Moving the Dial wants Toronto startup community to address lack of diversity together

On January 16, hundreds of female entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders in Toronto will gather at Moving the Dial, an event organized to give women the opportunity to network with tech leaders and celebrate their contributions to the ecosystem.

The event, which will be held at the MaRS Discovery District, will bring together influential leaders from major Canadian tech companies, leading tech investment funds, and incubators such as Communitech, the DMZ, NEXT Canada, Wealthsimple, and OMERS.

Moving the Dial will consist of a series of panel discussions with distinguished female founders and investors including Vicki Saunders of SheEO, as well as Councillor Michelle Holland of the City of Toronto. Holland was recently named in a new role as the Mayor’s Advocate for the Innovation Economy.

“Moving the Dial is exactly the kind of initiative that the City of Toronto aims to support and encourage,” said Holland. “As part of a strategy for the high-tech and knowledge sector, we need to encourage coordination and collaboration, help Toronto attract and retain talent, and champion diversity within this sector, including better representation of women.”

The panels will cover how women can take on higher level positions within the ecosystem and how the ecosystem can improve in terms of female representation. There will also be a special discussion dedicated to learning from Israel’s startup ecosystem after Mayor John Tory’s recent innovation and technology mission to Israel.

Jodi Kovitz, the CEO of Acetech and an organizer of the event, says Moving the Dial was created to establish a movement where the tech community works together to create new opportunities for women and develop solutions to address the lack of diversity within the ecosystem.

“We’re all going to work together as a group, as an ecosystem in Toronto to move the dial to seriously create solutions and create leaders in tech,” said Kovitz. “We’re declaring our commitment to change by coming together.”

Kovitz added that from this event, she hopes attendees will take away inspiration, new career opportunities and networks with potential investors.

“I hope that women walk away with board opportunities, advisory roles, leads for funding, new mentors and sponsors, to help them along and advise them as they build their businesses,” said Kovitz, adding that Moving the Dial will also allow young emerging talent to network as well.

To register for Moving the Dial, click here.

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer at BetaKit. As a fourth-year journalism student who has written primarily about entrepreneurship, Amira has developed a growing interest in Canadian startup, business, and tech news. In her free time, Amira enjoys reading, baking and watching legal shows.