Co-founder of VR game studio Simulacrum Interactive and Lethbridge College instructor Allyson Cikor says she’s thrilled to have an opportunity to offer her hard-learned lessons in tech to other women starting out in STEM-related fields.
STEM sectors are science, technology, engineering, and math.
“I feel like I get to give that opportunity to people who didn’t have it, like myself, when they were first starting out,” Cikor said Thursday.
“I’m seeing a lot of women, especially during the pandemic when we’re spending more time at home, pick up pet projects or take coding courses online or join these communities and just get involved in the discussion,” she added.
These entrepreneurial women in southern Alberta are getting a boost thanks to Economic Development Lethbridge and Tecconnect, which are offering Women Entrepreneurs in STEM or “WESTEM” courses led by women in STEM to teach complementary technologies that are crucial to business.
“Those are all potentials for what we can bring to training for women who are identifying that as something that they’d like to do or just want to learn more about.”
The program is completely free to any women looking to start a business or up their game and will be offered through March 2022 thanks to funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada.
“If you’re in Calgary or Edmonton, you have ready access to almost anything,” Barlow said.
“So the geographic disadvantage that we had was one that we felt was really hurting women’s opportunity to engage in these fields, which is why we brought this programming down.”
Lori Olson says her first attempt at building an app took three years, despite her extensive software development experience, and she can’t wait to help other women avoid common pitfalls.
“Because we need to have apps that are created by women for women,” Olson said.
This community of women is not ending its networking efforts there.
Women in southern Alberta who are interested in participating can fill out the online survey and find applicable courses online at any time.