sp” target=”_blank”>Click here to view Part Two of our Women in the IT Channel slideshow.
You’d think that with her position at Conamex International as vice-president of business development, serving as the global chair for Women in Leadership & Technology (WIL&T), a division of International Association of Microsoft Certified Partners (IAMCP) and being the first and only female international board member at IAMCP, Elisabeth Vanderveldt came from a technology-related background. However, Vanderveldt has a good laugh when reminiscing how she got her start in the IT industry.
“I actually got into technology through modeling,” Vanderveldt revealed. “This was back in 1984 when I was a booth babe at a technology conference in Toronto. One of the after-parties from the event got mixed into another company’s which was Commodore Computers, and I met a gentleman (Robert L’Esperance) there who eventually became my husband. He introduced me to computers.”
After the two met, they started Conamex a year later. As time went on, Vanderveldt said she noticed that more women were entering the technology field. This piqued her interest and helped motivate her to take on marketing, PR and sales roles within the organization. Shortly after, she also began doing presentations and creating alliances across the country. In December 2006, Vanderveldt founded WIL&T in Canada, which is in the process of being re-branded as IWIT (Innovative Women in Technology). One year later, WIL&T became an International endeavor. In addition to this accomplishment, Vanderveldt notes that she is the first and only female international board member for IAMCP for the past three years.
Another one of her other achievements is becoming a mentor to her 17-year old daughter, Genevieve.
“Without even realizing it, I’ve become a mentor to my daughter,” she said. “At the age of 15, she was a Microsoft Certified Professional and at the age of 16, she became a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, and on top of this, she still goes to school full-time.”
Vanderveldt and her daughter recently created a Web channel, Gen Inc., which is a place for young women to get excited about technology careers and also a place for mentoring opportunities.
Follow Maxine Cheung on Twitter: @MaxineCheungCDN.