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

Okanagan chefs battle at Great Kitchen Party

Chef Kai Koroll of 50th Parallel Estate Winery won the event Friday night

Pre-season booming at Big White with Hallmark movie production

Big White is the main drop for Hallmark’s film Alice in Winterland

Kelowna man sentenced to 18 months probation for filming co-workers in washroom

The man was conditionally discharged following a sentencing hearing on Friday

Woman wanted on Canada-wide warrant possibly in Kelowna area

Brittany McLellan is unlawfully at large and wanted for breach of federal parole

Interior Health issues warning about opioid-laced stimulants causing recent overdoses

Interior Health is urging residents using or considering using drugs to reconsider… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

Pedestrian struck and killed in Kamloops accident

Kamloops RCMP responded to the incident at 5:30 p.m. Friday night

Most Read