Randi Zuckerberg’s inspiring journey through the world of technology

International Leaders


On March 14, over 1,800 people, including hundreds of students, gathered at Place des Arts to hear Facebook’s former director of marketing and founder of Zuckerberg Media, Randi Zuckerberg, speak as part of the Chamber’s Bell International Leaders series. The entrepreneur and technology figurehead spoke with three prominent Montréal businesspeople as part of a memorable evening during which participants learned more about a leader who is deeply invested in promoting women in technology. Three major themes were addressed during the evening: the place of women in technology, entrepreneurship and leadership, and the future of technology.

At the beginning of the evening, students who attended the event also had the chance to hear an exclusive discussion with the three Ubisoft Women in Tech ambassadors, Amira Boutouchent, Catherine Proulx and Julie Tousignant.

Relive the evening highlights.

March 14, 2019
Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier
1800 participants

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Ubisoft Women in Tech ambassadors address an audience of hundreds of students

“You have the right to get good grades in school. The foundation you acquire at school is very important. You can succeed if you aren’t a strong student, but you have the right to be a strong student.”

– Catherine Proulx
Digital health researcher at the National Research Council of Canada and Ubisoft Women in Tech ambassador

“Technology is horizontal; it doesn’t affect just one field. At every level, and particularly at university, there is a role to play in carving out more space for women in tech.”

- Amira Boutouchent
Co-founder and president of BRIDGR and Ubisoft Women in Tech ambassador

“I remember, at the beginning, I was with other programmers, and I was intimidated by their experience, but it was just experience. You have to give yourself a chance and let yourself make mistakes. That’s how you grow, and next time you won’t make the same mistake. It’s important to tell yourself: “It’s okay! I’m learning and gaining experience.”

- Julie Tousignant
Generalist programmer, Ubisoft and Ubisoft Women in Tech ambassador

Randi Zuckerberg: a spirited conference

“For over a decade, the Bell International Leaders series has been welcoming luminaries who influence our economic, political and social life. Today, we welcome an inspiring woman who is committed to injecting a more female viewpoint into the world of technology.”

- Karine Moses
President, Bell Media Québec

“Montréal is thriving. Our economy is robust. That’s in large part down to our science sector, and tech companies are flourishing. […] Our large pool of talent is what is making things happen in Montréal, and, if we want that to continue, we need to draw on all of our talent. It is important not to let slip through our fingers all the talented women who can contribute to the field of technology.”

- Michel Leblanc
President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Women in Tech

Discussion moderated by Caroline Codsi, founding president of Women in Governance

“The place that when I look back I feel like I was failed, without people knowing it, it’s that people always told me that I could have any job that I wanted, but not one person told me that I could create any job that I wanted. And I don’t think we say that to young girls enough. ”

- Randi Zuckerberg

“My best mentors all along were sitting next to me. They were my friends and my peers. I really would encourage, especially the young women out there, to put a lot of effort into those peer networks and relationships because those will turn out to be by far your best mentors in life.”

- Randi Zuckerberg

Entrepreneurship and leadership

Discussion moderated by Anik Trudel, CEO of Lavery

“I loved working at Facebook. I loved working in Silicon Valley, but even my worst day working for myself is still better than my best day working for someone else.”

- Randi Zuckerberg

“I truly believe in life is that when you are lucky enough to have a door open for you, you owe it to a lot of people to keep that door open.”

- Randi Zuckerberg

The future of technology

Discussion moderated by Mélanie Dunn, president and CEO of Cossette

“As leaders in this space, we really need to be thinking not just about what’s happening today in technology, but what might happen 10, 15, 20 years down the future. If I could go back and redo one thing about those early years at Facebook, I would’ve wanted us to focus a little more on the really tough ethical questions about what we were building and what might happen 20 years down the road.”

- Randi Zuckerberg

“What we are seeing through tech is the ability to collaborate across the world. Now it’s really amazing the kind of collaboration that we can have across the world in a moment notice by gathering the best and brightness minds from everywhere… I feel hopeful about the future and I feel very excited.”

- Randi Zuckerberg

This Bell International Leaders series event was presented by Ubisoft and produced in collaboration with CN, Cossette, Women in Governance, Lavery Lawyers, the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation and Gouvernement du Québec, as well as our Media collaborators, Le Devoir and the Montreal Gazette.

Over the years, the Chamber has hosted a number of esteemed speakers as part of the Bell International Leaders series, including President Barack Obama, the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Prime Minister Manuel Valls, President Bill Clinton, the former President of General Electric Jack Welch, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

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