The awards ceremony, presented in partnership with premium sponsors Deloitte Digital, EQ Bank and Sun Life; and award category sponsor PwC, raised awareness of the importance of DEI across the tech industry, and showcased the best examples of innovation happening across Canada.
Taking place at the InterContinental Toronto Centre, this year’s Canada edition of the Women in IT series was further supported by BMO, Colliers, Crowdbotics, EY, Soroc Technology and Splunk, with event partner The IT Media Group also on hand.
With women and BAME tech talent still being underrepresented in the C-Suite, and making up 40 per cent of the total global workforce according to The World Bank, initiatives like the Women in IT Summit and Awards Series look to encourage further diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the tech sector.
15 winners were announced in total on the night, ranging from notable tech leaders, to schemes aiming to encourage diverse talent, and companies particularly succeeding in boosting DEI.
Woman of the Year: Kelley Irwin
Kelley has been instrumental in promoting and mentoring female talent across IT and finance spaces, having co-authored the award-winning book ‘Please Stay: How Women in Tech Survive and Thrive‘.
Additionally, Kelley succeeded in increasing the IT team representation of women from 17 per cent to 52 per cent at the Electrical Safety Authority, while serving as the company’s CIO.
According to awards judges, “Kelley demonstrated not only her talents in the tech industry as a senior executive, [but] her selfless dedication to women in technology, in promoting women, mentoring and book writing dedicated to female — it is impressive to see her works.
“Kelley’s accomplishments over her career and life are worth celebrating. The financial services and IT worlds are some of the most difficult, and Kelley has been able to prosper while celebrating and encouraging diversity and inclusions throughout everything she touches. A well deserved recipient of the Women of the Year of award.”
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CI/TO of the Year: Uma Gopinath
Uma Gopinath, chief information officer at Metrolinx, was awarded as the CI/TO of the Year, with her work in leading a successful IT team transformation and boosting hiring of female staff being recognised.
As well as raising women in senior management at Metrolinx to 40 per cent, Uma established the company’s Go Tech Women group, and initiated its TechTrax program to develop skills of high potential new graduates.
“It’s always amazing to see high achieving women who open the door for others as they fight through the ranks,” commented the judges.
“Not only has Uma successfully navigated the transformation challenge at Metrolinx, she’s also ensured that through her efforts the hiring and diversity of the IT organisation improves significantly.
“What stood out in her submission was her exceptional leadership in transforming several areas within the Innovation and Information Technology (I&IT) team. She successfully led a dynamic and comprehensive transformation, improving project delivery, building trust with business partners, establishing a strong cybersecurity and disaster recovery program, and optimising the team structure.”
Security Leader of the Year: Ariane Siegel
Ariane singlehandedly developed a privacy & security training module for physicians and their staff, which saw participation from around 4,000 employees, leading to further training roll-outs for the entire health care sector beyond physician practices.
Judges commented: “Ariane’s delivery and dedication in the health care space as a privacy and security trainer has made significant impacts in making Ontario a better, secured province.
“Her contribution continues to expand into virtual care. This continues to serve a pivotal role to upload security best practice at scale.”
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Women in IT Canada Awards 2023 Winners
See the full list of winners of the Women in IT Canada 2023 Awards below:
Advocate of the Year
Ally of the Year
CI/TO of the Year
Data Leader of the Year
DEI Initiative of the Year
Digital Transformation Leader of the Year
Diversity Lead of the Year
Employer of the Year
IT Team of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award
Mental Health Initiative of the Year
Next Generation Leader of the Year
Security Leader of the Year
Tech Start-Up of the Year
Samrin UX Studio
Woman of the Year
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