Women and Innovation [fr]

To mark International Women’s Day, France and Canada will be holding on March 8, 2023, Women and Innovation, an event to recognize organizations that support women’s participation in the tech ecosystem.

This in-person event will be held simultaneously in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, as well as in Paris at the offices of Willa, a key player in the feminization of innovation in France. Women and Innovation will feature the official release of the report Women and Innovation: Encouraging Female Entrepreneurship and Increasing the Role of Women in Tech – Comparing France and Canada, which looks at the French and Canadian initiatives deployed by incubators, investors, non-profits, companies and startups to promote women’s participation in the tech ecosystem. The event will also mark the official launch of the ABEONA Network, the first France-Canada network for organizations that promote diversity in innovation in both countries.

The event will be hosted by French Tech Toronto in Toronto, French Tech Grand Paris in Paris, the French CCI in Canada in Montreal and the France Executive Circle in Vancouver. The discussions at each of the 4 events will be kicked off by Michel Miraillet, Ambassador of France to Canada, and Stéphane Dion, Ambassador of Canada to France. The round tables will be introduced by Chiara Corazza, Private Sector Representative for France at G20 EMPOWER (the Alliance for the Empowerment and Progression of Women’s Economic Representation), member of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council (a G7 high-level independent advisory body) and former CEO of the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society; and Clara Chappaz, Director of French Tech.

In each city, a panel of distinguished guests (see list below) will then engage in a discussion to share their experience and discuss areas in which France and Canada can work together to increase the representation of women in entrepreneurship and tech.

Funded primarily by the French government via a call for projects sent out to the French Tech communities, these events were organized by French Tech Grand Paris, French Tech Toronto with the support of the French Embassy in Canada, the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Canada, and Willa, and are sponsored by TD, Zenika, Crédit Mutuel Equity, MakilaAI, MITACS and Zone Franche, with support from Willa, the Toronto Region Board of Trade and Clearly.

Quote from Clara Chappaz, Director of French Tech:

“A bilateral collaboration between France and Canada on gender parity in technology offers a unique opportunity to share our experiences and pool our efforts to achieve our gender equality goals. By working together, France and Canada have the opportunity to inspire future policies at a global level and to encourage international organizations to accelerate the transformation of the technology ecosystem towards greater inclusion and equality.”

About the report Women and Innovation: Encouraging female entrepreneurship and increasing the role of women in tech – Comparing France and Canada

A selection of women leaders from leading organizations in France and Canada that support women in entrepreneurship and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) present their roles and results. This report aims to present their programs as well as recommendations to achieve gender parity in the tech professions and within the startup ecosystem.

More than 30 incubators, venture capital funds, companies and startups participated in this report and shared their programs and visions for a more gender-balanced innovative tech ecosystem.

Participants in the development of the report

- In Canada: BDC, ICTC, CVCA, The Forum, Spring Activator, Startup Canada, The51, Technovation Montreal, Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub, Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada and WEConnect International.
- In France: 50inTech, Be a Boss, Business O Féminin, Diversidays, Femmes Business Angels, France Invest, La French Tech Côte d’Azur, Journée de la Femme Digitale, Elaia, OVHcloud, Sista and Willa.

To read the full report, click HERE

About the ABEONA network

The name ABEONA, which comes from Latin and means "departure" and is also the name of the Roman goddess of travel, perfectly embodies the essence of the project to create a network between France and Canada to support women in tech.

This network will bring together French and Canadian organizations to implement concrete actions, share best practices and influence strategic decisions in our countries to promote parity and diversity in technology and to enable women to connect and support each other in their journey.

This bilateral network feeds into our primary French Tech commitment to support the emergence of technology leaders in international markets. Fostering the creation of a relationship of trust between organizations and developing mutual recognition between France and Canada, this network will support the transformation of our technology companies towards greater parity and diversity, and accelerate mobility between France and Canada – and more broadly, between Europe and North America – for companies founded by women.

Find the website of the ABEONA network at https://www.abeonanetwork.com/

Panelists for the March 8, 2023 event


  • Solenne Lafeytaud, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, L’Oréal Canada ;
  • Delphine Persouyre, Operating Partner, Infrastructure, CDPQ;
  • Stéphanie Jecrois, Executive Director Technovation Montréal ;
  • Marion Nadeau, Québec Regional Director, Décathlon Canada.

- To register ➡ Montreal


  • Justine Ba, Director, Publicstudio;
  • Yona Brawerman, Chief Strategy and CSR Officer OVHCloud;
  • Bettina Denis, Head of sustainability Revaia;
  • Sabine Dandiguian, Managing partner JEITO ;
  • Flore Egnell, General Delegate Willa ;
  • Sandrine Jullien-Rouquie, CEO and Cofounder Ludilabel ;
  • Delphine Remy-Boutang, CEO and Cofounder, la Femme Digitale.

- To register ➡ Paris (Willa)


  • Kayla Isabelle, CEO Startup Canada;
  • Namir Anani, CEO ICTC;
  • Olivier Damour, COO Canada Zenika;
  • Shelley Kuipers, Co-CEO chief Growth Officer The51;
  • Krystal van Westerop, National Manager, Women in Enterprise TD;
  • Sabine Soumare, Executive Director Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH).

- To register➡ Toronto


  • Davina Macphail, Impact Investment Program Director, Spring activator;
  • Anna Chan, Founder and CEO MyMomentum;
  • Alexandra Cutean, Chief research officer ICTC;
  • Gretchen Ferguson, Senior Program manager, The Forum.

- To register ➡ Vancouver

Last modified on 08/03/2023

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