Introducing the Women in Tech Committee
March is Women’s History Month in the US, UK, and Australia—a time to celebrate and highlight the contributions of women to history and society. What better time to speak with the members of our Women in Tech committee? Today, Heather Davey, Kirsten Harrold, Julie Scrivner, Eve Ulmer, and Sarah Ziegler, share how the Women in Tech group is driving positive change at Copperleaf and in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) community.
Why did you decide to join the Women in Tech committee?
Kirsten: “In 2017, I created the Women In Tech group as a safe space for women to support one another. Because it’s been growing so quickly, I found I needed support from others to help run and organize our numerous events. I’m so proud of our committee members who are volunteering their time and taking the reins to help us develop the next generation of women leaders. Our committee rotates on an annual basis, allowing others to join and help shape the future of the group. Additionally, all Copperleafers are welcome to volunteer and help with our events throughout the year!”
Heather: “Having spent most of my working life in traditionally male-dominated industries, I wanted to be a part of an initiative to provide support and resources for women. I know it can sometimes be challenging and having a community to connect with is a huge benefit.”
Julie: “I decided to join the Women in Tech committee because there’s power in numbers and it’s important to have a community that supports our group’s initiatives.”
Eve: “I’ve felt supported and accepted at Copperleaf and want to ensure others feel the same way. I joined the committee to help maintain an open space for women’s ideas to be heard, help implement improvements, and continue my involvement with groups that advance women in STEM.”
Sarah: “When I joined Copperleaf, the Women in Tech group was one of the first groups to welcome me and it’s been instrumental to my career growth. I joined the committee to help both current and future Copperleafers grow and feel as welcome as I was!”
What is something the Women in Tech group is looking to accomplish this year?
Eve: “This year, we’re focused on providing women with guidance on how to self-advocate in the workplace, including how to provide feedback, as well as help them track, quantify, and communicate their professional accomplishments.”
What are the long-term goals of the group?
Sarah: “Our long-term goal is to advance women in technology—from the classroom to the boardroom. Women in Tech aims to reach this goal through a variety of initiatives, including partnering with our Employee Experience (EX) team to grow our leadership development programs, promoting technology education, and providing networking and mentoring opportunities for women at all levels of their careers.”
According to the National Girls Collaborative Project 2022 report, women remain underrepresented in STEM industries, with the greatest disparities occurring in engineering and tech. How do you think companies like Copperleaf can create a better path to success for women in tech?
Heather: “Working hard to ensure female representation in all departments and aspects of a company is key. Ultimately, we want women to feel included and empowered in the workplace.”
Julie: “I believe it comes down to transparency and accountability. Having publicly stated goals for gender representation in both leadership and non-leadership roles in the company, and reporting on this progress annually, will help create a better path to success.”
Eve: “It’s crucial for companies to support university and high school initiatives for women and girls in STEM, and listen to the concerns and suggestions of female employees—be willing to learn alongside us. It’s also important to critically examine recruitment, onboarding, and promotion policies to ensure that diversity is supported at all levels of the organization.”
Sarah: “By supporting and fostering groups such as Women in Tech! We’ve worked with EX to help to recruit, retain, and accelerate the career growth of diverse employees. Though we’re proud of the work we’ve accomplished so far, there’s still a lot more we can do as a company to improve the diversity of our talent pools, promote equality and equity, and ensure our people have the tools required to make them successful in their roles.”
Our long-term goal is to advance women in technology—from the classroom to the boardroom.
Solution Owner, Value Framework Development, AMER
What advice would you give to a woman considering a career at Copperleaf?
Eve: “Do it and apply! There are so many wonderful people who work here that are willing to support you and celebrate your wins. I’d also suggest finding a mentor—whether through our Mentorship at Copperleaf program or informally—to help you reach your full potential. And lastly, be yourself. New ideas and diverse opinions foster innovation and a better culture.”
Sarah: “Join us! Copperleaf is an amazing company where employees get to solve challenging problems every day, all while working with a great group of supportive people. There is something for everyone here.”
How does Copperleaf’s culture help foster and promote female success?
Heather: “Copperleaf focuses on culture much more than many other companies. I believe this helps employees feel safe and like they’re part of something beyond their day-to-day tasks. As a woman, it’s important to feel confident in your strengths and know that you can bring value to the table. Having Copperleaf’s values at the forefront allows us to celebrate our own strengths and showcase them.”
Eve: “Our cultural tenets, ‘Be Open’ and ‘Always Improve’, come to mind. There’s a willingness to listen to and support our group (and others throughout the organization). In my experience, team leads have encouraged me to try new opportunities and I feel as though they’re invested in my growth.”
Sarah: “Copperleaf provides amazing mentorship opportunities for women interested in leadership. The company also offers benefits, such as a flexible work schedule and equitable parental leave, ensuring women have the support and resources they need to be successful in their roles as well as in their personal lives.”
Are there any events the Women in Tech group is organizing that you’re particularly excited about?
Julie: “I’m looking forward to facilitating our monthly meetings, the purpose of which is to:
- Connect and build relationships with women, non-binary people, and anyone who supports our initiatives
- Create a supportive space for Copperleafers to share their accomplishments and learn to advocate for their career advancement
- Create a safe space to express challenges and figure out how to address them”
Eve: “I’m excited that we’ll be helping to mentor and support women entering the industry by organizing events with Women in Engineering/Computer Science groups at local universities.”
Sarah: “We recently celebrated International Women’s Week and organized an amazing week of events aimed at promoting equality and equity within the workplace and supporting our community. These events included trivia, a presentation by guest speaker Fabienne Jacquet, author of ‘Venus Genius: The Female Prescription for Innovation’, who spoke about the power of embracing different traits to drive innovation, and a fundraiser for the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre.”
Our culture welcomes everyone looking to make a difference with your passions, knowledge, and experiences. Learn more about joining our team, we’d love to hear from you.