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.
Read why I joined this mission and a summary of the aspects I found the most significant.
I get this question a lot: “Why make it an all-women tech mission? What’s the point?” I’ll admit that if you had asked me this question before the mission, I probably would have had the same reaction. I was skeptical about the concept. However, based on my experience with this and other missions, here are the four reasons why I would advise all women to take part in such a mission.
A mission like any other
To begin with, this mission was comparable to the others, for better or for worse. As with any mission, you have to be well prepared to make the most of it. In this case, it was a Silicon Valley exploratory mission, meaning that we had to know beforehand why we wanted to explore this market and what our objectives were.
Having the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal AND Ubisoft as our contacts and allies has been a great advantage for us in this mission. These two organizations opened many doors for us and were able to organize meetings much faster than we could have on our own.
In addition to bringing together a small group of women entrepreneurs in a wide variety of fields (video games, manufacturing, artificial intelligence, health, fintech, etc.), the mission also stood out for its exploratory aspect and the fact that the organizers designed a very rich and attractive program for everyone. We toured companies from Airbnb to Netflix to ABB, which operate in totally different markets and sectors and, above all, have three distinct corporate cultures.
When we organize our own missions, we often only meet people working in our own area of expertise and we don’t necessarily have the opportunity to learn more about other sectors. This mission has therefore been very, very constructive for me—I learned things that I now apply at BRIDGR!
Mutual assistance and real discussions
During this mission, we shared meals, drinks, trips, discussions and lots of highlights. What I greatly appreciated during this mission were the sincerity and authenticity of those moments. I don’t know if it was because the mission was mainly made up of women, but I had some great conversations with the members of the delegation, both professional and personal. We all wanted to speak openly, which led to a potent environment for sharing.
Women entrepreneurs often feel lonely. When we want to talk about our challenges, but mainly deal with a male audience, we often choose not to discuss more personal topics. That’s why the connections, discussions and relationships that emerged from this mission are, for me, the most valuable part of this experience.
Lots of fun!
Honestly, it’s some of the most fun I’ve had on a mission so far. Of course, California’s sunshine was a big part of it, but the general atmosphere was very positive, which allowed us to work while having fun.
See for yourself by watching this short video on our mission.
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.