Co-Founder & CEO, Ladies Learning Code and Canada Learning Code
Melissa is an entrepreneur, business leader, advisor, professor and lifelong student focused on studying and building the future of education and work. As Co-Founder and CEO of the national charity Canada Learning Code, Melissa has established a reputation as a fierce advocate for digital skills education. She is dedicated to ensuring that all people in Canada – especially equity deserving groups – have the critical skills, confidence, and opportunities that they need to become passionate builders — not just consumers — of technology and to thrive in our increasingly digital world.
Founded as Ladies Learning Code in 2011, the organization has evolved into Canada Learning Code and champions digital literacy for Canadians, working nationwide and across all sectors to equip women and youth with technical skills. To date, the organization has taught over 700,000 people in Canada technology skills through their in-person programs, which are offered in over 30 cities across the country and now live online.
Melissa’s efforts to promote digital literacy in Canada have garnered attention from national media outlets like CTV, CBC, and The Globe & Mail. She has been recognized for her work by being awarded the Governor General Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case honouring Canadians who advance gender equality as well as RBC Entrepreneur of the Year, WXN Top 100 Women and Canada’s Top 40 Under 40.
Melissa holds an HBA degree from the Richard Ivey Business School, a Master’s in Education Policy from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto and is a Ph.D. student in Education Policy at OISE as well. She taught herself how to build websites from scratch using HTML when she was 11 years old and has been coding ever since. Currently, Melissa is also a professor of Business at Fanshawe College and enjoys being a new first-time mom.
Photo by Stefano Barbera
Melissa Sariffodeen talks about the responsibility educators have to ensure that each Canadian child has access to critical tech skills of the 21st century. She will introduce Teachers Learning Code- a program designed to provide traditional and non-traditional educators with the resources to feel confident teaching coding in their classrooms. Additionally, Melissa will share evidence-based best practices for creating learning environments that are conducive to learning technical skills.
In this keynote, Melissa Sariffodeen speaks to the changing reality of work in the western world and discusses the cause of the gender gap in tech. . Melissa will illustrate the importance of providing your team with the necessary tech skills to adapt to the changes. This keynote will share solutions for developing a Canadian workforce primed and ready to take on the lucrative, rewarding tech-powered careers of today and the future.
A personal and interactive discussion with Melissa Sariffodeen sharing personal stories and thoughts on various topics including: