Tag Archives: women in ID

DIACC Women in Identity: Cosanna Preston-Idedia

DIACC is hosting a series of spotlights showcasing our amazing female DIACC members in the digital identity space, noting the importance of diversity. These spotlights will be regularly socialized through DIACC’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels as well as our monthly member newsletters.

If you’re a DIACC member and would like us to feature your spotlight, contact us today to learn more!

What has your career journey looked like?

My journey has been far from a straight line. I have a BA in political science from the University of Alberta and a masters in African Studies from the University of Oxford. Since finishing my education, I’ve worked in multiple sectors and countries. I started in student journalism, shifted to the non-profit start-up space working on community development with a social justice lens and dabbled in academia for a bit. Eventually, I settled into public relations in Nigeria for 4+ years. Upon moving back to Canada, I spent time in customer experience strategy for a power utility before joining the Saskatchewan government, first as the director for digital citizen services and now for digital ID.

When you were 20 years old, what was your dream job and why?

I’ve never quite had a dream job but I always knew I wanted to make a positive impact in people’s lives and somehow do my part in making the world a better place. That’s why I am so drawn to the public sector.


As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

I’m extremely fortunate to say that I’ve had very few challenges on account of my gender identity. That said, I’ve grown up in professional environments where the gender balance is more prevalent. I have heard enough horrendous stories from other female leaders to know that my experience is not the norm. My barriers have more come from age, especially in my earlier years of leadership. As a young leader people consistently assumed I knew less and could do less. We often undervalue our youth as a society and this is something I consistently remind myself of as I work with the next generation of youth.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

Work life balance is sacred to me, as is my respect for deadlines, and those two things can often come into conflict. My general rules for myself and my teams:

  • Work to outcomes. Be clear on your deliverables and get the job done. But in doing so, set boundaries and prioritize.
  • Ask for help in doing this if you need it. We only have 8 hours in a day and weekends and evenings should be exceptions, not the expectation.
  • Take your holidays! Payouts and carrying over should be exceptions not the norm.

How can more women be encouraged to pursue careers in the digital ID/tech space?

Tech doesn’t have to be intimidating (look at my background!) and tech also doesn’t have to mean being a developer. But I do believe that, love it or hate it, tech will continue to grow ever more central to our society. Dig into your passion and spend the time to understand how technology is impacting, shaping and changing that space. If the actual technical details aren’t for you, look to the concepts, outcomes, and impacts that technology has to offer and dig in there.

What are some strategies you have learned to help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

Lift people up. Lift people up. Lift people up.

This goes for all voices that need more prominence in our organizations, not just women. Take the time on projects, in meetings etc., to give space to those who may not naturally take it themselves. This can come in many forms:

  • End meetings with a round table.
  • Work with a teammate or colleague to help them find professional outlets to develop their passion.
  • Be a mentor and a coach.
  • Offer public praise and private – and always constructive feedback.
  • If you have a hand in assigning resources, prioritize diversity. Diverse perspectives always benefit an organization and provides opportunities to lift people up.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Women are a very diverse group and our challenges are not homogenous. For those like me, who have faced very little discrimination on account of their gender identity, the challenge will continue to be to recognize and use that privilege to widen the conversation and create space, not just for other women but for all those along the gender spectrum. We cannot become complacent that equality for some women is equal to equality for all.

What advice would you give to young women entering the field?

Find your passion. Hone your strengths. Dig into the details, stay outcomes focused and curious, and always, always stay open to feedback.

Cosanna Preston-Idedia is the Director of Digital Identity at the Government of Saskatchewan

Follow Cosanna on Twitter at @cosanna and LinkedIn

DIACC Women in Identity: Malini Srinivasan

DIACC is hosting a series of spotlights showcasing our amazing female DIACC members in the digital identity space, noting the importance of diversity. These spotlights will be regularly socialized through DIACC’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels as well as our monthly member newsletters.

If you’re a DIACC member and would like us to feature your spotlight, contact us today to learn more!

What has your career journey looked like?

During my 15 year of career, I’ve had opportunities to work for leading firms including Wall Street institutions. My career is shaped by experiences with Aon/Hewitt, Wachovia/Wells Fargo, Fannie Mae, Bank of Tokyo, and Brown Brothers Harriman. I’ve played different roles including Software Engineering, Business Analysis, and Product Owner. Following my passion towards entrepreneurship, bootstrapped blockchain startup vlinder a couple of years ago. It’s been an exciting journey – startup life has given me exponential learning.

When you were 20 years old, what was your dream job and why?

Technology was gaining significant prominence back then and I wanted to perform a high-tech job (in Silicon Valley) leading to a CIO type role.

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

Honestly, I have been lucky not to face any significant barrier through my carrier. Personally, I believe such barriers are in the mind.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

The key is to set family time aside and not think about work during that time. In this connected world, sometimes it is hard to decouple work (e.g. looking at emails, chat channels, linkedIn from smart phone). However, with discipline and drawing the line, balance can be achieved.

How can more women be encouraged to pursue careers in the digital ID/tech space?

Tech cannot be painted blue or pink. Tech is for the entire population, pick your leader, inspiration, and follow them. If I have to stress a particular point, taking cue from the previous question, good work/life balance can be achieved in Digital ID/Tech space (given that most of the work can be performed remotely).

What are some strategies you have learned to help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

Sometimes unconscious bias may exist – it’s important to think objectively and not about why a subset of the population cannot go up the ladder. It’s also important not to pay attention to historical metrics or even how many women are in executive positions in a given organization which is not a reflection of the future that can be achieved.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

I would rather focus on the opportunity ahead of us – enterprises and the world now focus on equality and even have goals on the number of women leaders on the board. Some early indicators linking profitability and number of women leaders on the board are published.

What advice would you give to young women entering the field?

Pursue the dream, strive for excellence, and success will follow.

Malini Srinivasan is the Founder of Vlinder.

DIACC Women in Identity: Sophie Leroux

DIACC is hosting a series of spotlights showcasing our amazing female DIACC members in the digital identity space, noting the importance of diversity. These spotlights will be regularly socialized through DIACC’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels as well as our monthly member newsletters.

If you’re a DIACC member and would like us to feature your spotlight, contact us today to learn more!

What has your career journey looked like?

From traditional marketing to full on business digital transformation.

When you were 20 years old, what was your dream job and why?

Be a news reporter; now I get to change the world from the business perspective.

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

The lack of openness to a different management style.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

As best as I can! By putting me first.

How can more women be encouraged to pursue careers in the digital ID/tech space?

By understanding that digital IS business and that it requires all types of profile.

What are some strategies you have learned to help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

Enabling ideas, nurturing respect, promoting success.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Widen your playing field. This is all about juggling ambiguity.

Sophie Leroux is the Solutions Manager at Desjardins.

DIACC Women in Identity: Shelley Bryen

DIACC is hosting a series of spotlights showcasing our amazing female DIACC members in the digital identity space, noting the importance of diversity. These spotlights will be regularly socialized through DIACC’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels as well as our monthly member newsletters.

If you’re a DIACC member and would like us to feature your spotlight, contact us today to learn more!

How long have you worked in your sector, and in your current position? 

I have been in the tech industry for over 25 years in a variety of companies providing every type of software solution from graphic signage design tools, to Operating Systems, to 3D instrumentation clusters for avionics, to remote identity and document verification.  I joined WorldReach Software, in the role of Director of Marketing, 11 years ago. I’ve loved every minute of it!

WorldReach, for those who have never heard of us, uses innovative processes and technology to verify you are who you say you are. We enable highly trusted digital services through our systems for government (borders, immigration, passport and consular) for digital on-boarding, safe and seamless travel, and digital Identity verification and corroboration.

We are probably best known for the core digital channel solution behind the UK Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme. This smartphone based digital ID Verification (IDV) and enrolment capability has become the world’s most successful immigration programme of its kind with over 5 million completed applications to date!

What has your career journey looked like? Have you always worked in the private sector? 

My career path has been so varied my general joke is “You can’t get here from there”. My educational background is in Fine Art. In fact, I have a painting in the Parliament Buildings. The short answer (which is not actually that short) is Fine Art led to Freelance Illustration, which led to Graphic Design, which led to Marketing Management in a software company. This opened me up to a much more technical path – first to Strategic Alliance Management for the Embedded OS market, then to Industry Segment Management, then to Product Management, then finally back to what I would term “Technical Marketing”.

I have always worked in the private sector, however for more than the last decade, I have been working exclusively in B2G. This has meant that one of my primary goals today is to understand all the challenges, wants, needs and technical requirements of the public sector. WorldReach clients are Governments from all over the world: Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Border Agencies, but also any department with a citizen service role. Therefore, I spend the majority of my time researching Government digital service delivery program requirements worldwide.

When you were twenty years old, what was your dream job, and why? 

Given my artistic DNA, it likely will not be that surprising to hear that my dream job would have been to be a conservator in a prominent museum – someone who spends all their days cleaning, repairing, protecting and conserving incredible works of art. That would have been the perfect combination of my love of art, art history and my annoyingly anal-retentive detail-oriented skillset. Either that or I would have loved life as a professional soccer player! Even in my early twenties, I did not envision a long career in technology.

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

Externally – being taken seriously. As a woman in the male-dominated tech field over the last quarter of a century, one often hears this. For me personally, also being an openly gay woman adds an additional nuance to climbing the corporate ladder.  I have unfortunately experienced homophobia from co-workers and management a few times in a few companies in the past, but I am happy to report that that appears to be in the rear view mirror for me. Still, it is a reminder of why we all need legal protections against discrimination in the work place and employment strategies focussed on diversity and inclusion.

Internally – overcoming the nagging doubt that you do not “belong in the room where it happens”.  No matter how much experience you have in a certain industry, women tend towards the infamous “imposter syndrome”. Once you push that aside – and maybe that just comes with growing older and wiser – it really does become far less of a barrier. Belief in oneself goes along way to harnessing your own potential.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

Early in my career, I had to step away and become the main support for my incredibly ill child. As a mother, of course, that’s would you do, and what you want to do – there was no question. However, it also helps put things into perspective. There are always things in ones’ life that are more important than work. My son is now 33 years old and cancer-free, thankfully.

In the fast moving, highly competitive tech world, one’s work life can easily take over every waking hour – especially now, during COVID, when many of us are working from home. The boundaries can get very fuzzy. Nevertheless, it is still incredibly important to ensure you understand the crucial role of self-care. If you are exhausted, if you work around the clock, every aspect of your life will suffer – and that includes work.

I personally need physical activity. A long walk with my wife, friends and loved ones, working out in my basement gym, playing with my dogs – it all helps this balance ‘dance’.

How can more women be encouraged to pursue careers in the tech space? 

Women can do anything, but sometimes we need permission to dream big. I think the media can play a big role in this as well. Girls and women need to see people just like themselves succeeding. They need to hear the ups and downs of real-world tech careers. They need to think, “If she can do it, maybe I can too!” Let’s just celebrate all the incredible women in tech much more often!

I also think more needs to be done in our educational system. More female guest speakers to come into classes (virtually or physically) and share their journeys, especially in STEM. Perhaps more mentor initiatives. I know I would have loved to participate in anything that showcased successful women particularly in traditionally male-dominated jobs. To show how fascinating and rewarding delving into technology can really be. To imagine yourself having an effect on the systems that are being built now and in the future. To take pride in creating, in innovating. It took me far too long to discover this on my own.

What are some strategies you have learned to help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

Do not be afraid to take up space. Do your homework and use your voice confidently. Be respectful and open, but do not apologize for everything.

A very good friend of mine gave me some great advice when I was in middle Management struggling to climb. She reminded me “perception is reality”. In the corporate world, you can be a wonderful capable worker, quite talented, but if the people in charge do not see it or know it, you will remain in the very same place but just with an ever-increasing workload. So – Volunteer for projects that will “stretch you”, that will require you to grow and learn, that will be seen. Be helpful and kind to all your colleagues, contacts and teammates. Go out of your way to lessen their workload, to be a person of value. Soon, it will be others that will be singing your praises – you will not have to!

If Senior Management do not value you in title, responsibilities and compensation, do not be afraid to leave and find it elsewhere. Have confidence in your own value.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

As the next generation of women begin to earn their way into more and more powerful positions, it will be easy to forget how hard the fight has historically been for the generation before them. Look back and learn. Look to the other successful women in the industry. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

One of the biggest challenges these women will face is to recognize when their own drive and competitiveness becomes destructive. You cannot sustain being a “superwoman”. We are all human…and this where work/live balance is so important.

What advice would you give to young women entering the field?

Use your own natural talents to the best of your abilities; apply it to your passion and cultivated it. Whether that is being detail-oriented, analytical, a problem solver, purely creative, a team player or combinations of all of them. Know there is value in it all.

There is a misconception that there is only one type of person in STEM. An engineer, a scientist, a developer, a mathematician – only a linear thinker. Women often bring a different perspective, a different way of thinking and solving problems. A creativity. This variation, this diversity of thought is a necessity to produce the best most inclusive results – and the most interesting people!

Shelley Bryen is the Director of Marketing at WorldReach Software

DIACC Women in Identity: Amber Scott

DIACC is hosting a series of spotlights showcasing our amazing female DIACC members in the digital identity space, noting the importance of diversity. These spotlights will be regularly socialized through DIACC’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels as well as our monthly member newsletters.

If you’re a DIACC member and would like us to feature your spotlight, contact us today to learn more!

How long have you worked in your sector, and in your current position?

I’ve been the CEO of Outlier since founding the company in 2013.

What has your career journey looked like? Have you always worked in the private sector?

I’ve worked as an employee for very large companies, including banks, investment firms and insurers as well as for consulting firms, but always in the private sector. It’s a running joke on our team that I might “retire” into a public policy or academic role one day.

When you were twenty years old, what was your dream job, and why?

When I was 20 years old my dream job was probably to be a world-famous DJ…little did I know that I was about to fall into a compliance role and fall in love with unravelling the puzzle that is Canadian regulation!

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

I think that it took me a long time to truly be authentic in my work roles because authenticity means vulnerability. On my last day as a banker, one of my colleagues and I shared a cab to the airport and he told me that although I was very smart and well-liked, I was always holding myself back and this lack of authenticity would hurt me in the long run. I don’t think that I really understood what he meant until I founded Outlier. At that point, I had the freedom to create the type of environment that I wanted to work in, and to keep building on that vision. It’s something that I’m always working on.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

Anything that I would say here would be disingenuous. I don’t really have a “balance” in the traditional sense, and I’m ok with that. Don’t get me wrong, I cook and workout and do self-care things, but I’ve given up on the idea that there needs to be some sort of clean lines between my work and home lives. My colleagues are some of my best friends. It helps that I love what I do and get really excited about the intellectual challenges. If I didn’t have friends in the industry, who would I have philosophical conversations about ideal policy outcomes with?

How can more women be encouraged to pursue careers in the tech space?

I think it starts early. I’ve bought a few Cubettos (tactile coding toys) for bright young girls in my life. I try to take the time to talk to women, especially those starting out in their careers and to be honest about my experiences. I want my nieces (and my nephews) to choose a career that they’re passionate about. Gender shouldn’t be a barrier to that.

I’m also trying to practice radical honesty with my male colleagues because it helps to build awareness. For instance, a male CEO that unreservedly admire told me that he took a nap on a bench in a quiet spot in a Toronto park between meetings, and I told him how envious I felt that he could do that without really worrying about safety. It led to a really great discussion about some of the hidden differences that exist for men and women in business travel.

What are some strategies you have learned to help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

One of the funny things that I’ve noticed running a compliance and tech meetup is that 100% of the people that reach out to me to ask to speak are white men. It’s not that the foremost experts in these fields are all white men. It’s not that the best or most knowledgeable speakers are all white men. It’s that white men have been trained to be very comfortable approaching someone that they’ve never met and asking for stage time. I try to make sure that I’m reaching outside of my usual network and beyond those that are volunteering. I try to keep track of people that I’ve spoken to that have really interesting insights that I want to see on stage, on committees, and in leadership roles. I try not to shy away from the conversations about what we can do better – because we can always do better.

The other thing that I’ve become very cognizant of after working with someone that abused alcohol, power, and people is my responsibility as a leader to ensure the safety of those around me. We’re in a new era where creeps that try to take advantage of their position are starting to be held to account, but there is still a lot of bad behavior going unchecked. When a known offender is at an event, I will warn organizers and suggest measures to ensure the safety of participants. This is uncomfortable but better than the alternative.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

I think that the challenge is always the same – building the best possible world with the tools at our disposal. Someone once told my mom that she would never have a VP title (despite actually doing the VP job for 6 months) because she was a woman. He said it to her face, and there was no recourse. By the time I was the same age, it would be career suicide for someone to say that to my face. By the time my nieces are my age, I’d love for us to be so evolved that no one would even think it.

What advice would you give to young women entering the field?

Sometimes being the only person like you in the room is power. When there are 8 men talking in the same way, I can embrace the fact that my voice is different and able to cut through the din…and when this is the case, it’s also likely that everyone “like you” is going to be judged based on what you say. It’s a lot of responsibility in a sense, and a lot of work but the results are worth the effort. You’ve got this.

Amber D. Scott is the Founder, CEO & Chief AML Ninja at Outlier Solutions Inc.

DIACC Women in Identity: Sarah Kirk-Douglas

DIACC is hosting a series of spotlights showcasing our amazing female DIACC members in the digital identity space, noting the importance of diversity. These spotlights will be regularly socialized through DIACC’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels as well as our monthly member newsletters.

If you’re a DIACC member and would like us to feature your spotlight, contact us today to learn more!

What has your career journey looked like?

I’m a very full scope kind of person. I’m personally never satisfied or feel fulfilled by half measures, so everything that I do – no matter how big or small – gets my full, absolute attention. This thread runs through my entire career journey; I’ve done every job from being a marketing coordinator and graphic designer, to a visual stylist and an event planner all around the globe to where I am now. Regardless of the position, I’ve always been determined to pour my most creative and committed self into it. Flexibility and the willingness to appreciate the nuances of every position help you best understand the whole, while also giving you the perspective to appreciate and take advantage of the opportunities available to you (and the ones you need to fight for).

When you were 20 years old, what was your dream job and why?

I interned at FLARE Magazine and was determined to work in a creative position. I loved that internship because it allowed me start my career in a hugely creative space where I learned to bring passion to everything that I did. I was fortunate to start in an industry that required me to take a close and exacting look at everything that crossed my desk because the final product would be so visible to a huge audience. I continue to pour as much passion into my job as I did on day one and understanding how great things come to fruition from behind-the-scenes has defined my career.

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

I am fortunate to have extremely supportive and nurturing parents who instilled that girls can do anything each and every single day of my life – even now. I would say the biggest challenge in my career, as any working mother will tell you, is how to balance work and life responsibilities. Being able to work and show my two boys that women are leaders is an immense privilege, but it is one that takes dedication, planning, and sacrifice.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

Being a working mother is a challenge and privilege at the same time. The pandemic has similarly been two-sided: if you’re in a position where you can work remotely from home, you’re able to spend more time with family and children. However, because technology and the demands of work is always right at your fingertips, it’s easy for priorities to be more actively occupied by work. I’ve made a conscious effort to put down the tech and enjoying moments to their fullest. The laundry and work emails can wait until later – they say you only have 18 holiday seasons with your children, and ensuring I’m present during all 18 is my number one priority. Rachel Macy Stafford, who wrote a great book called Hands Free Mama, said, “Being responsible for someone’s childhood is a big deal. We not only create our own memories, but we create our child’s memories.”. This has been a guiding principle as I balance work and life.

How can more women be encouraged to pursue careers in the digital ID/tech space?

Get involved! There are so many wonderful associations, networking, and advocacy groups that provide fantastic opportunities for women to build meaningful communities in digital ID and tech that will serve them for their entire careers. Participating in these kinds of communities, such as DIACC, Women in ID, and Hyperledger, really reveals how many opportunities there are beyond what we traditionally think. Digital ID and tech permeate every sector and actively engaging in these kinds of opportunities can help open doors you never knew existed.

What are some strategies you have learned to help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

Networking and seeking mentors are crucial and have been invaluable strategies for me throughout my career. The more you network, the more meaningful relationships you build, and the better you can learn to advocate through and become a mentor from whom others can benefit. I also strongly recommend finding a career coach to nurture a learner mindset and provide you with resources to further your goals with the added benefit of a third-party perspective.

Key throughout all of these strategies is taking the time to listen instead of merely speaking. I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with a group of women at SecureKey who actively listen, consistently learn from and advocate for each other. By building communities of strong females, we can all help to advance the role of women across every organization.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

I have been blessed to have followed a generation of trailblazing career women and am privileged to follow them and continue their work. I think a big challenge for women in the generation behind me will be to look inward versus outward. The entire world is at your fingertips and every opportunity is yours to take. What the challenge can be in a world of plenty is how to narrow your field of vision to suit your needs. Identify what it is you want to do and push yourself to the next level to get there.

What advice would you give to young women entering the field?

Whenever I’m asked this question, I always give four pieces of advice:

  1. Always be kind to those around you. People will remember your kindness, your willingness to help, and your ability to go the extra mile every day.
  2. Find networks that support and advocate for you. If you can’t find one, then make one yourself!
  3. Always ensure you practice self-awareness – understand what drives you every day and how that you help others.
  4. Finally, always say “yes” to any opportunity that comes your way. The more you answer “yes”, the more you can learn.

Sarah Kirk-Douglas is the Vice-President of Global Marketing & Communications at SecureKey Technologies Inc.

DIACC Women in Identity: Alexa Abiscott

DIACC is hosting a series of spotlights showcasing our amazing female DIACC members in the digital identity space, noting the importance of diversity. These spotlights will be regularly socialized through DIACC’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels as well as our monthly member newsletters.

If you’re a DIACC member and would like us to feature your spotlight, contact us today to learn more!

What has your career journey looked like?

Started as litigator on Bay street out of law school (student and then lawyer) from 2002-2012; became inaugural General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer at a large Ontario Post-Secondary Institution; became General Counsel and Secretary of ApplyBoard Inc. in 2020 empowered to enable ApplyBoard’s continued ascent to bring access to education to our Global Student Users.

When you were 20 years old, what was your dream job and why?

Anthropologist. I wanted to travel and study culture.

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

I feel fortunate that I was able to leverage the connection of women and being a General Counsel to co- found Women General Counsel Canada. Part of what brings our group of members together is the unique position we are in as women executives who are at the intersection of advising a business, enabling compliance and ensuring strategic risk management.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

Humour, humility, and hard work. And lots of laughing and singing with my four children.

How can more women be encouraged to pursue careers in the digital ID/tech space?

By featuring women (just like this profile) and establishing continual mentorship opportunities.

What are some strategies you have learned to help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

Find allies and mentors, join external organizations to take on leadership roles and become an active change maker within your own organization with courage and authenticity.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Feeling pressured to choose between family and a leadership position / career.

What advice would you give to young women entering the field?

Be courageous and do not use diminishing language or negative self talk. Do not be discouraged by the lack of women representation in STEM or Tech – it is changing. You can be the leader now that others will look to for inspiration.

Alexa Abiscott is the General Counsel and Secretary at ApplyBoard; Co-Founder and Board Member, Women General Counsel Canada.

DIACC Women in Identity: Deborah Moore

DIACC is hosting a series of spotlights showcasing our amazing female DIACC members in the digital identity space, noting the importance of diversity. These spotlights will be regularly socialized through DIACC’s LinkedIn and Twitter channels as well as our monthly member newsletters.

If you’re a DIACC member and would like us to feature your spotlight, contact us today to learn more!

What has your career journey looked like?

My curiosity paved much of my career path. It certainly wasn’t a linear or traditional path. There were a number of leaps forward largely into uncertainty fuelled by emerging digital opportunities throughout my career. And, there were a few pauses as well to grow wee ones and fight with cancer along the way. A quest for learning and higher education throughout my career propelled me forward and continues to fuel my passion.

When you were 20 years old, what was your dream job and why?

When I was 20 I wanted to be an engineer. It was the creative and innovative aspects of the job to solve problems for people and improve their lives that interested me. I was keenly aware that it was male dominated profession at the time and this opportunity/challenge didn’t deter me – quite the opposite.

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

There’s no doubt that at times, gender bias has come into play but equally it was the limitations or unconscious beliefs that we impose on ourselves as female leaders that created a few obstacles for me as well.

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

Balance – what balance? More seriously, one of my mentees asked me how I do ‘it all’. For her, it appeared that everything was seamless as I managed the demands of my career, school, and a young child. I realized it appeared that way but in truth, I had help. I had a support system and sometimes things were a bit chaotic. I just didn’t expect perfect balance and thrived as things ebbed and flowed.

How can more women be encouraged to pursue careers in the digital ID/tech space?

There are three key areas to focus on STEM education targeted on girls, sustained promotion of digital ID and tech careers as being well suited for women and propagating images that negate gender/racial stereotypes. Women need to see digital and tech roles as a compelling option and more prominent female representation, particularly in leadership roles to illustrate the interesting career options and progression opportunities in tech. Finally, all genders of leaders have a role in empowering women, making space for and ensuring they have a voice.

What are some strategies you have learned to help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?

Strategies are often dependent on their situation but here are a few basics. First, helping them to identify any limiting beliefs that may be holding them back. Often times, it’s not the lack of opportunity but the lack of confidence that can hold women back, for example, the feeling that they need to know it all before taking the next step. Second, I reinforce that value of building your network, establishing a mentor, a coach and a sponsor to grow and support progression as well as being a mentor to other women. Lastly, I suggest they take a leap, be bold, own their voice, and not be afraid to make mistakes.

What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Gender imbalance will continue to be a challenge and their opportunity is work together to see the sky undistorted by glass.

What advice would you give to young women entering the field?

Building the digital economy is an imperative to our economic and societal wellbeing, particularly for our economic recovery from the pandemic. The opportunity for young women is boundless and their participation and voices are needed at all levels to create a sustainable and equitable future for all.

Deborah Moore is the Director of Digital Transformation at Celero.