Number of women in tech growing in the Okanagan

Find your passion at the Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair March 12

With the growing tech sector in the Okanagan, the roles in technology are diversifying.

Brea Retzlaff, director of operations with Accelerate Okanagan, said more women are joining the tech force. About 28 per cent of employees in the tech industry are women in the Okanagan, according to a study that was conducted by Accelerate Okanagan a few years ago.

The tech industry and many others will be spotlighted at The Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair to be held March 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Okanagan College.

“Industry average is actually usually around 18 to 20 per cent so we actually have a higher proportion of women working in technology in the region,” said Retzlaff.

Related: Growing demand for skilled workers in wine industry

Retzlaff credits the number of women in technology to educational intuitions in the area and regular meetups that focus on women in technology which promotes awareness.

“What we’re starting to see as an overall shift in technology is the awareness that diversity is an asset when building out a team,” she said.

In the past, it was more of a male-dominated industry focusing on those with engineering degrees, but now more diversity in the workplace contributes to building a stronger team, said Retzlaff.

“One of the common misconceptions is that you have to be a developer or know code, or an engineer, but there’s a lot of other diverse roles if you’re not part of that traditional stem.”

Christien Kopas is an example of that, working in the dental tech industry as a customer relations management officer and digital implementation specialist at Schell Dental Ceramics Digital Division. Her job revolves around training dental clinics on how to use new, advanced equipment.

She entered the field as a dental assistant and used her skill-set she developed for her role in the tech industry.

“It’s a male-dominated field… so has it been challenging? Not really because what I enjoy is actually connecting people. Women that are getting into this technology are becoming connectors,” she said.

Dental teams are also formed to learn about the new technologies.

“In one moment, if a dentist makes a decision to go digital, so they want to start creating patient’s teeth in 3D and emailing them to the dentist, (the dentist’s team’s) entire job is completely changed in one day,” she said. “Our job here is to facilitate training and support for teams so they are able to do that.”

Kopas’s role with technology is just one of the many careers available in tech throughout the Okanagan.

For more information search Facebook for Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair.

If you are looking for a new start through education or employment visit the Black Press Extreme Education and Career Fair, which takes places on Monday, March 12 at Okanagan College in Kelowna (1000 K.L.O. Road), from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more info click here.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

The Black Press Extreme Career Fair is March 12 at Okanagan College. - Image: Black Press file

Just Posted

Six people now mulling a mayoral bid in Kelowna this October

Five challengers and incumbent Colin Basran have picked up election packages for Oct. 20 civic vote

UPDATE: Crews still working to contain the wildfire north of Okanagan Connector

Update: Aug. 15 9:23 p.m. The Gottfriedsen Mountain wildfire, which was sparked… Continue reading

New urban winery approved by West Kelowna Council

The new winery will be located in the industrial area

Central Okanagan firefighters are battling wildfires across B.C.

Lake Country, Kelowna and Peachland crews are assisting the BC Wildfire Service

Short-term rentals could be allowed in Lake Country by next week

A bylaw for short-term rentals will be up for adoption during Tuesday’s council meeting

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

Ex-B.C. teachers’ union leader among latest pipeline protesters to get jail time

Twelve people have been sentenced for violating court order to stay away from Kinder Morgan terminal

Most Read