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Accomplished Black Canadian Women

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Claudette McGowan is a global information technology leader with more than 18 years of success leading digital transformations, optimizing infrastructure and designing new approaches that improve service experiences.

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She has worked in the technology industry for several organizations such as Deloitte, Metropolitan Police Services, North York General Hospital, Bank of Montreal and TD Bank. ​

Claudette began her career at BMO in 2000 and held multiple senior leadership roles including Chief Information Officer, Enterprise Technology Employee Experience. In 2020, she joined TD Bank as Global Executive Officer for Cyber Security. ​

In her spare time, Claudette writes books for children, builds robots and is the founder of the Black Arts & Innovation Expo. Claudette holds a Bachelor of Arts from Lakehead University and a Master of Business Administration from Athabasca University.

Related: I Started Immiducation To Give Immigrant Professionals Access To Careers In Tech- Janey Buzugbe

She is the recipient of several prestigious awards: In January 2020, she was selected as an honoree at the Jamaican Canadian Association’s 20th International Women’s Day event for her groundbreaking work in STEM. In 2019, Toronto Life recognized her as one of the city’s Top 50 Most Influential Torontonians, Women’s Executive Network recognized her as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada, AdWeek Magazine heralded Claudette as a Toronto Brand Star, and the Digital Finance Institute honoured her as one of the Top 50 Canadian Women in FinTech.

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In September 2019, Claudette also had the honour of moderating what is being hailed as ‘the most insightful one-on-one conversation’ with Former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, in front of a sold-out crowd of 3,000-plus at Elevate, Canada’s largest technology festival.

Claudette was recently honored by Afroglobal TV as one of the 100 Most Influential Black Canadian , she also received the  Science and Technology Excellence Awards

We stan a queen!

 

When a woman is determined to win in life, nothing can stop her. Nnenna Uboma is a woman who understands the power of consistency and the importance of living intentionally.

She is the Chief Strategic Officer (CSO) of Beyond Math, an initiative she started during the COVID lockdown, alongside her teenage children, Jasmine and Jami. Beyond Math helps kids to develop and retain in-depth analytical, complex problem-solving skills required to succeed.  The Canadian based initiative provides a strong STEM based capability to excel in mathematical and quantitative discipline.

Nnenna Uboma

Nnenna Uboma is also an Analytics Senior leader and has over 20 years of experience leading high performing analytical teams to develop industry edge solutions in one of the leading financial institutions in Canada. Her passion for tutoring and coaching analytical professionals over the past decade made her a sought-after speaker at different conferences across the globe. She has mentored many successful professionals in Analytics.

The amazon whose teenage daughter is the CEO of Beyond Math  spends her spare time nurturing High School kids in Leadership and Entrepreneurship skills. Nnenna was recently recognized as one of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women. She shares her inspiring story with Esther Ijewere.

Childhood Influence

My father was a successful lawyer, Barrister AT Udechukwu. He wanted me to be a lawyer basically because he thought I could put my perspectives rightly on the table. He marvelled at  my ability to ideate quickly. I did not pursue the law profession as I wanted a career in STEM.

However, my childhood which included visiting many legal courtrooms enhanced my logical thinking which I find very beneficial as a data analytics professional. I call myself a data solicitor which basically means I present my perspectives in a business court room instead of a legal courtroom. In my perspective, I am living the childhood dream of my father as a (data) solicitor.

Inspiration behind Beyond Math

During COVID, we were locked down at home and I wanted something worthwhile that will keep us all motivated at home. Beyond Math was birthed by my daughter Jasmine Uboma who is a second-year student. Beyond math kept myself and my two teenage children, Jasmine and Jami connected during COVID. Three of us authored Beyond Math workbooks. I led the project and managed through the cycle to ensure it was birthed. Math was something we had in common.

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My Role As A Senior Analytics Leader

I work in one of the leading financial institutions in Canada as a Director. It has been a journey in the analytics field. A career I pivoted into when I arrived in Canada. I remember analyzing the job listing on Indeed at the time and noticed SAS being mentioned in many of the analyst roles. Building a career in analytics involves knowing how to code in tools like SQL and use visualization tools like PowerBI.

Challenges 

The technology field is always evolving, and new applications are introduced into the market continuously. I built a niche for myself in Business IT as a Business Data Analyst which simply identifies me as an end user and removes the burden of learning the configuration of every new tool in the market. It is a very stable career path.

 Why I made My Daughter The CEO of Beyond Math, And How I Discovered Her Talent 

Yes, Jasmine Uboma is the CEO of Beyond Math. I am only playing the role of a mother and nurturing what you see or do not see is one great role of mothers. I see the best in people and with the methodology of “make believe”, we achieve a lot.

Jasmine is a very shy lady and introvert by personality, but I think I have succeeded in making her a talk of town. She recently got appointed as the Executive Director of External Affairs for Women in STEM, Western Ontario. She is one to watch out for.

My Thoughts On Kidpreneurs

From the production of Beyondmath, kids need a role model and a mentor to look up to as they take on very challenging tasks, such as being a kidpreneur. One thing I did at the time Beyond math was being authored was to roll my sleeves and carry the blocks as well.

Jasmine and Jami authored the 256 pages of Beyondmath while I did the editing and publishing as well as marketing. We raised over $5000 from Kickstarter pre-launch. They could see my real involvement and not just dishing out tasks. This kept the motivation going. With kids, playing at their level makes a great difference.

How I am Using My Organization To Create Room For Women In The Community

I participate in many immigrant platforms in Canada and have volunteered as a guest speaker or panelist in many of the community functions. I have also mentored many young women like Jasmine who are playing in their respective careers today. It’s been very fulfilling seeing my mentees grow. I also support immigrants who want to play in any data field with coaching and mentoring.

One Thing I Wish To Change In The Education Sector In Canada

I think that the classroom does not represent today’s digital environment. Students have still been taught with curriculum developed many decades ago. I think that subjects like quantitative reasoning should be introduced early to kids which is one of the reasons I love Beyondmath workbooks.

Nnenna Uboma

3 Women Who Inspire Me and Why

One woman that inspires me is Michelle Obama. I took a picture mimicking her pose. It is all about ‘Becoming’. It is either you own your story and write it or others write it for you. One fact is we are all becoming. It is not a matter of where you come from but where you are going. We are all becoming!

As a child I was very playful but quite intelligent. It took someone to get me focused and forced me to have dreams. My mom put in a lot to get me where I am. The dining table, study time, her tears when I don’t get the first position and many more. She remains my inspiration. At 80years, she proofread and edited my books. She is an English graduate. Mrs Uzoamaka Udechukwu is a lady. I admire her strength and passion to see those she loves to succeed.

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I admire Jasmine a lot. She is my daughter but a very respectful and responsible young girl. There is a saying that one can only be a shepherd when you have a sheep. I am so excited to see how she has grown especially as we worked on the establishment of Beyondmath. I am happy to have the privilege to build with her what my mom built with me.

Other Projects and activities

I am authoring another “Lessons to my younger self” which is currently with the publisher. The book is designed to colorfully attract young adults. It will also be published as a journal which will allow readers to write their experiences as we go through my lessons.  Currently I am doing my Phd. and hoping to celebrate my graduation soon. I am also a leader in church and in everything that I do, spreading the word of Jesus is at my core.

My Work-Life Balance Routine , How Manage It All As A Mom, Wife and Business Woman

This is a question I get very often. How do you do it? It is mainly about delegation. Appreciating, trusting, and accepting what others do for you knowing you can’t do everything by yourself. It must not be perfect, it’s all in perspective. Give opportunities for coaching and growth. I am also good with prioritization. I focus on things that are critical and spread the projects out. Giving myself sufficient time has helped me mentally not to be in a race with anything.

Nnenna Uboma

Being A Woman Of Rubies

I see myself as a role model for my younger self. I have had my own rough journey of which one that comes to heart, was being told in my early career that I could not climb the professional ladder because of my Igbo accent. It was hurtful but at the same time great motivation to be my better self. My story is an inspiration to many like me as they try to navigate corporate Canada.

You can connect with Nnenna Uboma on Instagram- @triplejcounsulting or call: +12896278486