2018: Year in Review

Anne Servidad

December 21, 2018

2018 was the year for Canadian tech. For a long time we’ve seen the Canadian Brain Gain building momentum. But we don’t have to wait for it anymore. It’s here. Over the past year, we beat out the Bay Area for adding the most technology jobs in the past five years, we’re ranked 4th in the world when it comes to attracting global tech talent and we’re the global leader in AI. Not to mention our increased government investment and the slew of American giants opening tech hubs in Canada.

The Canadian tech ecosystem is ever-changing, fueled by those who are truly dedicated to its growth. As a long-time supporter of Canadian tech, we at gdR immerse ourselves in the community and work towards a common goal– to help build world-class companies, products and people.

In 2018, we helped 60+ tech companies recruit great leaders and team members. We’ve also trained 100s of people to become better leaders by providing them with transformative tools they can use daily. Some of this year’s highlights also include Canadian Tech at Scale, our Leadership Development program and community initiatives + resources.


Canadian Tech at Scale


One of the ways we provided value in the tech community was through our third annual Canadian Tech at Scale conference. This year, we continued our partnership with Jean-Michel Lemieux (SVP of Engineering, Shopify) and welcomed Inmar Givoni (Autonomy Engineering Manager, Uber ATG) to the organizing team. We brought Canada’s top engineering leaders together to learn from each other’s successes and failures as their companies continued to scale.

These Canadian leaders dove into topics such as the role of AI in solution generation to more leadership focused challenges like reinventing how tech leaders are made. And of the total 150 engineering & AI leaders, we ensured the increased representation of women (30% of attendees and 65% of the speakers). Of course, we know this is only a start and our aim is to push these numbers for next year!

Ideas were shared and connections were formed, and inspired by our tech community, we wrote a piece for the Globe and Mail around how to sustain the Canadian Brain Gain and how to keep the Canadian talent home.


Leadership Development Training


This year our leadership development practice has rapidly grown and allowed us to better support the objective of growing the Canadian tech ecosystem. We welcomed a new leadership coach to our team, Miranda Donald, to help us transform 100s of exec teams and people managers in helping them build their leadership toolbox and transform their organizations.

But our leadership team didn’t stop there. They recognized the need to hold a safe, intimate space for women in tech with the intention to support and coach them through difficult situations. To accomplish this, we’ve hosted monthly women in tech coaching circles throughout the year on topics including:

We’ve impacted 100s of women and provided them with the transformational tools they can exercise daily. Empowering these women in tech is another way we can help build amazing people in the tech community.


Community Events + Resources


In the tech community the collaboration is never-ending. We can push the boundaries of technology by working together and learning from each other’s experiences. It’s why we wanted to produce content that would bring immense value to the community we love.

This year, we’ve taken part in events including Startup Career Expo and Startup Open House, which helped us to create the Tech Dreams Series and the Tech Resources Guide. These resources are for those who want to know how to stand out to tech companies and to better understand the world of tech. We’ve also spoken at Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers National Conference (CACEE) at Wilfrid Laurier University to create awareness of tech careers in Canada.      

We wanted to create awareness around the positive impact of leadership development as well, and what better way to do that than having Mic Berman, who has 20+ years experience building, running, and coaching top tech companies share her wisdom. Mic Berman has spoken at Shopify about How to Build Great (and Lasting) Company Cultures and in a MentorWorks’ webinar called Funding to Develop World Class Tech Talent.   

Do you have any topics you’d like for us to explore next? We’re more than happy to help you navigate through your career and empower you to be a better leader. Email me at anne@grossmandorland.com with your suggestions 🙂

A huge thank you to those in the tech community for trusting in us and for partnering with us to help build world-class companies, products and people.

Let’s continue to crush it more in 2019, Canada!

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