Kim Scaravelli is working hard to empower others in the tech sector when it comes to diversity and inclusion. The owner of Trust Communications, walked away with the Women Leaders in the Digital Economy Award last year at the 2019 Digital Diversity Awards. The award celebrates a woman in a senior-level position who has made a significant contribution to Nova Scotia’s ICT and digital technologies sector while acting as a champion of diversity in her community or organization.
Kim is a digital strategist, instructional designer, and brand builder with clients across Canada and abroad. She has designed more than 300 e-learning and blended learning programs and provides digital strategy expertise to respected brands including Sport For Life Canada, Heart & Stroke Canada and PCL Construction. She has served two terms on the National Advisory Committee of Women Business Enterprises Canada and been nominated five times for the RBC Women of Influence Awards.
In 2016, Kim founded the Canadian Diversity Initiative. This collaborative online platform presents diversity and inclusion training from respected Canadian non-profits, including the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, the Canadian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, and Safety Services Canada.
“Sharing a website significantly increases the online visibility of each course,” Kim says about the project. “Over the past year, more than half of the organizations who visit the site actually end up using multiple courses, which is fantastic. As my very wise grandmother liked to say, ‘a rising tide raises all boats’.” Her technology partner, Momentum IT Group, shared her enthusiasm for the project and helped get it up and running.
Kim says that diverse, inclusive workplaces are fundamentally necessary, not only because everyone deserves equal opportunity, but also because respectful, inclusive environments foster creativity and innovation, and lead to a stronger future. “Technology-related companies thrive when all voices are heard, diverse perspectives are welcomed, and people feel confident and inspired to work collaboratively,” she says.
According to Women in Communications and Technology, women still hold only 25% of tech roles in Canada. Moving toward a diverse workforce is just the beginning for Kim. “Truthfully, I don’t believe the tech sector has reached the ‘congratulations’ stage yet,” she explains. “Technology companies in Canada are doing an adequate job with diversity but there is still a long way to go when it comes to inclusion.”
“Diversity isn’t the end goal.” she continues, “We need to make sure that there is equal pay for equal work and make sure everyone feels respected and has an equal opportunity to participate, advance and thrive in the tech sector. Innovation thrives on diversity. When all voices are equally-heard and equally-valued, the stage is set for growth and success!”
Despite the need for continued change, Kim says she is very encouraged by the diversity she sees at tech-related events in Halifax and across Canada. She says that it’s great to look around the room and see other female faces, and that as the numbers rise, she can feel the ambitions and expectations rising as well.
“We ARE moving forward,” Kim says. “Maybe not as quickly as I would like, but it IS happening.”
“Being recognized for your efforts is always lovely,” Kim says about winning last year’s award. “The Digital Diversity Award makes me feel good because it shows that others also value diversity and inclusion, appreciate my work, and believe that I am making a positive contribution. And that recognition and support definitely motivates me!”
The 5th annual Digital Diversity Awards (DDA) are now open for nominations! If you know a diversity champion in Nova Scotia’s tech sector please submit a nomination to the 2020 DDAs today.