International Women’s Day: more initiatives from Women Founders Summit, Mastercard, Lacework, and TELUS

To celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, several companies detail the work they are doing to create more opportunities for women in tech, and ways to support them.

DMZ’s Women Founders Summit awards $100,000 to women-led tech startups

The DMZ held its inaugural Women Founders Summit on Tuesday where 10 women-led tech startups had the opportunity to pitch to angel investors from The Firehood, a group committed to fuelling women-led tech innovations. 

Following pitches, a grand total of C$100,000 was awarded to the following startups:

Apricotton: A Toronto-based startup which is dedicated to making first-time bra shopping experiences for young women and their parents easier, received a total of C$50,000 from Dejana Dua, partner at Anexa Capital and Anna Sinclair, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Total Mom Inc.

Areto Labs: This Edmonton-based startup that uses artificial intelligence to protect sports teams and brands by detecting and counteracting online abuse, received C$30,000 from Jeannette Navarro, data analytics lead at JobGet, Danielle Graham, co-founder of The Firehood and Claudette McGowan, CEO at Protexxa and co-founder of The Firehood.

PragmaClin: A St. John’s-based startup that helps patients with Parkinson’s disease monitor their condition using software, received a total of C$20,000 from Carol Lee, an investor at Womens Equity Lab and McGowan. 

“The Firehood was beyond impressed with the calibre of applicants the Summit received from women-led startups. Through our partnership with the DMZ, we wanted to provide leading women innovators with the connections, guidance and capital from The Firehood to champion their fundraising efforts,” said Graham.

The DMZ also announced its women of the year at the event on Tuesday. Check out IT World Canada’s article featuring some of the award winners. 

Lacework launches new initiative to create opportunities for women in security

Yesterday, Lacework, a data-driven cloud security company, announced the launch of a new ongoing initiative called “Secured by Women.”

The initiative is designed to increase opportunities for the women making history in the cybersecurity landscape, Lacework says.

On March 23, five women, nominated by their peers for making an impact in cybersecurity, will be selected to be the first Secured by Women leaders. Lacework will sponsor each individual to attend one of the following upcoming major security conferences: RSA, Black Hat USA, Black Hat EMEA, or AWS re:Inforce. In addition, for every nomination submitted, Lacework is donating $1 to Girls Who Code. 

“”In the security industry, we often talk about visibility – how to increase visibility into our technology environments to better see and understand our risks and potential threats. In that same spirit, now is time to increase visibility for the incredible women in the space who are leading, innovating, and revolutionizing modern security, ” said Sowmya Karmali, director of product management at Lacework. 

Here’s a link to the nomination form. Entries close Monday, March 20 at 5PM PT.

Mastercard renews partnership with Toronto Metropolitan University to support female leaders in tech fields

Mastercard Canada and Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) announced their continued partnership in delivering the Catalyst’s Mastercard Emerging Leaders Cyber Initiative (ELCI). 

ELCI is a leadership program for women and non-binary leaders who seek to advance into executive-level positions in cybersecurity or related fields.

Launched in October of last year, ELCI brings together established women and non-binary individuals in cybersecurity and adjacent roles for a seven-month program led by global cybersecurity expert Melissa Hathaway. 

The program is designed to provide participants with opportunities for enhancing their cyber leadership skills while also giving them access to a professional network. 

“Our inaugural ELCI cohort of 30 diverse women leaders is getting ready to graduate in April. The program has been a huge success in broadening their perspective and understanding ways to deploy cyber knowledge into all facets of the organization. Cybersecurity isn’t just for the tech team,” says Trish Dyl, Director of Corporate Training & Cyber Range and the ELCI program. 

Details about the application process for the next cohort will be revealed soon. 

TELUS expands Health for Good to support women in need of mental health services

This week Telus announced its expansion of Health for Good, a program that provides free access to TELUS Health MyCare services for women in need of mental health support across Canada. 

TELUS Health MyCare offers access to counselling provided by registered mental health professionals in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec.

Partnering with three women-focused charities: Dress for Success Vancouver, Mamas for Mamas and YWCA Metro Vancouver, the company aims to provide over 1,000 free counselling sessions per year to women in the five provinces.

“The program expansion covers the cost of providing women experiencing marginalization with improved access to mental health services and well-being support, removing the stigma and expense often encountered when accessing preventative allied health care,” Telus said.

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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