Calgary company models growing LGBTQ2S+ diversity movement in tech industry

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As a teenager, Danielle Barker was always drawn to all things technology, especially software development. She knew she wanted to be in the tech sector but was cautious about pursing it as a career.

“I saw it as a male-dominated industry and any time that’s the situation, trans people have trouble fitting in and feeling like they are part of the team,” Barker said.

But she persevered and took classes at InceptionU, an organization offering courses in the industry for individuals and corporations.

“That was like a dream come true,” Barker said.

She was so impressive and dedicated she got hired as a tech facilitator supporting students.

“You never know what you’re going to come up against. I’ve had a lot of struggles but it is encouraging to see the direction things are going,” Barker said.

InceptionU founder, Margo Purcell, said it was a natural fit to bring Barker onto the team.

“Danielle just showed us who she is. She was such a generous person with her fellow learners and still is. She is so keen to learn and curious–how couldn’t I have her as part of the team?” Purcell said.

Purcell said the potential for productivity and profitability is something their organization is harnessing and hopes others work to create a culture of diversity.

“The limitations that happen when someone can’t be their whole selves, the cognitive energy that goes into being careful about what I say, who I am–that takes away from them doing really great work,” Purcell said.

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