This world is full of Extraordinary women who are working hard to make this world a better place for many generations to come,
it’s International Women’s Day Today, March 8th. For International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating Apple’s commitment to female developers by highlighting the Canadian entrepreneurs behind apps that are succeeding on a global scale.
These women are driving inclusion and diversity in the developer space through apps designed by and for women, with App Store acting as a steadfast pipeline to their success. They also go to show that you don’t need to be a programmer to run a successful app!
The demand for digital skills in Canada is expanding—by 2021 there will be 210,000 jobs available in information and communications technologies (ICT) in Canada— which is why coding is an essential skill for everyone.
Learning code teaches girls how to solve problems, work together in creative ways and helps them build apps bringing their ideas to life.
We think everyone should have the opportunity to create something that can change the world, and this is why Apple introduced Everyone Can Code. We hope the below stories will inspire and empower more women to learn to code and share their ideas.
1. Brie Code, Founder of #SelfCare
Her story: Brie is the CEO and creative director of Toronto-based studio Tru Luv. She is focused on diversifying the gaming industry in a way that welcomes female gamers after working as a lead artificial intelligence (AI) programmer at Ubisoft.
Her app: Tru Luv’s first app #SelfCare launched last year, which she calls an “AI companion” instead of an app or a game, is a free, simple, and beautiful companion for relaxation and mindfulness. In the app, users take care of a character through relaxing interactions. In your virtual bedroom, you can select calming tasks that generate satisfaction and uncomplicated harmony.
Her success: #SelfCare was named one of Apple’s Best of 2018 Trends of the Year selections.
2. Sarah Boland, Founder of Life Lapse
Her story: Sarah spent 10 years as a social media content producer and filmmaker when she sparked the idea for Life Lapse and pursued her dream full time in 2017.
Her app: Life Lapse simplifies the creation of time-lapse & stop motion videos, targeting social media creators using the iPhone to make content for their personal feeds or professional brands.
Her success: In May of 2018, Sarah pitched Life Lapse on Dragons’ Den. While she did not get investment she used this time to pivot her business plan and between May and December of 2018, Life Lapse’s revenue grew by 3,386%.
3. Robyn Exton, CEO & Founder of HER
Her story: Robyn created HER because there was no dating app that had truly been built for and views issues through the eyes of women. The app, then called Dattch, was first launched for lesbian, bisexual and queer women. They rebranded and renamed the app HER over a 6 month period to become inclusive of all gender identities and sexualities.
Her app: HER is a dating app released in 2015 and mirrors the way women meet and talk in real life, with a social space for group conversations, shared content and an easy way to connect with others about the things you care about most. The app was initially launched on the iPhone given the fact that research showed a large user base using iOS.
Her success: HER is the world’s first and largest community of queer women, amassing a global network of over 3 million individuals across 55 countries.
4. Jane Ji, Co-founder of iBiome Ocean
Her story: Jane is a game designer and developer who began her career in 1994 developing PC games in mainland China. After moving to Toronto she focused on education and created the iBiome series to engage kids in environmental science through gaming.
Her app: The second educational game in the series, iBiome-Ocean, lets kids learn about ecosystems, food webs, and how humans shape the environment.
Her success: iBiome-Ocean was launched in 2017 and has since been featured on App Store globally. Jane points to the gender gap in the gaming industry and how the App Store is a platform that empowers women to create games for other females.
5. Maayan Ziv, Founder of AccessNow
Her story: Maayan was inspired to create AccessNow after growing up with a disability, using a wheelchair her entire life and constantly facing a lack of information on whether locations were accessible for her.
Her app: AccessNow shares accessibility information around the world, allowing individuals with disabilities to pinpoint and rate accessible restaurants, stores, hotels, and more on an interactive map through the power of crowdsourcing. AccessNow first launched on the App Store for iPhone.
Her success: AccessNow has been available since 2016, is available in 35 countries and has more than 26,000 places pinned.