Beyond the Code to celebrate the women of tech

Since beginning her career at Shopify a couple of years ago, Anna Lambert has attended her share of technology conferences.

One of the things the talent scout for the e-commerce firm has noticed is that as informative as such events are, they often lack a strong female presence.

"I found at some conferences … there was a lack of representation of female leaders in tech who were presenting or running workshops," the University of Ottawa graduate says. "So I thought it would be a really neat idea to get a number of excellent women in technology from different fields and different areas to come and talk about what they know best and how they got there."

A few months back, Ms. Lambert decided to do just that, pitching an idea to her boss for a conference aimed at women from a broad range of fields, both technical and non-technical.

The result is Beyond the Code, a day-long event next Friday celebrating the work of women in the tech industry.

"Personally, I think there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to close the gender gap in tech," says Ms. Lambert, who is encouraging both women and men to attend.

"There are incredible women in this field. We need to highlight and promote their work and also come up with really positive ways to ensure that more women are attracted to this field. Because a diverse and inclusive team is the best kind of team."

The conference features a series of workshops and talks focusing on a range of areas from marketing and technical writing to programming. Guest speakers include Shopify data analyst Solmaz Shahalizadeh and Oregon-based website developer Kronda Adair.

The event will conclude with a panel discussion of tech writers, developers and marketers hosted by Sandra Saric, the vice-president of talent innovation at the Information and Communications Technology Council in Ottawa. 

The panelists will discuss barriers they’ve faced in forging careers in tech, support systems available to women and lessons they’ve learned along the way.

"A lot of conferences focus on one technology or one area within the field," Ms. Lambert says. "We wanted this to be quite diverse."

Beyond the Code takes place Sept. 19 at the Ottawa Convention Centre. Tickets are $100 and are available at beyondthecode.io.