REDspace, the Bedford website development and interactive experience agency, has claimed the Diversity Champion of the Year award at Digital Nova Scotia’s second annual Digital Diversity Awards.

The organization, which announced the winners last week at the Centre for Women in Business’ Spring Finale, also presented its Next Generation Leadership award to tech entrepreneur Lianne Perry. Nur Zincir-Heywood, a professor at the Computer Science faculty at Dalhousie University, was awarded the prize for Women Leaders in the Digital Economy.

The awards were established in 2016 to acknowledge and applaud female leaders and diversity champions in Nova Scotia’s ICT sector, while encouraging the province’s next generation of women leaders.

“The Digital Diversity Awards are bringing attention to the importance of increasing the number of women employed in Nova Scotia’s ICT sector,” Daphne North, REDspace’s Marketing and Communications Manager, said in a statement. “We’re truly honoured to be recognized by champions like Digital Nova Scotia and the Centre for Women in Business as an organization who is leading the way in change.”

REDspace is an active champion for diversity, with women making up half of the company’s senior executive team and management positions. As a company that has doubled in size over the last three years, REDspace has maintained a focus on diversity and inclusion – providing all employees flexible work arrangements, making it easier for parents to accommodate sick children and school closures. The company actively challenges the gender pay gap by ensuring salaries align with industry averages for each individual and every role.

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A co-founder of PinPoint Virtual Solutions and Karmabuy, Lianne Perry is a student of St Mary University’s Master’s of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, a Senior Manager at the Sobey School of Business Development, a mother, and an entrepreneur. She is a faculty advisor for the Enactus Saint Mary's team (currently ranked in the Top 5 in Canada), and a member of Techsploration’s Advisory Board. “I’m thrilled to be selected as the recipient for the Power IT Up: Next Generation Leadership award,” said Perry. “I’ve made it my personal and professional mission to help advance women in the local technology sector. I believe it is important to be a positive influence on our younger generation and I will continue to mentor young women to become more purposeful and impactful in their professional goals.”

Nur Zincir-Heywood is a senior faculty member in Computer Science at Dal, and she plays an essential role in preparing our future IT workforce. She is a founding member and chair of the Culture of Respect in Computer Science committee, and the founder and advisor to the student group: Women in Technology Society.

“In accepting this award, I hope to inspire more women from diverse backgrounds to believe in themselves and just do it,” she said.

 “Our awards are about actively promoting, celebrating and acknowledging leadership and diversity within Nova Scotia’s fastest growing industry,” says

Through Digital Nova Scotia’s partnership with the Women in Communications and Technology, all award recipients will also be automatically vetted and nominated for WCT’s own national annual awards program. This year, 2016 Digital Diversity Award winner Jenelle Sobey, the CEO of Norex, was recognized nationally and awarded the WCT Emerging Leader Award.

DNS President and CEO Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia said the awards highlight the increasing visibility of women leaders in ICT.

“Whilst it still may be male-dominated, we are working diligently toward gender parity on many levels, as we know that a more diverse sector and community, makes for more a productive and prosperous nation overall,” said Bahr-Gedalia.