This event was put on by Hive Waterloo Region, part of the Mozilla Foundation Hive Learning Community promoting digital literacy. Last year, Hive WR was known as Year of Code Waterloo Region. You can watch the video of last year’s live stream here.

There was no tap dancing. Well, it was short-lived, it would have been great to see Cat Coode of Binary Tattoo show off her dance moves. Instead, she shared some knowledge with us, which is much more powerful. Coode closed the show and really engaged the audience with her attire, she was wearing a TuTu. In minutes, we all forgot and were so focused on what she had to say.

1st up at the microphone… Stephanie Rozek Executive Director, Hive Waterloo Region, and the master of ceremonies for the evening.

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Change The Ratio was held at the Kitchener Public Library, or KPL as it is locally known. Follow @KitchLibrary

2nd up at the microphone…Mary Chevreau, CEO @ Kitchener Public Library

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TIP: Get your library card. It’s free!!!! Mary Chevreau kindly reminded us that we can get our library card at any circulation desk at Kitchener Library locations.

3rd up at the microphone…Bob Egan, Manager, Community Connections and Development @Kitchener Public Library

Bob Egan was charming, as always. He is an advocate of inclusion and access to tech programs. Not too long ago, there was a fundraiser held at KPL for something awesome called Studio Central. So far, they have partnered with local 3D Printing innovators, InkSmith 3D and will be running some programming to teach young ones about TinkerCAD.

If you haven’t heard of it, you can watch this video for more information: Learn about Studio Central with Bob Egan

1st speaker: Erica Lee Garcia Follow @ejdlee

Recap of #ChangeTheRatioWR with @HiveWR and @KitchLibrary

Erica kicked it off with high energy and spoke passionately about engineering. She is the Venture Lead for Engineers of Tomorrow, and co-organizer of National Engineering Month Ontario.

The main takeaway from her talk was the importance of sending the right message to children while they’re young, and so they can change the way engineering is defined as a profession. We all need to help people scale their businesses and companies with storytelling. We need to be teaching engineers how to tell their story so they can share their impact on the world.

When I was young I would take apart random things, because ‘I wanted to learn how it works.’ My dad told me I should be an engineer when I was very young, and looking back I had all the right ingredients as a child. I learned otherwise, like the woman Tina in Erica’s story, that I was not qualified to be an engineer. Now I understand how far from true that really is.

2nd & 3rd speakers: Caity Dyck and Steve Prentice

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Caity Dyck and Steve Prentice were presenting together talk about the importance of inclusive engineering communities. Caity has been actively working with Women in Engineering and Engineering Outreach since 2008, and Steve is the Residence and Community Life Manager at St Paul’s University College.

Caity owned the stage. This woman is so confident, inspiring, and enthusiastic about inclusivity. There is a lot of talk around female engineering students, which ultimately drives these women to do more, and become more qualified for positions. We need to be constantly celebrating the success of the diverse group of engineers by sharing great stories.

4th speaker: Sam Nabi is a web developer and founder of Shop Zest.

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Sam Nabi was a refreshing presence on stage. His slides were minimalistic but they were packed with insights and resources. He is an advocate for diverse teams, as team diversity directly impacts the product development. I barely took notes during Sam’s speech, he was a very engaging speaker. We need more men like Sam in the world who are allies to the minority.

5th speaker: Samantha Estoesta, the Community Engagement and Government Relations Manager at Mad Hatter Technology

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Samantha Estoesta was by far my favorite speaker. She is a gifted storyteller with natural stage presence. Her speech was funny, full of real stories about her journey with computers. Her personality combined with her powerful stories totally won over the audience.

My takeaway from Samantha was to break things down into formulas for easy understanding. I do this often, and I’m inspired to do it more. Everything can be a formula. You have to watch this, and watch this woman — expecting great things from her!

6th speaker: Danielle Graham, the Women in Technology Program Manager at Communitech

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Danielle had an impressive introduction. She grew up in Africa, and she learned young how powerful ideas can be to drive change. She has been a major catalyst for changing the ratio in Waterloo Region and beyond. I hope to work with Danielle and Communitech to further this initiative with the Fierce Founders program at Communitech.

7th and final speaker: Cat Coode, Digital Identity Expert, Speaker, and Founder of Binary Tattoo

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Finally, Cat Coode. I mentioned her during the introduction because her speech was fantastic. It left me feeling warm and fuzzy, because I felt so close to her story. I am an artist and designer, working with many different mediums like photography, wood, paint, and often mixed-media. There is no reason you can’t be an artist, and an engineer. Coode pointed out very frankly that the synonyms for Enginneers are essentially the same as they are for Artists. You Can Be Both.

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