Amira Boutouchent, Julie Tousignant and Catherine Proulx, Ubisoft Women in Tech ambassadors, visited Silicon Valley last April 29 to May 3 as part of the trade mission seeking to promote Quebec’s expertise and to draw inspiration from technology giants.
They share their thoughts on this exceptional adventure.
On my last night in California, while camping in the middle of the redwoods, I wondered, “why do I do all this?”
Well, you know, aside from the opportunity to go on a trade mission to Silicon Valley with the Chamber alongside extraordinary women and female entrepreneurs…
I understand why the industry as a whole and Ubisoft Women in Tech sponsors in particular want to encourage diversity: we’re short of talent in the technology sector and we can’t afford to lose over half the population for reasons unrelated to ability.
But why have I, Catherine Proulx, been volunteering for this cause for so long (and in roles that are often less prestigious than our mission to San Francisco)?
I then realized how much my career was the result of chance encounters and mistakes that turned out to be stepping stones. I never could’ve planned to be where I am today. I’m in a profession that didn’t even exist ten years ago. But two things guided me throughout my journey:
1) a small spark of passion for science;
2) mentors who opened doors for me.
Without them, this small spark couldn’t have grown—it actually almost went out several times.
I’m not interested in convincing anyone to go into the technology sector, because I think you have to already have that small spark. But to all the young girls who see their spark and compare it to the flaming torches of others and to all those who say to themselves, “I’m not this or that enough” or “I don’t have it in me,” I want to tell you that it only takes one match to start a bonfire. Go ahead and don’t worry. We’ll be your kindling!
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. As a result, the Chamber cannot be held responsible for published content.
About the trade mission to Silicon Valley
The trade mission to Silicon Valley, led by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal in partnership with Ubisoft, was presented by the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation. The trade mission was made possible through the cooperation of CN and the participation of the Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec, Montréal International and our official carrier, Air Canada.