Google Canada’s Sabrina Geremia on Why Everyone Needs Digital Skills

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Sabrina Geremia doesn’t believe in natural-born leadership, but instead believes that great leaders come in an array of shapes and sizes. “I ultimately believe that anyone can use great leadership, as long as you put in the work and are committed to learning, growing, and adapting,” she says.

As Vice President and Country Manager of Google Canada, Jeremiah has become one of the top names in the country, with over 25 years of experience both locally and abroad. In leading Google Canada’s advertising business and the strategic direction of the company’s cross-functional business strategy—including community investment—Geremia’s focus is on helping Canadian businesses thrive in the global digital economy and creating a stronger and more sustainable future for all Canadians. To develop sustainable digital skills.

nominated Canadian business Leader-in-residence this month, sat down with Jeremiah cb To discuss diversity in tech, her career journey and the steps Google is taking to connect more Canadians with the tools they need to thrive in the digital economy.

What personal experiences do you think have contributed to your success?

To be honest, it starts with my family. I come from a large, unconventional immigrant family where I was the youngest of six children. A lot was happening at home and I was constantly listening and watching. I think that because my parents instilled a lot of trust in me, I was able to discover at a young age the value of taking risks and forging my own path and trusting my own judgment. A little later in life, around age 16, I signed up for an international exchange that took me to Sweden for the summer. Immersing myself in a new culture and challenging my own perspective has also worked well for me.

But one of the key memories that I believe directly underpins my potential in the technical field is when my older brother brought home an early IBM computer around Christmas. He encouraged me to open the box and explore as much as I could. Freeing myself from the intimidation of technology was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever received – instilling in me an enthusiasm that eventually led to an internship at Microsoft during my studies at Laurier University. I try to encourage all women and people from underrepresented communities to shed any fear of technology in a similar way.

How does diversity in technology lead to innovation?

Diversity drives better results and should be a part of every business. At Google, we approach diversity in three different ways. The first focuses on building a culture that accelerates representation, a strong talent pool and an inclusive workplace. Secondly, diversity should be a part of our co-creation process. This is critical to the long-term success of the products we create through a variety of approaches. One example is the team’s optimization of skin color detection in our Pixel cameras. User experience suffers when you don’t bring diversity to your team. Finally, diversity means investing in the communities you operate in. The investments that Google has made in digital skilling, particularly for underrepresented groups, are significant. It comes down to making sure everyone has access to equal opportunity.

How essential are digital skills when entering today’s workforce, regardless of field?

When I was early in my career, it was exciting to be one of the only people at the table who had some technical knowledge. Today, it is less an advantage and more a necessity. Digital is essential for working Canadians, no matter what occupation you are in. If digital is going to change the shape and footprint of businesses across the country, all workers need to have access to digital skills. I’ve also spoken to developers and real estate leaders who agree that digital skills are needed today, even in the trades. micro credit that Google provides through Google Careers Certificate The programs are one example of how we are working to provide greater access to skills that lead to attractive and high-demand jobs.

What has your international marketing experience taught you about the Canadian market?

In a country as diverse as Canada, it is easy to see how much we have in common with people from different cultures. Travel, however, provides lots of opportunities to learn about our weak spots and really challenge the attitudes that we develop throughout our careers. I think my international experience has taught me a lot about the Canadian market, but it has mostly influenced how I understand diversity in the workforce. Prioritizing this has created a greater sense of inclusion and belonging, which I believe drives everything forward.

What are some milestones that have inspired you?

When I think of Google’s impact and our shared purpose, I immediately think of Canadian small businesses. we just released our annual economic impact report, which details the $37-billion Google tools provided in economic activity for Canadian businesses, non-profits, publishers, creators and developers. What inspires me so much is how we are working with nearly two million businesses and impacting so many lives.

What was it like as a woman entering the tech field, and does that experience reflect the current landscape?

There have been many gains for women in tech but there is definitely still a long way to go. Google releases a Diversity Report every year, which showcases our data around the topic. So, we can see very clearly when progress is being made. For example, in 2021, 37.5 percent of global new hires will be women—our best ever. I consider this a great progress, yet there is room for improvement. Not to mention, role models are a huge part of encouraging young women to enter the field. While I hope to see more, there are so many fantastic female businesspeople in Canada that are testament to our evolving culture. Joanna Griffiths from nix, eva wong from Borowell and of course Naura Sakkizha There are only a few from Majuri. Plus, our Google For Startups Accelerator’s Maayan Ziv—who runs a company called Access Now—is another example of how fostering an inclusive culture can lead to meaningful change.

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