Amyn Rajan: The Business Case for Diversity

Time and Date: 12:00-1:30 PM on Friday, May 22
Location: Saywell Hall, Room 10041

"I took a computer class in secondary school. We watched 'The Matrix.'"
"My parents don't believe computer science is a good career path for a girl."
"Computer programming is not advertised as something worth learning."

These quotes are from three female engineers at Simba Technologies.

It's an obvious and painful truism: Women are underrepresented in tech, both in STEM education and in high-tech industries. Why is this? Why does it matter? And now that we know about it, what do we do?

In this interactive keynote presentation, Simba Technologies CEO Amyn Rajan will call upon his own experience—as a leader, as an immigrant to Canada, and most importantly, as a father—to outline a plan to reengage with women and girls to foster their interest in high-tech.

So what is the business case for diversity in the workplace? For Simba Technologies, it's simple: The company's success depends upon the contributions of smart employees. And to paraphrase actress, UN envoy, and gender-equality advocate Emma Watson, "How can we effect change in the world when only one half of it is invited to the conversation?"

Amyn Rajan is a software industry veteran, SFU alum, and father with a passion for supporting the community and empowering women in technology. As CEO of Simba Technologies, Amyn leads a highly-skilled team developing data connectivity and analytics software for industry leaders like Microsoft, SAP, Tableau, and Teradata. Amyn has more than 20 years’ management experience, including roles with Microsoft, Adobe, and HSBC Canada. Under his leadership, Simba Technologies has grown in revenue and human resources, and now employs more than 90 people. Philanthropy is integral to Simba’s culture: the company supports community-focused charities such as the United Way and the Aga Khan Foundation’s World Partnership Walk, which raises funds to fight global poverty. In 2011, Amyn was appointed co-chair of SFU’s Faculty of Applied Sciences External Advisory Council. Amyn is committed to strengthening the BC technology community, and to fostering gender diversity in STEM education and high tech industries.