Ulriike Bahr-Gedalia: Hopes 'young female leaders, including my daughter, see that the possibilities are endless'

Ulriike Bahr-Gedalia: Hopes 'young female leaders, including my daughter, see that the possibilities are endless'

A Halifax CEO, who is paving the way for more women to succeed in ICT, has been recognized for the third year in a row as one of Canada’s 100 most powerful women.

Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, who has been President and CEO of Digital Nova Scotia since 2013, was named Thursday to Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 by the Women’s Executive Network.

In her nearly five years running the Halifax-based non-profit, Bahr-Gedalia has helped to grow the organization as well as advocating for diversity in DNS and across the province.

“I am exceptionally proud to represent the digital sector and Nova Scotia with this award, and hope that young female leaders, including my daughter, see that the possibilities are endless, if you embrace risk and take on new challenges,” said Bahr-Gedalia.

Bahr-Gedalia, a native of Germany who's worked in five countries, is the first female president and CEO of DNS and under her leadership the organization has seen many other firsts.  

She has increased the number of women on DNS’s Board of Directors, implemented gender-neutral language in the by-laws and advanced programming for women in the tech sector. DNS has almost doubled the number of members it serves from 60 to over 110 since Bahr-Gedalia took over.

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She established the Digital Diversity Awards, which celebrate female involvement and gender diversity in the digital industry. What’s more, she has pushed national collaborators to enhance the profile of Nova Scotia’s leaders and had DNS join the Information and Communications Technology Council as the first East Coast representative in 25 years.

Bahr-Gedalia said her business philosophy revolves around smart decision-making and “approaching challenges with a positive attitude and without fear.”

DNS increased its funding from organizations like the Status of Women Canada, which funded the Women Leaders Fueling the Digital Economy initiative.

The 36-month project aimed to increase the participation of women in senior level positions in the growing ICT sector and was the first project of its kind for the province.

Among her many accolades, Bahr-Gedalia was also featured in Canada 150 Women, which featured profiles from 150 female role modes in Canada including, Elizabeth May, Kim Campbell and Hayley Wickenheiser.

At the top of the list of her many achievements, Bahr-Gedalia said she will always be the most proud of her family.

Moving forward, Bahr-Gedalia plans to increase DNS’s work around the province, strengthening networks for the Nova Scotian tech sector and inspiring others take on her inclusive philosophy that earns her titles like the Top 100.

“I am not a woman in tech and business,” she said. “I am a human being in tech and business.”