Speaker: Ibrahim Gedeon, Chief Technology Officer, TELUS
Why is International Women’s Day & Women's History Month (US) important to you? How are you celebrating?
Ibrahim Gedeon: I think it's important to have a day where we acknowledge that there is a deficiency, in particular in the gender equality area, and we celebrate and reflect on Women's Day and what more can be done by all of us in society. We are celebrating the event through a series of panels and speakers that feature women and their life successes and lessons learned. And I'm pretty excited about the whole month of March on what needs to be done.
2022's International Women's Day theme is #BreakTheBias. Can you speak to biases we can work to break in our communities and/or workplaces?
Ibrahim Gedeon: The 2022 theme about #BreathTheBias, I believe addresses fundamental problem. But what we need to do as the subtle biases where we're not really sure we're committing any biases or prejudices and those are the worst kind of biases because they become implicit and we need to break that in our communities and our workplace. For example, I don't think when a male gets interviewed, does anybody wonder will they be going on paternity leave? I think if it's always something when a young female comes in. We've got to stop that kind of bias. The next thing is we need to support with role models because there's biases that started the home. Males can go on and become whatever they want. Women are within a defined part of society and whether it's beaten into me by my women around me or the reality of how innovative we are, I think we need to break all the biases that have a gender slant, whether we think they're harmful or not.
Who is a woman in history or in your life that has inspired you? How have they inspired you?
Ibrahim Gedeon: I think we're all the the child of our community and our experiences. So it's tough to talk about one woman in my life. I think my mother, my sisters, my aunts. It just I grew up where women were the dominant species. And I think once you get to know it, you recognize that they are your equals, if not your superiors. So they've always inspired me to do two things. One is never accept the status quo and never be satisfied because you could do better. And that's something that women through classical community and generational biases have to experience every day. Men don't so much. So I, they taught me that never accept the status quo and the fact you can always do better. Looking at women from history, I'd say my idol would be Marie Curie. At the time where women were not supposedly scientists, she persevered and she did the breakthrough after her husband died. Which was complete partnership effort. So that whole dedication notion and the fact that science knows no gender is what I loved about Marie Curie.