Montreal Girl Geeks Events & Resources for Montreal's Women in Tech Wed, 16 Nov 2016 20:50:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Montreal Startup Report: What’s Next For Women? with Corélia Kostović Wed, 16 Nov 2016 17:57:10 +0000 register

Though many analyses report the conditions and challenges of mature companies in Quebec, the Montreal Startup Ecosystem Report 2016 is the first analysis to document the current situation of startups in the greater metropolitan area of Montreal.

After interviewing more than a hundred entrepreneurs, one of the key findings was that only 19% women were building startups and 22% were joining startups as employees.

In this talk, Corélia Kostovic will: 

  • Describe the methodology used to analyze the data and produce this report
  • Review key figures and conclusions related to talent and funding in Montreal
  • Mention initiatives unlocking women’s potential with startup creation and fundraising
  • Suggest tips on how we can all improve the ratio moving forward


About Corélia:

Being a Market Analyst and a startup lover, Corélia Kostovic crunched the data of the Montreal Startup Ecosystem Report conducted by Credo Productions. She also joined and supported several tech startups in Morocco, France and Quebec.
Conference speaker at the Women Techmakers 2016 and coach at Défi Montréal, she presents Market Research and Competitive Intelligence techniques to entrepreneurs so they may meet market demand and keep ahead of their competition.




Event Details 


When: Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016. Doors open at 6:30pm, event 7:00 PM -9:00 PM

Location: Notman House, 51 Rue Sherbrooke West, Montreal Quebec H2X 1X2 (map)

Tickets: FREE!

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Make Your Voice Heard: A Public-Speaking Workshop for Beginners with Kathryn Presner Wed, 19 Oct 2016 03:24:10 +0000 register

Have you considered presenting at a conference or event but thought you might not know enough or felt like an impostor? Does the idea of speaking in front of a group set your knees quivering and your heart racing?

During this hands-on session we’ll look at what’s stopping you from speaking – and explore how to move past your fears. We’ll delve into practical techniques for choosing a topic, writing a proposal, crafting presentation content, and making great slides.



We’ll cover:
  • What’s stopped you from speaking?
  • Choosing a topic
  • Writing a talk proposal and bio
  • Writing content for your talk
  • Making great slides
  • Common speaker mistakes
  • Becoming a better speaker
  • Dealing with jitters/stage fright
  • Getting post-talk feedback- Handling Q&A

IMPORTANT: Pre-registration required and limited availability.

Please do not register if you are unsure you can attend, there are only a few spaces so attendees can get hands-on. Registration will cut off by noon, Oct. 26 to send the list to Google for security. This event starts earlier and finishes later than usual, please review the event details!

About Kathryn:

Kathryn Presner thrives on helping people get the most out of WordPress. After a career designing and building websites for clients, she joined Automattic as a Happiness Engineer in 2012. She’s currently Theme Whisperer on the Theme Team, where she helps folks with customization, configuration, and troubleshooting. She enjoys spreading her passion for WordPress and encouraging new public speakers at WordCamps, Girl Geeks, Ladies Learning Code, and other grassroots events. Non-WordPress obsessions include vintage Pyrex mixing bowls and growing garlic.




Event Details 

When: Wednesday, October 26 , doors open at 5:30pm, event 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Location: Google Montreal, 1253 McGill College Ave  #150 (map)

Tickets: FREE!

IMPORTANT: Pre-registration required and limited availability. Please do not register if you are unsure you can attend, there are only a few spaces so attendees can get hands-on. Registration will cut off by noon, Oct. 26 to send the list to Google for security.

RefreshmentsGoogle have generously donated snacks and refreshments for attendees! WE LOVE YOU G!



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Risk Taking & Filmmaking with Laura Rietveld Tue, 17 May 2016 18:25:16 +0000 register

Six years ago, Laura made the most difficult decision of her professional life: to resign from her corporate sales career and move to Montreal to become a writer, director, and filmmaker. She had no experience or contacts, only a deep gut feeling that this was her calling.

Laura’s inspiring talk walks us through her journey, failures and successes, to highlight the key ingredients that helped her to go from inexperienced dreamer to award-winning emerging filmmaker. This talk is ideal for filmmakers and creatives, those wanting to make a change or looking to better navigate their own professional paths, or just live vicariously, for now, through someone else’s risk-taking.


Laura Rietveld

Laura Rietveld is recent lauréate, Prix du CALQ (Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec) Œuvre de la relève à Montréal 2015. Her first documentary, Okpik’s Dream, aired on CBC throughout 2015, was nominated for Best Documentary Program, 2016 Canadian Screen Awards, won Grand Prix, Rigoberta Menchú Award at the 2015 Montreal First Peoples Festival, and continues to screen at festivals and events in Canada and internationally.

Besides a corporate career in media sales and publishing, Laura has traveled 500 km across the arctic by snowmobile, walked 900 km across France and Spain, and lived on a Chinese junk in South African harbours. She is the mother of a three-year-old and holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, BA in History from Queens University.



When: Thursday, May 26, doors-open 6:30pm, kick-off 7:00pm
Where: WeWork, 3 Place Ville Marie, Montreal, Québec H3B 2E3 (map) Metro McGill
Price: FREE!



WeWork is the platform for creators. We provide beautiful workspace, an inspiring community, and meaningful business services to tens of thousands of members around the world. Email  to set up a tour today!

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Community Management with Risa Dickens Wed, 02 Mar 2016 23:11:53 +0000 register

Since launching in San Francisco in 2004, Yelp has taken root in 32 countries becoming the leading local guide for word-of-mouth on everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists. In fact, they’ve Yelped their way to 100 Million Reviews!!

In this talk we’ll get into the culture and the community manager role as it empowers and connects people in cities all over the world, and then we’ll break it down with specific tools and tactics for social media and community engagement that you can learn from.

Risa Dickens2 ABOUT RISA:

Risa Dickens has a Master’s Degree in Media Studies from Concordia University and has worked in web and social media for 10 years;  spearheading her own online arts network, helping launch and curate LA based social video platform, then launching Yelp in Montreal.

As Senior Community Manager at Yelp, she helped mentor, hire and train new Community Managers. Most recently, as Community Director, she helps develop new ideas for Yelp both locally and internationally, notably Yackathon: Yelp’s Community Hackathon.




When: Tuesday, March 22, doors-open 6:30pm, kick-off 7:00pm
Where: Notman House, 51 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montréal, QC H2X 1X2 (map) Station St-Laurent
Price: FREE!

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Light refreshment will be kindly provided by Lighthouse Labs, a modern, immersive teaching facility for web and mobile software development. They run bootcamps that entail 60+ hour weeks, in a mixture of lecture and lab environments to teach eager new developers how to build incredible web and mobile apps using Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, Node, Objective-C and Swift.






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Looking Back to Move Forward: Building the Modern Web with Rachel Andrew Tue, 16 Feb 2016 19:13:12 +0000

Rachel has been building websites for a very long time and has had a keen interest in web standards, accessibility and the open web for almost as long.

In her presentation she’ll show us some of the ways our past informs our present, and drives our future… How regular web designers and developers have shaped the web we have today, and why it is so important that we continue to contribute. We’ll take a look at some of the interesting things becoming possible, and Rachel will explain how everyone can be involved in building the modern web.

Join us for a fascinating trip through The Internetz: past, present, and future with one of our most memorable speaker alums, back in town from the UK!

About Rachel

Rachel Andrew is a web developer and Director of, a UK web development consultancy and creators of the small content management system, Perch.

Rachel is the author of a number of web design and development books. When not writing code, writing about business and technology on her blog or speaking at conferences, you will usually find Rachel out running the roads and trails of south-east England.


Event Details

When: Tuesday, February 23, doors at 6:30pm

Where: Centre Montreal, 420 Guy – Station Lucien L’allier (Map)
Price: FREE!

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Do or Die! UX Design with Cynthia Savard Saucier Thu, 19 Nov 2015 18:21:12 +0000 register

Bad design can kill, and not only in a figurative way. You know, like when we say: “Next time I see a poster using Comic Sans, I’ll kill myself!” Engineers have a ring that symbolizes the unity of the profession and their goal of benefiting mankind, so why don’t designers have something to remind us that we have the responsibility and power to make people’s lives better?

We design algorithms, interfaces and products that can hurt, be hostile, be cruel and even kill. Unfortunately, design schools teach us to create beautiful design. It focuses on the Beauty Scale: “ugly < average < OK < beautiful < amazing”. They never address what’s worse than “ugly” design. They never teach us what impact a bad choice of error message can have on one’s life… let’s say, in a medical interface that gathers all of the patient’s information.

Designers have a lot of power over the way users interact with our products. But, “with great power, comes great responsibility.”

These are the key takeaways we’ll learn from Cynthia’s talk:

  1. Hostile design happens when the design is stuck between the user’s and the client’s best interests. The designer should always prioritize the user’s interest to its organization.
  2. Some algorithms designed for new features can be cruel when no one ask: “What’s the worse thing that could happen with this?”
  3. A reality check on the importance of good design and how designers actually save lives every day.


CSS PicPassionate about human beings and their means of communication, Cynthia has always sought a deeper understanding of how people think, interact, and connect. Communication has thus been a key ingredient in her technological endeavors.

A Université de Montréal graduate in industrial design, she was awarded the RAÉDIUM prize for Chouette!, a technological communication platform to strengthen inter-generational relations. Her slick solution allows preschool kids and seniors to share the same interface, using the poetry of light and play.

Cynthia excels particularly in a field that is not always fully understood: she creates smart, emotional connections between brands and users. Working as user experience (UX) designer at Shopify, she has a knack for strategic design, ergonomics and problem solving. Her wide range of experiences brought her broad recognition as a leading expert on multi-platform interface design.

Aside from her day job, Cynthia mentors startups and is regularly invited to speak at events around the world, where her playful approach both startles and charms. In her conferences, she shares her passion and her point of view: user-centered design is a reality, not a Utopian methodology.


apple store


WHEN: Thursday, November 26th, Doors at 7:15pm

WHERE: Apple Store, 1321 Rue Ste-Catherine O, Montréal, QC H3G 1P7 (map) – Peel Metro

PRICE: FREE! However numbers are LIMITED and pre-registration is REQUIRED!


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Urban Gardening for Geeks: Growing Food in the City with Tereska Gesing Fri, 16 Oct 2015 22:36:01 +0000 register

An organic vegetable garden used to be the stuff of dreams for city slickers, especially in Montreal’s tumultuous climate… but NO MORE!

Join Tereska Gesing and learn how to plan, plant and care for your home organic vegetable garden, in your yard, on your rooftop or even your balcony. With limited space and creative resources you can make urban farming a reality.

From the science of seed starting, soil mix and beyond,  get a taste for what it takes to be an urban farmer.  Learn about urban agriculture initiatives across the city so you can get involved in the movement near you. Get Gardening!

About Tereska:

Tereska Entrepreneur and mother of three, Tereska co-founded Urban Seedling five years ago in Montreal along with her husband. Together they have grown a flourishing family farming initiative in the city.

Urban Seedling helps Montrealers grow food in the city by planting vegetable gardens and curating ‘edible landscapes’ in yards, schools and workplaces. They also run a Garden Centre near Verdun, dedicated to the cultivation of organic vegetable and edible landscaping.

In addition to offering a content rich website, a weekly how-to newsletter and a vegetable gardening call-in show on CBC Radio Noon, Tereska gives vegetable gardening workshops to Horticultural Societies, in schools and for corporate Lunch-and-Learns. She also offers a workshop series in the South West borough.

Event Details:

When: Thursday, October 29th, doors at 6:30pm

Where: Centre Montreal, 420 Guy – Station Lucien L’allier (Map)
Price: FREE!

Thanks to Loic for the awesome panoramic pic!

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Negotiate #LIKEABOSS with Mandy Poon & Liesl Barrell Wed, 23 Sep 2015 14:55:40 +0000

When’s the last time you asked for a raise…? Negotiated a job offer? Landed a new client? Haggled a realtor down? Scored a better cell phone contract?

Particularly when it comes to work, studies show that only 30% of women bother to negotiate at all.

Whether you love playing hardball or the process makes you extremely nervous, our negotiation talk will help you up your game. We’ll share honest, behind-the-scenes experiences of real corporate scenarios with some tips and tricks to bring to your next big meeting. We’ll open the floor to hear your stories, concerns and what’s worked for you.


Mandy PoonAbout Mandy

Mandy Poon is a strategic planner at DentsuBos/,  where she works on shaping brands’ presences every day. With a background in digital strategy, Mandy most recently worked on the Fido rebrand and has worked on such accounts as Mary Kay, Samsung Mobile, Best Buy, Danone, AXE, Heinz Ketchup, and Dr. Pepper.

When she’s not at work, Mandy can be found on the hunt for the perfect next read, or sketching up plans on what makes the ultimate cupcake.

You can connect with Mandy on Twitter (@mmandyp), LinkedIn or Facebook. She also welcomes a nice face-to-face, preferably in a cilantro-free environment.


Liesl BarrellAbout Liesl

Liesl Barrell is the co-founder and CEO of Third Wunder, a digital agency specializing in marketing for brands looking to change and disrupt how we do business around the world. She’s an award-winning agency veteran (Twist who has worked on mandates with brands like Van Houtte, Just For Laughs, Birks, Lise Watier, Mary Kay, Laura Canada, and more.

In her spare time Liesl is a seasoned public speaker, writer and passionate community leader for women in technology. She’s executive director of Montreal Girl Geeks (HOLLA!!) and is on the board of the YES Montreal STEM Mentorship program. You can connect with her on LinkedInTwitter or in real life (if there is such a thing). She will happily eat all of Mandy’s discarded cilantro :)

Event Details

Register for EventWhen: Wednesday, September 30 at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
Where: Ubisoft Montreal, 5480 Saint-Dominique, Montreal, H2T 1V4 (metro Laurier) Note: the event is not accessible via the main entrance on Saint-Laurent
Price: Free! Registration required.

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How to See the Future with Leah Hunter Wed, 08 Jul 2015 14:25:04 +0000

As a journalist, writer for Fast Company,  author of “the future” book series (vol. 1 will cover the future of technology, education, media, medicine, and the world released in January 2016), and a longtime cultural ethnographer for fortune 100 brands, Leah makes her living by seeing the future.

Training yourself to identify trends, cultural movements and technological shifts before they hit can make you a more effective strategist, thinker, marketer, writer, artist and dinner party guest!

In this talk laced with semiotics, stats, and personal stories, she’ll teach you how to:

  • Shift your POV and see like an ethnographer.
  • Deepen creative intuition through curiosity and play.
  • Change it up to see in fresh ways – and how that can change the course of your whole life.

About Leah

Leah HunterLeah Hunter is a freelance journalist and full-time explorer of the world. She writes about the human side of tech for Fast Company. She is also a writer for German magazine Business Punk.

Formerly an editor at MISC Magazine and AVP of Innovation at Idea Couture, she has spent her career exploring the intersection of technology, culture, and design.

Event Details:

When: Thursday, July 16, doors at 6:30pm

Where: Centre Montreal, 420 Guy – Station Lucien L’allier (Map)
Price: FREE!
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Assassin’s Creed, Child of Light, and The Future of Video Games with Brie Code & Aleissia Laidacker Tue, 19 May 2015 14:27:53 +0000

Video games are a new form of entertainment that allow for interactivity and have untapped potential.

Join two AI/Gameplay programming leads from Ubisoft Montreal as they discuss their work on the Assassin’s Creed franchise and Child of Light. They will also share their thoughts on where they see the video game industry going in the future and why the industry is both a great place for women and needs more female talent to reach its potential.


Brie&Aleissia CropABOUT BRIE & ALEISSIA:

Brie Code has been in the games industry for 12 years. She started at Relic Entertainment writing gameplay, UI, and AI code for the RTS games Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War. After a brief stint at Pandemic Australia, she joined Ubisoft Montreal to work on the Assassin’s Creed series. She led the systemic AI teams on Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and was an associate lead AI programmer on Assassin’s Creed III. Most recently she was the lead programmer on Child of Light. Her favourite games are The Colonel’s Bequest and Skyrim.




Aleissia Laidacker has been working in the programming field for 13 years with a BS in Computer Science from Concordia University with a double major in Digital Image Sound and the Fine Arts, where she specialized in 3D Animation. After working on various interactive installations and projects, she joined Ubisoft as an AI / Gameplay Programmer. Some of her credited games include Assassin’s Creed 2 and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Aleissia was Gameplay & AI Lead on Assassin’s Creed 3. And most recently was AI Lead for the Crowds in Assassin’s Creed Unity. She is the Ubi Game Jam organizer and active in the AI community. Her favourite game series is Mass Effect. ​

Event Details

BDO_logoWhen: Thursday, May 28th – doors open 6:30pm, kick-off 7:00pm
Location: BDO Canada 1000 de la Gauchetiere Street West, Suite 200 (see map)
Tickets: Free!
Post-talk Mingling Destination: TBA


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