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Crashing the boys’ club

Newcomer now a leader in business technology through Chang School data analytics program
By: Mary Teresa Bitti
February 09, 2017
Joanna Kader

Photo: Joanna Kader emigrated from Syria to advance her career. Photo: Nicole Hack.

Chang School graduate Joanna Kader set two goals for herself.

The first goal: to excel as a woman in technology and be an example to other women to do the same. “Technology is still a boys’ club but women have a lot to offer,” she says. “I know that I approach analysis differently than men and I think that’s a strength. Plus, we are consumers. It’s important that new technologies take women into consideration. We should be part of those decisions.”

Kader received her Certificate in Data Analytics, external,Big Data and Predictive Analytics from external,The Chang School last year and credits Ryerson for her promotion from business development manager to data scientist, earning almost twice her previous salary and giving her a say in what happens next in technology. She is now director of services delivery for cloud-based solutions provider iTMethods and is a consultant with Rover Parking, a DMZ startup Kader describes as “the Airbnb of shared parking.”

Her second goal is to be an inspiration to the Syrian refugees who’ve just moved to Canada. Kader emigrated from Syria in 2000 because as a 25-year-old project manager she had “hit a glass ceiling based on gender and a system of cronyism.”

She chose Canada to restart her life because of her Canadian colleagues who were all from different cultural backgrounds and yet still Canadian. Kader says she felt that same sense of inclusiveness at Ryerson, where she took several courses to obtain the Canadian academic experience that employers value. “I started with one French course, then never stopped.”

Kader completed a Business Management certificate and was preparing for the GMAT when she realized she had a passion and affinity for math. That led her to the Data Analytics program and her new career.

“It’s not easy to change your life and start from zero. I want to show Syrian refugees that you can go back to school and you will succeed.”