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- Writen by Nivedita Gajiwala
At Artemis we're always looking to ensure that we consider the entire, diverse population when we conduct a search. Each of our clients asks us to ‘do everything we can to find' candidates from under-represented groups - especially women. So we work extra hard, and challenge ourselves and our assumptions.
The question was then turned around when I was asked, “how can you be sure that the tech companies that you work with are a good place for a woman to work?” I had to pause. Shouldn't a diverse group of individuals have an equally diverse definition of an ‘ideal employer’?
Defining fit is complex. Your ideal employer is a combination of values, environment, work and management styles, technologies, purpose and more. Across these measures, there is no universal checkmark for women.
So what should we look for? And what should you look create as you grow your companies? In this great BetaKit piece from Axonify’s Carol Leaman she gives insights and examples. A celebration of diversity needs to be built into the foundation of your business with actions, language, and behaviour that authentically demonstrates that everyone is valued.
As we work with companies that are genuinely concerned about building diverse teams, we need to push them to challenge their assumptions of what ideal talent will look like. While it may be harder to deliver candidates who both possess a scarce skillset and who also bring diverse backgrounds and viewpoints, the impact on these businesses, their customers and our tech community will be immeasurable.
The Artemis Canada Connect program is a confidential and curated introduction service aimed at connecting returning tech talent with innovative tech companies in Canada. By flipping traditional recruiting upside down, we help individuals return to great jobs in Canada by giving our partners a first look at the best returning talent.
Here’s a preview of the senior talent looking to come home. Sign up to be a part of our hotlist and subscribe to candidate profiles!
#1 This accomplished Data Scientist has 10+ years experience developing and applying machine learning algorithms in a wide range of domains with a focus on natural language processing. He's had experience working hands-on to build prototypes as a start-up leader and is currently leading a team that builds ML and NLP models at a large global enterprise company. I'd like to learn more
#2 This Product & Engineering Leader has designed and developed software from the lowest level drivers to the highest level Java applications. He is familiar with software architecture and system design - Embedded Linux, QNX, Android, and ARM SoCs - with an expertise in consumer electronics and embedded systems. I'd like to learn more
#3 This Marketing exec has experience leading scale-ups and large enterprise marketing teams. His domain expertise spans B2C marketplaces, payments and eCommerce. He is looking to join an established Canadian tech company that is ready for expansion and scaling sales globally. I'd like to learn more
#4 This experienced leader of Saas and Data Operations led the AWS migration strategy for a successful online gaming company, drove product automation and managed 30 engineers internationally. He has a strong project leadership and database background, and a UW Math/CompSci degree. I'd like to learn more #5 This CTO/Engineering Leader has worked with scale-ups and global companies in a variety of domains, spanning enterprise, mining, and ad tech. He is technically savvy and is a strong leader of people and teams. He is looking for a high growth company where he can scale the software development organization. I'd like to learn more
Here are a handful of the roles we’re currently working on:
VP Delivery/Professional Services Learn More Mobile Team Lead Developer Learn More Start Up - Machine Learning Engineer Learn More Engineering Leader – GTA Scale-up Learn More Data Savvy Marketing Manager – Toronto Learn More
Samiksha Khanna recently joined Mattermost in May as their Head of Operations. Mattermost is an early stage company headquartered in Palo Alto that is growing the team around the world – with a heavy focus in KW and Toronto. They develop open source, enterprise-grade messaging solutions for leading organizations across high tech, manufacturing, financial services, public sector, aerospace and healthcare.Can you tell us about Mattermost and what differentiates your enterprise messaging platform from the competition? Mattermost started in mid-2015, it came from a need we had when our subscription expired from another messaging software. We had to pay to access our own data and hated being locked in, so we decided to build our own. We are named Mattermost to emphasize the importance of keeping control of an organization’s communication. We believe that 1) internal messaging–across PCs and phones, with file sharing, archiving and search–is a vital layer of IT in a “post-email” world, 2) the platform for internal messaging needs to be open, and 3) that we wanted Mattermost to be the leading project to serve as the open layer for internal communications. Why did you choose to join the team? I had worked at a start-up before and really saw the benefits of starting in early and building an amazing company from scratch. I was really impressed by the customers Mattermost had already acquired through their reputation in the open source community. We have a wide array of Government and Fortune 500 companies using Mattermost. What has your experience been like since you joined Mattermost? I get up every morning and fasten my seatbelt getting ready for the amazing ride! There is a strong feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day since you are literally doing 50 different things and every small change makes a big impact. The team is great, we all really enjoy working together and even though we’re all distributed and work remotely I don’t feel like I’m missing out. Operations roles can have very different meanings depending on the organization. How would you define your Head of Operations role? And why was this a critical role at this stage of the company’s growth? One of the best descriptions I read was the Operations role is there to help make the CEO’s vision a reality. The CEO only has so many hours in a day to not only develop the vision and strategy of the company, but also to ensure it’s executed on at every level. That’s where the Head of Operations role becomes critical. I’m essentially an extension of the CEO and focused on the operational details necessary for success today and in the future. What are some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of what you do? As I mentioned earlier, being in a start-up you’re working on 50 different projects and the challenge is knowing what projects take priority over one another knowing that the priority list will change every few days. It’s challenging but it’s also the part I love, everyday is new and there’s nothing boring and repetitive! What are the key learnings you’ve had in terms of how a company can successfully scale? Since I’m in Operations I’m a little biased here. I’m a big believer in setting a strong foundation for growth. The last thing a company needs when it starts ramping up people and customer growth is for the momentum to be interrupted because tools and processes are broken. A solid operational foundation avoids the wasted time making a strong band aid and fixes the issue so we can turn the focus back to supporting our customers and community. What motivates you and keeps you excited about helping early stage companies grow? It’s the impact you can make in a short period of time. We’re a small team and growing and every small improvement makes a big difference. I also love that I have the autonomy to find a problem, fix the problem and then move onto the next challenge. A year from now I’m going to look back and feel so encouraged by everything we’ve accomplished.
The comments are too telling. We still have a problem. Closing Canada’s tech gender gap, one line of code at a time http://t.co/zBh53Zb57M — MaRS (@MaRSDD) December 17, 2013Several readers took obvious offense to the implied feminism of the gender gap debate, and they missed the point. "Why does every "gap" have to be filled? Males enjoy coding; females do not. Pretty simple... & requires no intervention." "...Girls are given equal opportunity, anything more than this is coddling infantilization that only reinforces the stereotypes that girls can't cut it on their own. The more we use "boys clubs" as an excuse, the more we need to prop these girls up artificially." Mark Noel "Nothing less than equal for women, nothing more than equal for men. It seems to be the motto of modern feminist governance." Mark Neil And don't get me started on the comment about the legitimate bias against hiring women because of their inconvenient tendency to have babies! I actually agree that there is a good case for exploring gender gaps in every field, regardless of which way the pendulum has swung. Sure, we also need more men in education and more female plumbers. But we've missed the whole point of WHY we should address this gap. It isn't because women are missing out on the opportunity to code, or because we are individually lamenting our exclusion from the tech boys club. This is a big issue because as a tech community we need MORE skilled technical people. Not more women, just more - period. The tech economy isn't an elite club with limited opportunity. We are hungry for talent. More women doesn't mean less men. Sure, competition for top jobs will escalate when a new generation of technically savvy women hits the market. So yes, perhaps the mediocre developers should be fearful, but there will be plenty of room for those with skill. If more women pursue careers in tech, the whole sector will grow and the economy will be stronger. Individual companies that foster work environments where women can thrive will have a distinct advantage. And I'll bet that those environments will be great for the men too. I'm interested in what you think. How can we increase the number of women in tech - or should we bother trying? (Image courtesy of [contributor name] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)