We are surrounded by so many incredible women in our Cultivator community. They continue to push the boundaries and challenge the status quo in the tech industry. We know the importance of cheering female founders, leaders, and teammates on in an industry men have long dominated. But to quote PayTrail co-founder Carmen Johanson: “just because it’s a male-dominant field doesn’t mean you can’t dominate in the field.”

“For International Women’s Day and beyond, let’s all fully #EmbraceEquity. Equity isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA. And it’s critical to understand the difference between equity and equality.” —International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked women in our Cultivator community to share a personal reflection…

Dastu Omer

Software Developer – Co-op
Citrus Technology Inc. – GROW Company
“As a student, daughter of immigrants, and black Muslim woman entering the tech world, I felt overwhelmed and unsure of what to expect. Finding female mentors, and black female mentors, who could guide me throughout my university career and during my transition into the tech world was a challenge. Fortunately, once I started my first co-op position as a software/web developer at Citrus Technology (working out of the Cultivator HQ), I was able to work alongside female innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders who have given me incredible support throughout my term. Along with the encouragement of my mother, who has always been a pillar of strength to me, I can say that I’ve been able to find my place and hone my creativity like never before. This International Women’s Day, I want to celebrate the power of community, collaboration, solidarity, and representation among women in tech and the amazing and truly inspirational progress we have made. I’m especially proud and honored to help pave the way for young black girls in tech, and I’m inspired by the innovation and creativity within our community. Here’s to our continued success!”

Jessica McNaughton

Co-founder + CEO
memoryKPR – GROW Company
“Securing VC funding requires women to want it more, work harder, and deliver better results. It’s an unfortunate reality, but throughout history, women have risen to the challenge; we show up for ourselves and each other. We are equipped to do it again.”
“Being a female entrepreneur means breaking down barriers, defying expectations, and creating new possibilities. It’s about stepping into your power, embracing your unique perspective, and fearlessly pursuing your dreams. It means you are a trailblazer and a change-maker.  It also means you are never alone. We’ve got you!”

Cari-Lynn Schoettler

Director of Project Delivery
Grassland Ventures
“I’m so proud to work in this industry, specifically here in Saskatchewan. We’re surrounded by strong female founders, leaders, and mentors, and it’s truly such an empowering environment to be a part of.”

Kimberley Baldwin

PayTrail – START Cohort 4
“Growing up I had no idea how many opportunities existed inside the technology industry! I never would have imagined that one day I would say my dream job was being a software developer because it never even felt like an option. The second I started in tech, I felt like I had come home. A major reason for this was because of the amazing network of women who welcomed me to the industry with open arms. This community is innovative, supportive, and inspiring. You can’t help but feel unstoppable when you are a part of it.”

Serese Selanders

Founder + CEO
SolusGuard – SCALE Company
“Women in tech and business face unique challenges and obstacles, from gender bias and discrimination to unequal opportunities and capital restrictions. However, despite these obstacles, women are making significant strides and breaking barriers. Seeing the increasing representation of women in technology and business in Saskatchewan inspires me, and I am excited about the future as we continue to shatter stereotypes and make meaningful contributions.”

Carmen Johanson

PayTrail – START Cohort 4
“Since I’ve started my technical career, I’ve been surrounded by amazing people who want to see me succeed – I want everyone to be able to say the same. Regardless of your gender, be a cheerleader for the women in your life.”
“I am so proud to be a woman. Be fearless. Be bold. And be uniquely you. It truly is a blessing.”

Ronke Shakirat Edoho

Atare Foods – START Cohort 7
“When I envisioned my transition from a working CPA to a founder, I clearly understood what I wanted to achieve, but the path to success remained uncertain. However, after a couple of years into the process, I have come to realize that learning is a perpetual journey. Through the opportunities that have come my way, including the role of Cultivator, I have been deeply inspired and empowered to pursue my goals relentlessly. My unwavering determination is driven not only by my ambitions, but also by my desire to pave the way for other female founders.
I firmly believe that the world would reap enormous benefits if more women ventured into tech, and not only succeeded… but thrived in their pursuits. This would inevitably lead to the creation of ideas that solve real problems for real people, making the world a better place for us all.”

Kristin Kutarna Gates

ZeroDegrees – START Cohort 6
“I am a multi-hyphenate: woman – thoughtful tech founder – the chic strategist. What connects everything I do is being intentional about the impact I want to make in the world; in my relationships, within the tech community, and by creatively sharing my expertise. The biggest lesson I want to share? To focus on your own journey, which gives you the space to appreciate and celebrate the success of others. I hope the barriers we break down today will be the hurdles easily jumped by my daughter and all the women to come; an impact felt for generations.”

Annika Mang

TrailCollectiv – GROW Company
“It has been amazing to see the increased support for women in tech resulting in an increase in women within the tech industry. Even though we still have a long way to go, I see the difference in my two girls and the world they see because these voices are being lifted up. They have had the opportunity to see and hear from incredible women within these STEM industries. To see women in tech and leadership roles is not just a rare thing but becoming more normal. That is a world I am excited to grow old in.” 

We are so proud to see our community of ‘Women in Tech‘ growing to an all-time high! Our most recent 24 Hour Startup saw our most considerable amount of women register for the event, with 23 participants identifying with she/her pronouns out of 59 participants registered.

Cultivator has created an inclusive network that strives to create opportunities for women to succeed in raising capital and growing their startups. We have had the opportunity to partner with or attend events led by these passionately run organizations fueling a future of change:  The Firehood, The 51, WESK, RaiseHER, the YWCA Women of Distinction Awards, and more!



Cultivator companies have been female founded


START program companies have been female founded


Generated in revenue by female founded Cultivator companies (as of 2022)


Received in public funding by female founded Cultivator companies (as of 2022)

Get involved with our ‘Women in Tech’ community!


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