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.
I’m very excited to be attending the international Women of Silicon Valley event for the very first time.
We finally enter the site and... wow! The crowd is huge and 95% of it is women. I know I should have expected it a bit, but it still surprises me to see so many women gathered around technology.
In the opening remarks, the role of men in helping us take our rightful place in the industry was discussed, among other things. Then it’s Google’s turn to tell us about artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The talks are interesting even if most of the topics covered are so broad that we could devote a full day to them.
I attend a few leadership talks in the morning, and tour the sponsor booths after lunch. Then I participate in a training entitled 10 ways to get your colleagues to work with you better. Most of the advice given is not game-changing, but it’s always good to be reminded of it from time to time. The most interesting part of this training? The questions from the audience!
The last presentation of the day (and not the least!) is about the creation process of Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa. The presentation reveals the complications and surprises the team working on the user interface had to manage. It’s definitely one of my favourite talks of the day.
Friday’s schedule allows us the time to savour a good breakfast at the hotel. I take full advantage of my last moments in California with Amira, Catherine and Maxime, our videographer. In the early afternoon, we bid farewell to Women of Silicon Valley and head for the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Maxime snaps a few shots of the three of us for the video clips (very anxious to see them, actually!), then we each go our own way: the delegation returns to Montréal, whereas I stay a few more days with friends. We promise each other that when we return to Montréal, we’ll have a drink or dinner to keep in touch.
The mission went by so fast...
See you soon, Montréal!
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.