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article imageMoveTheDial founder Jodi Kovitz talks diversity and inclusion

By Jack Derricourt     Jul 12, 2017 in Business
MoveTheDial founder and AceTech CEO Jodi Kovitz is pushing for tech businesses to put diversity and inclusion at the forefront of their development.
Kovitz is an established figure in the world of Ontario tech business. As CEO of AceTech Ontario, she oversees the improvement of Ontario’s technology-based companies through management coaching and strategic networking.
Her recently launched MoveTheDial network seeks to amplify, connect and educate women in the tech sphere, and Kovitz told Digital Journal just how ready Canadian entrepreneurs and tech experts are for the change.
“MoveTheDial is a growing global movement,” said Kovitz. “I have a team of 75 people and I have 2,000 people in the community that have engaged since January because people are hungry for action.
“It’s starting out of Toronto which we’re really proud of. And our team includes both women and men because we all care about putting our best talent forward and unleashing the power that our female talent already has.”
Kovitz spoke at the launch of the Elevate Toronto festival this week, emphasizing just how much can be gained through the promotion of female talent in the city’s startup community.
“Diversity and inclusion are fundamentals of innovation and global winning outcomes,’ said Kovitz.
Elevate is a three-day technology festival that will run from September 12-14, at the tail end of TIFF. The tech event will highlight the best of Toronto’s innovative ecosystem.
MoveTheDial is a key partner and will be involved throughout the festival.
As to why the MoveTheDial movement is seeing so much energy in such a short amount of time, Kovitz said it’s all about the group’s inclusive approach.
“The reason why MoveTheDial is gaining so much momentum is we’re incredibly collaborative and we welcome everybody to join. There are amazing organization in the community doing great work — Ladies Learning Code, Catalyst — and we are bringing people together to advance the cause together. Rising tides float all boats.
“It’s incredibly inspiring and it’s lots of small actions. I would encourage people to think about what can you do today to move the dial for somebody else. Can you connect a female founder to the media for her to share her story? Can you set up a meeting for someone to get venture funding? Can you coach or mentor a young female developer on how to build relationships, which are skills she might not have learned in engineering.
“These tiny, small steps — which might be two minutes, five minutes, an hour, ten hours — that is what’s ultimately going to move the dial and why everyone believes in the work we’re doing and why we’re anchoring day one of Elevate Toronto.”
As Elevate Toronto CEO and cofounder Razor Suleman made clear at the event’s launch, the festival will be about diversity and inclusion first and foremost. Built into that promise is an incredible amount of collaboration. For Kovitz, this coming together of business and tech leaders is the most inspiring aspect of Elevate.
“I’m excited about the way the community is coming together. It’s amazingly inspiring to see the community work together to achieve success and learning from other best-in-class tech ecosystems around the world.
“When I went with Mayor Tory to Israel in the fall, one of the greatest lessons we learned as a community is that in every place we visited, they talked first about the Israel ecosystem and then about themselves. That is what we’re now doing together. We are talking first about Toronto and what we are accomplishing and then about our individual projects and organizations. That is how we’ll win.”
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