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Sunday, November 30, 2014

What it’s like for Canadian women working in tech

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Global News writes, "When Loretta Faveri decided to go to art school as a mature student, she never imagined she would emerge a budding wearable tech entrepreneur."

Women still represent the majority of university graduates in Canada; however they remain underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer sciences (STEM) fields.
Photo: Globalnews.ca  

With a background in dance and art, Faveri started classes at Toronto’s OCAD University working toward a Bachelor of Design degree. But after getting hands-on with some of the school’s more technical programs and tools, she was inspired to take her art in a new direction.

Faveri is the creator of SOMO – a wireless, wearable sensor that creates sound using a person’s body movements.

The device can be worn on the wrists or feet of dancers to create a unique sound performance. Faveri’s team of engineers and designers at her Toronto-based studio Sonicwear have been testing SOMO with dancers from Canada’s Ballet Jorgen and The Studio for Movement.

“None of this would have happened if I didn’t go to art school,” Faveri told Global News.
“It took me way out of my comfort zone because I don’t have any background in electronics. The only reason I pursed it was because I had a vision. For me it’s about making magic.”
And, at a time where the lack of women working in tech has become a big conversation within the industry, Faveri hopes the idea of making magic is something that will inspire more women and girls to look differently at technology.

Women still represent the majority of university graduates in Canada, however they remain underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and computer sciences (STEM) fields.

According to the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS), women accounted for 39 per cent of university graduates aged 25 to 34 with a STEM degree in 2011, compared with 66 per cent of university graduates in non-STEM programs.

The 2011 survey – the most recent data Statistics Canada has on the topic – also found that among women who choose to pursue a degree in STEM, most do so in biology or science programs, resulting in even fewer women in engineering, computer science and mathematics programs.
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Source: Globalnews.ca


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