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Young Enterprising Women & Other Canadian Firsts

Jason Mackay, General Manager of COMPAREX Canada is no stranger to firsts. One of the youngest leaders in the Canadian tech space, he has a reputation for snatching a good opportunity. He’s forged a new path for COMPAREX into the Canadian marketplace and built an incredibly diverse team in the process.

When Enterprising Women’s successful foundation, Young Enterprising Women teamed up with STEM Connector, the largest STEM mentoring initiative in the U.S. decided to enter north of the border, Jason was quick to answer the call.

Young Enterprising Women for STEM, now in its fourth year in the US, came to Canada for the first time with a kick-off evening at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto. There, a panel of dynamic women firmly established in STEM careers told their story of tenacity, passion and goals and inspired a packed room of Toronto high school students. COMPAREX Canada donated the scholarship to send one Canadian high school student to the Enterprising Awards Gala in the Ritz Carlton in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The students wrote essays and the judges had a wonderfully difficult time selecting a winner.

Game Changer…

It was a game changer for seventeen-year-old Nafisa Ahmad. A grade 12 student at Toronto’s oldest high school, Jarvis Collegiate, Nafisa immigrated to Canada with her family when she was five. After returning to India and seeing firsthand how important clean water is to survival, she set her sights on being an environmental engineer. Her essay spoke passionately about the good she hopes to do in the world.

With the sponsorship of COMPAREX Canada, Nafisa and her father had an all expenses paid trip to the Enterprising Women Awards weekend. There, she teamed up with other young women from all over the USA and was mentored by a woman engineer, firmly established in her own career.
“It was so awesome!” says Nafisa. “Everyone was great, I learned a lot and now I have friends who will also be engineers.”

The corporate tagline of COMPAREX Canada is, “By Your Side in a Digital World”. Customer service and providing solutions is synonymous with the true partnership at COMPAREX Canada. But more philosophically, Jason adds quietly, “We reach down and bring others up.” His personal eastern philosophy, honed after years of martial arts training, leaves him quietly self-assured.

He also has a ten-year-old daughter who is interested in pursuing a career in STEM and he wants to make sure those opportunities are at hand for her. “There have to be ladders in place for women,” he asserts firmly.

All voices at the table, all hands on tech.

Jason sees the challenges for women in technology but as a leader, he’s made a name for himself to hire the right person for the right job at the right time. “All voices are at the table and all hands are on tech.”

Another first for Jason was upon entering the Canadian market. COMPAREX is a large global company that usually enters a new market by acquiring a company, i.e. buy your way in. And with that comes an inheritance of a culture that a leader has to navigate and manage.

Not so for Jason Mackay. “We have an opportunity in Canada to show how a subsidiary can be opened, managed and thrive from the ground up. Starting from scratch, we’re building a formidable team and have enjoyed significant success thus far.”

Being an outlier himself, and comfortable in his out of the box thinking, Jason Mackay appreciates and recognizes the real strengths of a diverse workforce.
By your side in a digital world. For women in STEM, for the diverse workforce and at COMPAREX Canada, those words and actions ring true, loud and clear.

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Enterprising Women is a partner in the new Million Women Mentors (MWM) initiative.

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Read the full news release.

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