1) In 1-2 sentences, please explain what PLATO/PQA does.

 PQA is Canada’s leading independent quality assurance and software testing company. PLATO Testing is training and employing a network of Indigenous software testers across Canada to deliver outsourced testing solutions.

 2) How is PLATO/PQA helping support women (especially indigenous women) in pursuing STEM degrees and careers?

PQA has long supported initiatives like Girls STEM Up, along with co-op programs and scholarships to support women in STEM.

PLATO is specifically focused on providing training to Indigenous men and women, as well as, guaranteed employment for those who complete the training in locations close to their communities.

 3) Who is an example of a role model for women in STEM who has, or is currently working at PLATO/PQA?

PQA has been fortunate to have women in positions of leadership in our company consistently since the early days of our growth. This includes UNB Computer Science graduate and past Director of Content QA, Sarah Savoy, Ph.D. in particle physics former co-CEO Christine Weideman, and current VP Strategy and Bachelor of Chemistry holder Susan Holt. We are very proud of the employees and alumni of PQA.

Approximately 40% of our PLATO testing workforce are women, and we’re very excited by the gender balance we’re seeing in each PLATO training program we’ve launched.

 4) What is one message you would like to send to young women in STEM?

Our hope is that young women should definitely be in STEM! There are many diverse career options to be found in this field, along with huge growth opportunities.  The STEM field will be better and stronger for their participation in it!

5) What progress does PLATO/PQA hope to make in the next decade with regards to diversity and inclusion?

Together, PQA and PLATO are working to remove barriers to technology careers. We are aiming to employ 1000 Indigenous software testers across Canada in the next decade.