Blogpost: The Power of Technology


Featuring Elissa Strome, Executive Director, SOSCIP, University of Toronto

Ten years ago when I was a recent PhD graduate wrestling with what I wanted my career path to look like, I never imagined that it would take me where I am today, leading an organization that supports access to and training in some of Canada’s most advanced computing platforms.  I’m not a computer scientist and have never written a line of code in my life.  But I am proud to be a woman in technology.  The power and potential of data science excites me.  And I see first hand every day how the young scientists and entrepreneurs that SOSCIP works with, the graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and recent graduates with brilliant ideas leading data-driven start-up companies, are excited about data science, too.

In my time as Executive Director at SOSCIP, I’ve witnessed a significant change in Ontario’s technology ecosystem. Women are represented in technology in so many ways – as members of boards, scientific committees, as researchers and students, and in industry. Most notably, we’re seeing more and more female graduate students and post-doctoral fellows contributing to and leading the data science R&D that SOSCIP supports.   These observations demonstrate that you don’t have to be a computer scientist to be a woman in technology.  Like me and so many of my colleagues, you just have to be excited about and inspired by how technology, especially ICT, can be harnessed to bring significant positive changes to our society, our environment, our world.

We have a call for proposals right now for new projects where SOSCIP provides full funding for a post-doctoral fellow for every new project that is approved.  It is my hope that, when we fill these 40 new positions that will provide unique training and skills development opportunities for some of Canada’s brightest emerging data scientists, many of them will be women.