In this episode of Women Talk Tech, our guest is Janet Lin, Senior Director of Customer Engagement Technology at Loblaw Companies Limited. She talks about her journey coming to Canada to pursue a career in tech and the challenges she faced, along with the importance of diversity – in all aspects – as we embark on the new age of technology.

Janet grew up in Shanghai, China with her mother, a university professor, and her father who was running a company at the time. In traditional Chinese culture, parents do all the planning for their children from managing their studies to choosing which career path they would go down. This didn’t sit right for Janet. After high school, she decided to move to Canada to live her life the way she wanted which led her to choose a career in computer science.

“It was challenging,” says Janet, “I had to adopt North American culture versus Asian culture, I had to learn computer sciences versus what I had learned in the business domain in China, I had to learn to speak a different language, and how to pay my tuition on my own.”

These types of cultural challenges are faced by many, but with those challenges comes opportunity.

“Diversity is not just gender,” says Janet, “diversity brings different cultures, different ways of thinking, and many many other aspects.”

Marie and Janet discuss diversity in the tech sector as a whole and the opportunities that come with having not just women, but a vast cultural representation at your table. When it comes to women in tech specifically, they expand on why we may be seeing the numbers going down rather than up.

“To me, tech has a very broad variety of things you can contribute,” says Janet, “any woman should be able to feel comfortable and confident; to find their role that they feel they can contribute.”

Janet and Marie talk about the future of tech and the trends that she has been seeing working in customer engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen to find out how Loblaws as a company has been adapting and using technology to meet new demands and what Loblaws is doing for the advancement of women in tech.

You won’t want to miss this week’s podcast with Janet Lin!

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