It Starts with One Campaign Commitment – Take the Pledge!

 

“We don’t have to be told to be bold” – Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia

 

DSC_7197Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, President and CEO of Digital Nova Scotia (DNS), was recognized last week at an awards ceremony in Ottawa as one of fifteen recipients of the National Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) Annual Awards. Ulrike won the award in the category of “Innovator.” The event was sold-out with over 450 attendees. Canada’s ICT sector was well represented with companies such as Cisco, Bell Media, and Microsoft in attendance. The annual Gala is a testament to the timeliness of the topic surrounding women in technology and the importance of encouraging more women to work and succeed in our male-dominated sector.

Many wonder why the topic so prevalent? The simple answer: because it matters. The ICT sector is one that’s built on innovative ideas, solving problems, and creating efficiency. Study after study has highlighted the business case for greater gender diversity in corporate Canada and within the male-dominated ICT sector, in particular. The bottom-line: companies led by women or with an increased number of diverse leaders out-perform those without diverse leadership. Our sector is less innovative when we are not inclusive of women and diverse perspectives.

As Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia concluded in her acceptance speech, “we don’t have to be told to be bold.” The “wavemakers” recognized at the WCT Awards Gala continue to lead ambitiously, they are driving our digital economy and are unabashedly proud of it. They should be. According to Joanne Stanley, Executive Director of WCT, the awards program aims to create a ripple effect, letting the achievements of WCT Award winners roll out to inspire more like them. That was certainly the case this year as Dr. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Status of Women announced the launch of a new campaign from the Government of Canada: “It Starts with One – Be Her Champion.”

Attendees at last week’s Awards Gala in Ottawa were provided the first opportunity to learn more about the new #BeHerChampion initiative. The focus of the campaign is to reach out to successful leaders in all fields to make a difference in a woman’s career by being her champion. Ulrike, like many of her peers, has taken the official #BeHerChampion pledge. Already a mentor with Fusion, ConnectNS, CEED, ISANS, NSWIT, and Entrepreneurs3.0, Ulrike has a passion for supporting youth leadership and development.

Will you take the pledge? Join the #BeHerChampion initiative at: http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/initiatives/swo-mesr/index-en.html

 

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Photo credit: Alan Dean Photography

Winners of the WCT Annual Awards pose for a photo at the Awards Gala in Ottawa on April 22nd, 2015. A complete list of the award winners can be viewed here.