Tech Talent North 2024 – Western Edition

June 13, 2024

You had us at hello…

From inspiring keynote speeches to tactical breakout sessions, our recent People and Culture conference was a fantastic opportunity to connect as we embraced a growth mindset together and reconnected as a community.

From the early risers’ breakfast session on employee benefits to the Wine’d Up networking event at the end the day, the conference had a palpable energy and buzz this year, thanks to our amazing People and Culture community, panelists, speakers, and keynotes.

Insights from Industry Leaders and Panelists

Opening keynote, Jarvis Sam, set the tone for the day with his energy and compelling vision on the evolution of DEI in the workplace. His insights included an introduction to the CREDENTIAL framework, focusing on systemic change and a comprehensive approach to embedding DEI into organizational DNA. A key takeaway…diversity is for everyone. “We need to adapt our DEI strategy to today’s issues and realities of polarization”.

Breakout sessions throughout the day sparked meaningful discussion. Michael Timms invited us to consider the connection between accountable leadership and high-performance cultures. Weak leaders ask, ‘who is to blame?’. Strong leaders say, ‘where did the process breakdown?’. Asking yourself as a leader, and stating out loud, how you contributed to a problem, makes it safe for others to do the same.

There was barely even standing room in the AI Integration panel discussion with leaders from EA, Microsoft, and SAP. The panelists covered the hot topic with a discussion on levelling up GenAI for People and Culture applications and reminded us that in navigating a rapidly changing context, when uncertainty goes up, trust goes down. One imperative question to ask, ‘what can P&C do to support people and reduce uncertainty for employees?’. “This isn’t a change curve. It’s a change ECG.” Kelsy Trigg, Global Head HR Advisors, SAP.

Shona McGlashan’s lunch keynote offered us an open and honest look at prioritizing mental wellbeing, a topic that is recognized as fundamental for everyone in our fast-paced, high-pressure tech environments. As leaders we can connect people with mental health resources, create an inclusive workplace, show people that their mental health matters and remove the stigma around it.

We also took a deep dive into practical and niche topics like Pay Transparency and Private Equity Plans. In the session on Pay Transparency the panel of leaders from Elastic Path, Jane App, and Klue shared what worked and what didn’t throughout implementation with the narrative focused on pay structure, manager training, communicating the opportunities, gaining feedback, measuring impact with data, and the process. The discussion on Private Equity Plans dispelled some of the mystery with tactical takeaways, acknowledging that this critical tool for P&C leaders, is not as valued as it could be because it is not as widely understood.

Another afternoon breakout session covered the complexity of managing hybrid work with an all-star panel from FISPAN, Flytographer, and PayByPhone, sharing the wins of hybrid work, the tools to best optimize teams, measure output, foster efficiency and more.

Our closing keynote speaker, Anna Baird, shared a lot to unpack, including the democratization of AI paired with data literacy as a key to AI innovation. It’s time to go back to the principles of innovation to manage AI implementations within organizations, and that starts with having a psychologically safe foundation. It also entails being comfortable with failing. Fail fast and learn!

Building Meaningful Connections

How we lead and approach innovation within our teams requires adaptability, resilience, and a growth mindset. The skills we develop, the questions we ask, and the connections we make will all have a direct impact on the future success of our organizations. Collaboration is one of the foundational approaches to progress in a rapidly changing context. How will People and Culture lead the way in tech, and evolve amidst the complexity of our future workforce?

The Road Ahead – Implementing Lessons Learned

After an incredible day of learning and connection, we’re left wondering, how can we bottle up that energy and take it with us? We hope that you’ve been able to reflect on the experience and insights from the conference and have gained strategies and tactics that you can implement and keep in your toolkit.

Tech Talent North is a testament to the power of community:

"It was a day packed full of insights and impactful conversations at Tech Talent North. Our HR team really enjoyed the event! We are feeling inspired. Look forward to attending next year!" - Gabrielle Doiron, Reliable Controls.

"Excited to reconnect with some of my incredible past team members / friends from Global Relay at the Tech Talent North conference today in Vancouver." - Steve Taylor.

A special thank you to Queer Tech for joining us in the TAP Network lounge this year and sharing their report – Queering the Tech Ecosystem: Barriers and Opportunities Research, and to Cube Business Media for being the engine that makes the conference happen in both Vancouver and Toronto annually!

Connecting the People and Culture Community in Tech Across Canada

Our annual conference, Tech Talent North, is an incredible day of learning, collaboration and community, built by tech sector leaders and innovators. Founded in 2012, we re-launched TAP Network’s premier People and Culture conference for the tech sector in partnership with Cube Business Media in 2021, allowing us to bring you the special day annually in both Vancouver and Toronto!

Join us for our next Tech Talent North - Eastern Edition, happening this year in Toronto on October 28, 2024!  Details here

TTN Wester Edition 2024