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Jan. 12, 2018

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Lazaridis Executive Master’s in Technology Management (EMTM) alumna, Jennifer Smith ’12, has been featured in the book Women of Innovation as one of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum’s (CIM) 20 most inspiring Canadian women in innovation.

The book chronicles stories of Canadian women who are excelling in careers within the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. These women’s stories are linked together by a common theme that there simply was not enough female leadership in their sector of industry when they began their career, so they became the leaders they had always hoped to be mentored by. Now due in no small part to the contributions of these exceptional women, the STEM fields in Canada are seeing more females each year pursue an education and jobs within the fields of engineering, technology and science.

Smith’s article specifically highlights her exceptional professional and personal journey to becoming a technology innovator in Waterloo Region, the fastest growing technology market in Canada. As an engineer and a young vice-president, Smith faced her fair share of adversity and skeptics, including one university professor who said she was ‘the reason women should not be allowed in engineering’. However, for a woman with such tenacity, these comments fuelled Smith’s fire to be an exceptional engineer and change the professional landscape for young women wishing to pursue a profession as an innovator. Seeking opportunities for invention and improvement has always been a priority for Smith who notes the importance of having a natural curiosity about things. Mentioning that those who have a ‘natural inquisition, constant questioning and then the multiple perspectives piece’ are those who will find the most success as technology innovators.

When she’s not shaping the technology landscape in Canada, Smith regularly dedicates her time to educational initiatives serving the community through ventures such as Junior Achievement, an organization providing opportunities for youth to learn financial literacy and Go Eng Girl, a Women in Engineering initiative that allows girls to explore what an education in engineering could look like.

Yet, Smith is the first to admit that success is derived from the support of many different elements coming together to stand strong. She attributes a large portion of her success to her innate love for innovation, the loving and endless support of her family and friends, and the Lazaridis EMTM program.

Read more about Smith’s story and CIM’s other top 20 most inspiring Canadian women of innovation.   

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