Session 1C: Not Just Our Problem: Motivating People to Care About Women in STEM

Time and Date: 10:15-11:15 AM on Saturday, May 23
Session Type: Panel
Location: Saywell Hall, Room 10041

To really move the dial on women in STEM fields, the discussion needs to include the rest of the industry. How do we get everyone in STEM to care about this as an issue? How do we move beyond "preaching to the choir"?

Moderator: Anna Stukas
Panelists: Claire AtkinAllison BanksSigrid HegelsJeremy Shaki

Anna Stukas is an independent consultant who works with technology companies to develop, grow, and expand their business. A mechanical engineer by training, Anna’s work focuses on bridging the gap between technology and business: from patent portfolio management to navigating the regulatory landscape for emerging technologies, to playing an instrumental role in the creation of international regulations that now allow carriage of fuel cell powered portable devices onboard passenger aircraft. Previously, Anna worked with the BiC Corporation - an international consumer products company, and Angstrom Power - a privately funded start-up focused on developing micro fuel cells, and was a key member of the team that negotiated the successful acquisition of Angstrom by BiC. Anna’s belief in the need for strong, positive role models to inspire women and girls to enter, and stay, in non-traditional fields led to her involvement with organizations including the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST), Minerva and the University of Victoria’s Leadership through Diversity programme in the Faculty of Engineering – where she also earned her Bachelor’s Degree. Anna is also the Program Chair of Creating Connections 4.0.

Claire Atkin works with start-ups to define their focus and community at Invoke Media. She is a WeAreYVR curator and works to map industries, starting with high growth tech start-ups in Vancouver. Claire works with the Vinetta Project team in Vancouver (formerly Girls Raising) to host a female entrepreneur pitch forum, and has a master's in Geography, where she studied post-industrial revitalization strategies for downtown neighbourhoods. Building social cohesion, open data infrastructure, high growth methodology, and urban geography get Claire out of bed in the morning. 

Allison Banks builds the human side of technology organizations—from corporations and privately held companies to taking start-ups through IPO. She's worked in finance, hardware, and software companies, and especially enjoys the anything-is-possible aspect of software organizations. Over the past 20 years she's built multiple operations with global presence in the Americas, Europe, and Asia—going far beyond developing systems, maintaining documentation, and ensuring consistent policies.  She identifies needs and recruits talent from entry to board level. She connects to people by understanding and appreciating their unique potential, contributions, needs and circumstances. She builds community by connecting people through shared experiences, and helps companies design and maintain their own unique cultures. Allison currently leads the human resources team at Mozilla as VP, People, and was previously Senior Director of HR at GoPro.

Outside of work, she's a mom living with her fiancé, two children, and three stepchildren in Berkeley, California. Allison eats Paleo, loves to sail, and is often found riding her road bike. To add a bit of variety, she works on small-scale overly-complex Burningman projects nearly every year.

Sigrid Hegels studied mechanical engineering and received a Diplom-Ingenieur degree in 1975, and Doctorate degree in 1977 from RWTH Aachen University in Germany. From 1978 to 1996, she worked in the field of energetical optimization of processes in the chemical industry, and was the head of an industrial power plant. From 1996 to 2009 she worked with Deutsche Bahn AG (German Railways) as technical director for facility management and division manager for rolling stock (freight locomotives and railcars). She now works as a consultant. 

Since 1982, Sigrid has been involved in the German Association of Engineers (VDI) and especially in the support of women in engineering. Living in BC for the summer season, she became a member of the Division for the Advancement of Women in Engineering and Geoscience (DAWEG) in 2013 to transfer experiences of women in engineering between Germany and Canada.

Jeremy Shaki is the co-founder and leader of Lighthouse Labs. With a passion for disrupting education, he has taken the 8-week coding bootcamp model across Canada and grown it to be about more than just learning to code. He's brought an "it takes a village" philosophy to development education by uniting Vancouver's tech community around mentorship. This can be seen in his nationwide, non-profit HTML500 event, and in the 40+ senior developers Lighthouse Labs employs as mentors.