We wish all of you a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season and look forward to seeing you in 2008.

Best regards,

Naomi Morisawa De Koven
Chair, Ottawa Chapter - CATA WIT Forum

"Given the importance of the technology sector to Canadian job creation, inventive activity and the commercial production of new economic knowledge - these results indicate that study of "best practices" within industry, between industry and across other nations is warranted as Canada seeks to remain a leading industrialized nation. It is also time to move beyond complacent arguments about "the business case" for retaining and advancing talented women and to recognize that gender barriers in the advanced technology sector are aligned with Canada's economic welfare."

From Gender Challenges of Women in the Canadian Advanced Technology Sector by Barbara Orser, Allan Riding, Michele Dathan and Joanne Stanley. To obtain a copy of the research report please direct your request to either CATA WIT (Cathi Malette) or the Telfer School of Management (Christian Coulombe at and include CATA WIT in the header.

Here's a couple of tech phrases which were highlighted in a recent Digital Urban blog:

Cloud computing - a popular phrase that is shorthand for applications that were developed to be rich Internet applications that run on the Internet (or "cloud"). In the cloud computing paradigm, software that is traditionally installed on personal computers is shifted or extended to be accessible via the Internet. These "cloud applications" or "cloud apps" utilize massive data centers and powerful servers that host web applications and web services. They can be accessed by anyone with a suitable Internet connection and a standard web browser Wikipedia

Social Shaping of Technology - According to Williams and Edge, "Central to Social Shaping of Technology (SST) is the concept that there are `choices' (though not necessarily conscious choices) inherent in both the design of individual artifacts and systems, and in the direction or trajectory of innovation programs." If technology does not emerge from the unfolding of a predetermined logic or a single determinant, then innovation is a 'garden of forking paths'. Different routes are available, potentially leading to different technological outcomes. Significantly, these choices could have differing implications for society and for particular social groups.Wikipedia

(Women in Technology) Forum is a community network designed to boost women's participation and advancement in the high-growth technology sector.

Our mission is to help women in technology companies advance in their careers and succeed as entrepreneurs through mentoring, networking, professional development and advocacy.

Our vision is to be Canada's premier "go to" forum that is committed to the advancement of women in technology under the CATAAlliance innovation umbrella.

For more information about CATAAlliance WIT Forum please visit

CATA WIT Ottawa Chapter Partners


Morisawa De Koven Professional Corporation

Business Development Bank of Canada

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Thoughts from Sandra Saric, CATA WIT Forum's Mentorship Champion

Sandra Saric Over the past ten years, Sandra Saric's excitement for Information Technology has renewed every day. In her current role at the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), a not-for-profit sector council that strives to create a strong, prepared and highly educated Canadian ICT industry and workforce, Sandra has been active in the promotion of diversity in Canada's ICT workforce, particularly in the recruitment and advancement of both women in ICT and internationally educated ICT professionals.

CATA WIT Forum applauds Sandra for her tremendous efforts as Mentorship Champion to launch the Ottawa Mentorship Pillar. We asked Sandra to share with us her personal thoughts on the importance of being a mentor and being mentored.

Sandra Saric: "I have moments where life stands still, where all of life's answers seem at my fingertips but I have no idea how I reached this questionless calm. When I think back, it was often with the support of a mentor. Throughout our lives, there are significant individuals who have played a role in our decisions, our careers and our growth, sometimes as listeners, supporters, or advisors and other times as influencers and instigators. For me it started with my parents, the endless cheerleaders, who dispelled the idea of gender roles and opened my world to infinite possibility. Next, it was my grade eight teacher, who encouraged me to break the timid mold that peers around had set for me. Along the way, my mentors have shaped, defused, encouraged, and reinforced my choices and my personal and professional growth.

As a mentor, I try to do the same. Being a mentor is even more rewarding than having a mentor. To know through a smile or silent observation that you've made the road a little less bumpy in someone's path of life elicits no words, but it's definitely a moment where life stands still yet again."

CATAWIT has launched its Ottawa Mentorship Pillar to

  • Encourage innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship
  • Promote talents and strengths
  • Cultivate and develop leaders
  • Provide a safe and supportive environment respecting diversity
  • Inspire the achievement of one's own professional goals

If you are interested in becoming a CATAWIT mentor or protégé, please contact Sandra Saric at

Upcoming Ottawa WIT Events

Our second annual Women, Wine and WIT Reception will take place on November 27th at Terence Robert Gallery, 4:30 pm to 7:00 p.m., 551 Sussex Drive, Ottawa (between Rideau and Murray Streets). Take a break from the usual and join us to view the works of established and emerging Canadian contemporary artists, hear from our featured speaker Ann Max of Organized to the Max Ltd, and meet and mingle with other CATA WIT Forum members and their guests. See details


We really want to hear from you! Planning is underway for a professional development event in Spring 2008. Please click here to complete our short survey.

You may also be interested to learn that CATA has a team integrating conversational networks such as Facebook, Plaxo and LinkedIn, into the CATA B2B Platform as part of expanding CATA’s business networking and outreach capabilities. Some of the largest work networks on Facebook ( now include: Ernst & Young, Sun Microsystems, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Shell Oil, Bank One, and National Health Service. Please join existing CATA WIT members on Facebook at You can add your comments and thoughts to topics such as: Are Women Under-represented in the High Tech Sector? Current Facebook members can subscribe directly to the CATA WIT Facebook group.