Posted March 5, 2010
Toronto. March 9, 2010. Dr. Sophie Vandebroek, Xerox Corporation’s Chief Technology Officer and president of the Xerox Innovation Group, will inaugurate a new speakers’ series designed for technology professionals and women with an interest in technology. Dr. Vandebroek is widely regarded as one of the most prominent female leaders in the global information technology industry and was recently identified by Channel Web as one of the top 25 technology thought leaders for 2010. She is responsible for overseeing Xerox’s worldwide research centres (including the Xerox Research Centre, Canada, in Mississauga where her talk will be delivered) and for maximizing the company’s multi-million dollar investment in research and technology.
The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)/ Canadian Women in Communications (CWC) Speakers Series is designed to introduce distinguished women who have built successful careers in information and communications technology to Canadian women (and men) who are either working in technology or planning careers in technology. The series provides opportunities for students, professionals, and people who may be considering technology as the next step in their career for networking and for learning from inspiring leaders in the industry.
The speakers’ series is part of a larger initiative to improve gender diversity in the technology industry. “Women can be found everywhere in our industry,” Tom Turchet, ITAC Chair and VP Software, General Business, IBM Canada. “In tech support, in sales, in our labs, and in our C-suites, women are making a great contribution to our business – but not in the numbers we need. We know that as an industry we have to do a lot more to engage women and to support their careers. For an innovation driven industry like ICT, this broader diversity of experience and outlook is a business imperative. So this is one small step in trying to encourage and celebrate the contribution women make to technology.”
Canadian Women in Communications (CWC) is ITAC’s partner in this initiative. CWC and ITAC signed an agreement in 2006 that extended CWC’s professional development and advocacy services to women in information technology. “Achieving ‘critical mass’ is an important turning point in the progress toward full diversity whether it’s at the board level or in the workforce itself,” said Stephanie MacKendrick, President and CEO of CWC. “Women have not reached that point yet in technology. They can still feel isolated and reticent when they see themselves in tech gatherings and other technology environments. So we’re trying to create something that is primarily a gathering for women (though men are welcome too).”
The choice of speaker is particularly apt given Xerox Corporation’s leading role in championing diversity within its own walls and in ICT generally. “It is appropriate that we are kicking this series off at Xerox,” MacKendrick said. “Xerox was recognized by CWC last year as Employer of the Year. They are a living, breathing example that if there is corporate will to create change, change can happen.” When Ursula Burns became CEO of Xerox Corporation, it was the first woman CEO to woman CEO hand-off in Fortune 500 history.
The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) is the voice of the Canadian information and communications technologies (ICT) industry. ITAC represents a diverse ICT community spanning telecommunications and internet services, ICT consulting services, hardware, microelectronics, software and electronic content. ITAC’s community of companies accounts for more than 70 per cent of the 572,700 jobs, $155.3-billion in revenue, $6.22-billion in R&D investment, $30.4-billion in exports and $11.8-billion in capital expenditures that the ICT industry contributes annually to the Canadian economy. ITAC is a prominent advocate for the expansion of Canada’s innovative capacity and for stronger productivity across all sectors through the strategic use of technology.
CWC is a national, bilingual organization dedicated to the advancement of women in the communications industry (radio, television, telecommunications, cable, print media, new media and the information technology sector) through strategic networking, targeted professional development and meaningful recognition. There are currently over 1,200 CWC members in nine Regions across Canada. For more information on CWC, visit: http://www.cwc-afc.com.
For further information, please contact:
Senior Vice President, ITAC
(613) 238-4822 ext. 223
Manager of Communications, ITAC
(613) 238-4822 ext. 224
CWC Communications Manager
(416) 363-1880 ext. 303
Xerox Canada Public Relations