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Dr. Cindy Gordon, CEO SalesChoice joins CATA Innovation Gala Panel to discuss Canada’s Innovation Imperative to create a WEOLOGY Nation

Join us on May 28th  to celebrate the best of Canadian innovation and see the world’s most adopted technologies. For more than three decades, the CATA Alliance Innovation Gala has been celebrating the best in Canadian advanced technology. It has become one of the most eagerly awaited events in Canada’s business calendar.

At the Gala, the winners are recognized for their innovation, expertise, and leadership in Canada’s innovation community. View our Leadership Awards Video Sharing Channel where past winners and sponsors share their success secrets.

This year the Hon. Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development will welcome delegates and introduce the Gala theme: Innovation and Social Give Back.

We have then invited CATA National Spokesperson & President and CEO of Tangerine, Peter Aceto to give the keynote address on what Peter’s new book calls “Weology”.

In the author’s own words, “Most organizations are trying to understand the transformational shift the world is seeing.Some recognize the future is social, but most have a partial view. Becoming a social organization, however, is the future. What that requires is a profound shift in the way business is led. There is a betterweology way to do business. Let’s change the conversation around leadership by inspiring leaders to explore the concept of Weology: How everyone wins when “we” comes before “me” and how it plays in the success of a business and Canada as a competitive Innovation Nation.”Our keynote will also join an Executive Panel who will share insights on key topics, such as:

** the CEO is not the only leader any more combining the power of innovation and citizen engagement
** preparing your company and our nation for the future

Our experts will help provide a vision of Innovation Leadership and Community Engagement for the 21st Century.

All Star Panel:
Josh Blair, Executive Vice-President of TELUS Health and TELUS International, as well as President of TELUS Business Solutions West, and National Spokesperson for the CATA Innovation Leadership Council (ILC).

Dr. Micheál J. Kelly, Dean Lazaridis School of Business and Economics and National Spokesperson for the CATA Innovation Leadership Council (ILC).

Dr. Cindy Gordon, CEO of Saleschoice Inc., and National Spokesperson for CanWIT (Women in Tech).

Alumni CTV, Tech Now Moderator, Paul Brent, will engage the Panel in lively discussions. Gala guests are also able to pose questions prior to the event via email to: info@cata.ca.

Register Here to purchase yourticketshttp://www.cata.ca/Media_and_Events/Awards/galaAwardsDinner.htm

Personal Note from Cindy

I have written 15 book and over 5  of those books address the business imperative for increasing collaboration and diversity to improve Canada’s economic advantage.

Collaboration DNA – or as Peter/s metaphor:  WEOLOGY  is a strategic and economic message to embrace as Canadians.

I am honoured to join Peter and the distinguished panelists and join them to discuss how to accelerate Canada’s Innovation as a Nation Capabilities representing emerging technology software companies and also Women in Canada’ economy – as diversity and gender gaps still prevail in our boardrooms, and in our cultures.

To grow stronger as a nation, we must embrace all our nation’s talent and economically to grow.

Women are key to unlocking our innovation growth potential. With 80% of purchasing decisions driven by women in our economy, the systemic biases in securing capital (less than 2% of Venture Capital go to women CEO’s in our country seeking capital) and this is not because there are not sufficient viable business models in our economy for investment consideration.

Also more often than not the  majority of decision makers are men as well, and most of the board directors in portfolio companies are all men.

Yet our government continues to pours millions into flawed governance models.This is not a WEOLOGY Framework for Innovation Growth.

If you look at the decisions makers in over 90% of the Venture Groups in Canada,  the senior partners are all male. A great deal has been written and discussed in the USA about these gender gaps, and as Canadians we too easily dismiss these realities, as we don’t enjoy conflict and avoid risk culturally. Even writing this has me reflecting if I should stand out.

CATA will be raising this issue at the CATA Gala asking the government to do a different research report which is evidence based so they can reflect on their inclusiveness  and diversity policies in relationship to how funds are disbursed via the VC and private equity channels. 2% overall is not good enough – 10% is not good enough.  Together we can change this for our future generations – as I don’t expect in my life time to see this breakthrough, but I hope for our daughter’s generation and her children’s generation – Canadians wake up and shift as economic growth is dependent on growing as a nation.

The fabulous work Vicki Saunders is doing at SHEO is one new pathway forward that is brilliant and role model. Vicki embraces WEOLOGY. We need more Vicki’s and more Venture leaders held accountable with their usage of government $ fuelling their decision making that is not representing diversity goals of our country. She has made this her life’s mission to help change this reality  and is making a difference every day.

In terms of women, we do know Mentoring plays a key role and CATA has invested in a major new video channel profiling women in technology to share their lessons learned and stories are helpful for women to find other role models or seek out mentors.

I have been mentoring women and men for over thirty years but particularly women as they face the realities of balancing work and family life. Fortunately many men today recognize and value equal support of the responsibilities of child rearing so WE ology is important in the home front as well. Partnerity leave is now recognized as a right, but many companies still don’t encourage the fathers to take a leave of absence. This is such a precious time in life – I look back and wished my husband could have been there with me full time in the first 3 months of our babies arrival.

To innovate one needs to have mental agility and exhausted parents coming to work or one parent exhausted coming to work, only reduces our innovation edge in the work place.

Conference Board Ratings:I would like to see us move from a D rating to an A – and to get there – we need to think of WE in the richest tapesty of life.

The Conference Board has year over year warned us of our nation’s productivity and innovation decline and in the Tech Sector, we have seen women leave at alarming rates and with our traditional natural resources in decline, and technology underpinning and being the new digital fuel of our economy – the WEOLOGY metaphor needs to move from vision to reality for our country, for our companies and for future generations.

I have a son and a daughter and hopefully one day I will have grandchildren, and it would be so rewarding to see the Conference Board rate our innovation as a nation as an A, or a B – or see 50% of our board of directors in Canada being far more diverse in gender and ethnicity. Being rated a D is so not inspiring.

Retaining our women in technology careers is imperative, ensuring more women seeking financing is imperative, changing rules that ensure the Canadian Government’s Precious $ as they flow to Venture Firm, ensure women are fairly represented in the portfolio of companies selected as over 95% of the portfolio companies selected for invested are Male CEOS. 10% is actually role model — and if you dig hard at the facts you will find the numbers are closer to 2-3%.

To see more and win more – more diverse eyes are needed.

WEOLOGY is an innovation imperative.

I am so thrilled to hear Peter speak at the CATA Innovation Gala and have an opportunity to engage with our country’s leaders on this mission critical dialogue to increase the economic advantage that as Canadian leaders,  we owe to our future generation’s well being.