The Women of Breathe Life
If you follow us on any of our social channels, you’ve likely noticed that every day for the past couple of weeks we’ve been highlighting the kick-ass women that work at Breathe Life. With International Women’s Day around the corner, and being a company that cares deeply about Diversity & Inclusion, we wanted to showcase the amazing women who make up our team. I am so proud and so lucky to call each of these strong, intelligent, and dynamic women my colleagues.
This might be a long post, but I think it’s important to highlight and properly introduce each of the women that are on the Breathe Life team. But before I jump in, some quick stats.
Women are represented in every department from Product, to Engineering, to Marketing, to Sales, to Data.
50% of our Engineering Team Leads are women
100% of our HR & Ops team are women
⅓ of our Data team are women
2 members of our Leadership team are women
50% of our Sales team are women
So who exactly are they? In no particular order:
Rowena Roy is our Head of Business Development. With over 17 years of experience in digital transformation, Rowena is a creative, motivating, and fearless leader. She has worked across a variety of industries including finance, health, and education and has even launched and scaled her own company. As a mom of 2 who is on the road attending conferences and meeting clients VERY often, she is one of the hardest workers I know and is definitely related to the energizer bunny!
Grace Smith is a recent grad from McGill University who joined the Breathe Life team last year as a Full-Stack Developer. Having originally thought she would pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry, Grace started out studying Life Sciences but quickly realized that the world of Software Engineering was way more dynamic and fast-moving, just like her. She plays an integral role in our engineering team but it’s not all work, outside of the office, her biggest passion is rock climbing and you can catch her scaling walls several times a week.
Audrey Leduc joined our Data team last year and she brought with her a wealth of knowledge from the Insurance Industry. Not only is she a full-time Data Scientist at Breathe Life she is also working part-time to complete her Masters Degree in Business Intelligence and sits on the programming committee of Datavore, one of the main annual data conferences in Montreal. She's also part of Fin-ML, a cohort of post-graduate students that are working together to bring cutting edge tech into the finance sector. But it’s not all data all the time for Audrey, she is passionate about travel, cooking, and is one of the most active members of the Breathe Life gym club!
Jennifer Lafontaine joined our Sales team as a Proposal and Contract Manager. She spent almost a decade in the Real Estate industry but made the switch to InsurTech and isn’t looking back! Jen is detail-obsessed, LOVES her processes (something that I very much admire), and has over a decade of experience in client management and customer service. Although she’s a lover of order and contracts, she’s the opposite of dry. How many Proposal and Contract Managers do you know that moonlight as wedding DJs??
Amanda Wai is another recent grad who joined our team as a Software Engineer. She’s a Full-Stack Engineer who has fallen in love with the fast-paced startup world. Although new to startups, Amanda cut her teeth at hackathons and internships during university. But it’s not all work and no play! She’s a serious Pokemon go trainer, a killer on the badminton courts and one-third of the Breathe Life snacketeers. Amanda brings positive energy to the team and is always smiling!
Jill Richardson joined us at the end of 2019 as a Senior Enterprise Account Executive. She has over 10 years of global experience working for leading technology companies helping their customers realize the value their technology can have in driving efficiencies and growth for businesses. And like Rowena, Jill is a bundle of energy! She always has a smile on her face, but don’t let that fool you, she’s a killer at the gym! Working out twice a day and training for a marathon relay in may.
Anne Brouillard is our in-house eco-warrior! As our Office and Culture Manager, Anne works hard to keep us happy, healthy, and green. She has a Master’s in Non-Profit Leadership from Carleton University but after only a few years in the non-profit sector, Anne found her first job at a startup and was hooked! She is a force to be reckoned with in our office and joined Breathe Life because she wanted a role that would positively impact the health of those around her. When not keeping us healthy, she’s out cross-country skiing, backcountry camping, or conquering a summit.
Sandra Forgues is the latest addition to our team. She joined us a few weeks ago as a Product Manager and brings with her a wealth of experience. In the last ten years, Sandra has been involved in over a hundred web-based and native app development projects, digital marketing solution projects, and has years of experience in team management. Although new to the team, she’s jumped right into the gym club and is a machine when it comes to working out. She’s also great at first impressions! She brought her team cake on her first day which was a surefire way to win them over (and me, because I begged them to share!).
Céline Bensoussan is another one of our Engineering Team Leads. She holds a Masters in Computer Science from McGill University and has been involved in the startup community since graduating. She has built web applications using Polymer and React and is well versed in developing APIs. Outside of the office, Céline is actively involved in the women in tech community, mentoring for both Canada Learning Code and Technovation Montréal. You can also catch her speaking at the upcoming Women Techmakers Montreal 2020.
Caroline Tasso is our amazing HR & Talent Manager. With a degree in business, Caroline spent the majority of her early career working in client-facing roles, and then later transitioned into Recruiting and HR for startups, which she fell in love with. Working in HR has allowed her to truly utilize her people skills and to create a big impact on a team. She is often the first person candidates meet, which I think is one of our secret weapons!
And lastly, myself. It’s never easy to write about oneself, but I joined Breathe Life as their Director of Marketing back in early 2018 because I believed in the Founder's vision and their ability to build a world-class team and company, and 2 years in, the proof is in the pudding. I’ve spent the last 8 years actively involved in the Montreal tech space. From being one of the first employees at an early-stage startup to working on the support side as the Program Manager of an Accelerator and Director of Montreal’s Premier Tech Hub.
So there you have it, the women of Breathe Life, in all of their glory! And our team is always expanding, if you’d like to work with us and build a product that is creating a tangible impact on our society, check out our open positions and reach out!