YWCA Toronto’s Girls’ Centre Test the Newest Trends in Technology at FITC Toronto 2018

The future is inclusive! FITC Toronto 2018, the technology and creativity conference took Toronto by storm, welcoming thousands of passionate innovators, developers, designers, creatives, marketers, and students aspiring to one day work in these fields.

 

Girls playing with a rubix cube at FITC Toronto 2018.r

FITC welcomed over 15 girls from YWCA Toronto’s Girls’ Centre to take part in this year’s conference.

Each day, five girls took turns exploring the future of technology, creativity, and design.

“Letting the girls know about this tech community and different companies coming together showcasing the different creative sides of innovation and the newest technology was exciting,” said Chaperone Monica Lin.

Exploring VR technology at FITC Toronto 2018. The girls were particularly impressed by the experimental atmosphere of the conference, especially the exhibitor area facilitated by VR experts Vaitari Anderson and Dwayne Grech from R&R Partners.

“Meeting the girls from the centre has been a pleasure. They’re so excited. They’ve inspired me in their excitement. It brings us joy to see people enjoy what we’ve created for them,” said Anderson.

Technology and Education

Attending FITC Toronto 2018 also challenged the girls to think about their professional futures. Saira, who regularly attends YWCA Toronto’s Girls’ Centre, is currently taking video production in school—the mandatory tech course of her choosing. She says attending Grant Skinner’s talk on VR helped her frame an idea for her final project.

“The talk with Grant Skinner was helpful because he focused on practising on honing in your skills. It also made me think about taking computer science next year,” she said.

For returning girls from last year, attending the conference has given them a greater understanding of technology terms they come across in their everyday lives.

“Last year I didn’t know anything that they were talking about. Now I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, this could work on this software that I learned about this year.’ ”

Women in STEM at FITC

Together spoke to top female professionals in the digital industry—including Shambhavi Kadam and Stephanie Nguyen—who shared how their passion for STEM from a young age pushed them to become active digital professionals today.

“Not a lot of women cared about space or astronomy when I was a kid, but I was so passionate about it that I made it my thing. It became something that people associated with me and it really wasn’t about my gender anymore.”
~ Shambhavi Kadam

“When I was trying to pursue development, I didn’t think I had the skills, but if you talk to people, you find out that once upon a time they didn’t have the skill, but they stuck at it,” said Nguyen.

This is the reason why YWCA Toronto is always excited to have the Girls’ Centre participate in FITC: the girls are given the chance to have conversations with women who actively work in the careers they already aspire to work in or can be inspired to pursue.

“At the Girls’ Centre we really try to encourage the girls to be innovators instead of users,” said Chaperone Lin.

All contributing to a more inclusive digital community.


Be part of the change

We’d like to thank FITC for once again welcoming YWCA Toronto’s Girls’ Centre to the conference. This event has helped inspire a new generation of digital professionals and we’re always thrilled to see and hear how passionate the girls are about technology, creativity, and design.

If you’d like to help us contribute to a more inclusive digital community, get in touch! Email us at together@weare.to or volunteer now.