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.

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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!


You may remember that last June, the social media platform introduced advanced comment filters intended to wipe out hurtful remarks. Instead of just filtering out words and phrases that are seen as offensive, Instagram uses machine learning to take context into account, both helping to erase more offensive comments while flagging fewer false positives.

Now, that technology is expanding, just in time for October’s National Bullying Prevention Month. Here’s a rundown of the new features:

Detecting bullying in photos

Instagram will now apply that advanced machine learning to photos and captions so its Community Operations team can more “proactively detect bullying,” Instagram head Adam Mosseri said in a release. He also expressed concern for protecting the platform’s youngest users, since teens experience higher rates of bullying online than others. (A 2017 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 14.9% of high school students were electronically bullied in the 12 months prior to their survey.)

This new feature is rolling out to all users in the coming weeks.

Bullying comment filter on Live videos

The advanced comment filtering techniques mentioned above, which previously were only used to hide bullying comments in your feed, profile page, and Explore tab, are now globally available on Instagram Live as well.

Kindness camera effect

If you’ve played around on Instagram Stories recently, you’ve probably found yourself LOLing to a funny face filter-and now you can share the good vibes with all your friends. Instagram partnered with Dance Moms phenom Maddie Ziegler to launch a new camera effect all about spreading kindness.

In selfie mode, you’ll see hearts filling up your screen, and you’ll then be encouraged to tag a friend to show them some love. Your friend will be notified, and they can share it to their own story or spread the kindness to someone else. When you switch camera views, you’ll get an overlay of kind comments in languages from all over the world. (If you follow @maddieziegler, you should have the camera effect automatically. If you aren’t a follower but you see someone else using the effect, tap “try it” to add it to your camera.)

Credit: Pulse

The latest feature in BBC Innovators series is 31-year old Aggrey Mokaya who runs an NGO – Change Hub – bring tech training to women in Langata maximum-security prison, Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

Mokaya, who is also a tutorial fellow at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture, has through his organisation, trained 21 women so far and hopes to expand to every prison in Kenya.
“It’s all about giving people a second chance. It’s all about giving them a chance to tap into the economy they were not a part of before,” he said in the feature by Tamasin Ford and Suzanne Vanhooymissen.

60-80% of all inmates in Kenya will reoffend and land back in jail, according to Kenya Prisons’ statistics from 2014.

Mokaya’s organisation is working to reduce this.

“An ex-convict and a person who has never committed a crime, in the eyes of the law they are the same. So I think they should also be the same in the eyes of the economy, in the eyes of entrepreneurship or opportunities.
“If they are denied opportunities and chances to actually get into a space where they can make something of themselves we are basically setting them up to fail,” Mokoya said.

One of the beneficiaries, Dorcus, 44 who is due to be released later this month after serving half of her 3 and half-year sentence fr forgery had this to say:
When I came to prison I didn’t know computers. Now I can do anything. I can even create you a computer.

I have five children and I’m a widow, so going back to those children is the most important thing to me.

I won’t be moving around having dust on my feet as I don’t have a car.
It will change my life. I will be saving time and money.

Another beneficiary Rahab Nyawira, 35, who was released this year and now runs her catering business is also thankful and grateful she’s making her three children proud.
“There’s nothing you can compare with prison. Prison is the worst place to be but for me it was my turning point.

My website, I can say, it is my superpower in my business. It helps me meet new clients online everywhere in Kenya.

I learnt so many things through Change Hub. I was introduced to HTML, CSS and Javascript. For my website I coded everything myself.

When my daughter sees me now, I feel so proud,” she said.

On why he chose to start with a women’s prison, Mokaya said:
There’s a gender bias when it comes to technology.
If I’m able to impact the life of one woman it means you know there is a knock-on effect. It’s even a chance for her kids to get exposed to that programming early on.
When you talk about wanting to do a technology project everyone says why don’t you go to the men’s prison, or the juvenile prison?
I look at that and say yes it’s important, but it’s secondary. We will get there once we get it right at the women’s prison.

Credit: Bellanaija