Twitter chat recap: Career-building for women in technology #CDNwomen

Updated Sept.16, 2016 at 1:00 pm EST

We wrapped another successful Twitter chat yesterday! This time around, we put women in the workplace front and center and brought awareness to issues ranging from pay equity to mentorship programs in a lively conversation. We were joined by our guest experts and leaders, Jennifer Hollett of Twitter Canada, Fawn Annan, President of ITWC and Heather Schaan of Microserve.

Even in the age of flying drones, virtual reality and robots, being a woman with a family and full-time career has its challenges in a male-centric environment. But creating a space where we’re free to discuss the hard realities of the world and workplace are exactly why we host our Twitter chats.

Thanks again to everyone who joined the conversation. Read on for some of the most memorable Tweets from the discussion, and learn more about our guest experts:


Jennifer Hollett, Head of News and Government at Twitter Canada

Jennifer Hollett, Twitter Canada

Jennifer Hollett is the Head of News and Government at Twitter Canada and a key member of Twitter’s media team. Prior to her arrival at Twitter Canada, Jennifer was an award-winning journalist, producer and digital expert, Jennifer has over a decade of experience at CBC, CTV and MuchMusic covering stories across Canada and around the world. She won a Canadian Online Publishing Award for her work hosting CBC’s G20 Street Level blog during the G20 Summit in Toronto, and was recognized by Amnesty International Canada with a Media Award for her CBC radio reporting from Israel and Palestine.

Jennifer studied public policy at Harvard University, obtaining her MPA. She co-founded a startup and developed “Super PAC App,” which debuted #1 in its category in the App Store, helping make political TV ads more transparent. More recently, Jennifer was the federal NDP candidate in University-Rosedale and an associate with the Atkinson Foundation, focused on civic technology.


Heather Schaan, vice-president, Microserve

As Microserve’s Vice President & General Manager since 2014, Heather’s primary mandate is to advance the overall direction of the company through strategic and operational leadership. Some of her key areas of focus include overall business planning, marketing, communications, talent management, strategic contract acquisition, and key initiatives.

Since joining Microserve in 2003, Heather has worked across many areas of the business including sales, service management, proposal management, IT Staffing and recruitment.

Heather is passionate in her belief that businesses have a responsibility to make a positive contribution to society, the environment, family, and access to education. She is especially proud to have helped establish and grow Microserve’s many scholarship and bursary funds with leading post-secondary institutions including Douglas College, BCIT, the University of Victoria and the University of Alberta.

Fawn Annan

Fawn Annan, president, ITWC

Fawn Annan is the president, chief marketing officer and group publisher of IT World Canada/IDG Canada. She is also partner and CMO for Haliburton’s Digital Reno, a new storytelling agency created to use the power of brand journalism to bring innovative video, podcast and written content to companies seeking to increase their online audience. Ms. Annan is Chair of the Canadian Channel Chiefs Council, sits on the Ontario Board of the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) and serves on the national board of Canadian Women in Communications and Technology (WCT). Ms. Annan has operated her own business and held senior positions in marketing and strategy with a variety of firms. In 2012 she received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award for her contribution to the IT industry.

Questions we’ll be discussing at the chat:

1. “We’ve reached equality in the workplace in Canada.” To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement? #CDNwomen

2. What are some of the unique challenges you’ve faced as a woman in tech? #CDNwomen

3. Do you have a role model that serves as an example for your career ambitions? Who is it and why? #CDNwomen

4. What role does mentorship play in career building? Have you been a mentor or a mentee? #CDNwomen

5. What can we actively do to create equitable opportunities for women in the workplace? #CDNwomen

6. Do you know if you make equal salary for equal work to your male colleagues? #CDNwomen

7. Often sexism in the workplace comes down to simple interactions. What’s the best strategy to respond in these situations? #CDNwomen

8. It’s common to hear about balancing family life when discussions about women’s careers are raised. How do you feel about this? #CDNwomen

9. What is the best thing that can be done to encourage more women to pursue careers with tech companies? #CDNwomen


10. a) Canada’s 30% club is working to see women make up at least 30% of board of director positions by 2020. #CDNwomen

b) What will it take to reach that goal? (A study put the number at 20.8% in 2014) #CDNwomen


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Mudeeha Yousaf
Mudeeha Yousaf
Seasoned writer & editor, communications professional, spiritual globetrotter and coffee addict. Mudeeha is the Marketing Writer & Community Manager for IT World Canada.

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