Shirin Alipanah

A little girl who fled Iran when 18, migrated to Canada, finished school and now is an IT executive

Shirin fulfills an important role as a prime committee member on Athena on Boards where the program’s focus is hinged on “powering the Leadership Journey for Women in STEM”, i.e., preparing women for board positions. Within this program, an executive female mentor is assigned to a cohort of females to provide more comprehensive guidance and truly empower them to act on their professional goals. Shirin has proven instrumental in molding these women to become confident executives – assisting with designing their Board biographies and role-playing boardroom power pitches are among the myriad of approaches that Shirin and other Board members employ to propel women onto the path to gender equality and empowerment.  

To add, she also plays a pivotal role on Athena as a Technology Special Interest Group (TSIG) Committee Co-chair.

This Committee presents programs designed to showcase founders, funders, and technologists sharing best practices on self-advocacy, embracing a growth mindset, and increasing female influence inside tech companies. The objective here is creating a space where women can readily be heard and valued within the tech industry.

It would be amiss to not mention Shirin’s role on the Society Of Information Management (San Diego Chapter) Women in Technology which provides support for aspiring female technology professionals to gain skills and confidence to grow their careers while helping member organizations retain their talented women. She has been mentoring female technology professionals since the inception of this committee and has seen significant success over the year.

Shirin has continued to be a beacon of inspiration to everyone around her – leading the charge for growth and recognition among the female populace, especially within Avasant, a leading international management consultancy firm that focuses on translating the power of technology into realizable business strategies. Given the addition of Shirin to the firm in 2021, she has already managed to create a name for herself as it relates to her bolstering ambitions.  

As a single working mother, Shirin fully utilizes her own experiences to advocate for those around her. Although she is engaged in a multitude of tasks associated with her full-time job and her involvement in the aforementioned boards/organizations, she still makes it her duty to be immersed in the welfare of her child’s life.
To add, not only does she provide her guidance and fuel as a Mentor, but she does her part in assisting with Avasant’s program’s development, amongst her involvement within the other aforementioned female mentoring programs. In these programs, she intently seeks out motivating mentors to add value to the program whilst establishing connections that serve to reinforce her commitment to women’s advocacy, building additional skill sets as well as a focus on career planning.  
Following Senate’s passing of Bill 826, Shirin took it upon herself to educate female professionals on what this Bill encompassed and the ways in which they could then proactively reach out to companies to subsequently become a member on their corporate boards.

To quote Shirin, “the rise in women taking up senior leadership team appointments in business is a key statistic which is continuing to grow”. Thus, she is consistently seeking ways to fulfil her drive for empowering women and adding to this statistic by ensuring that they are well-represented and perceived as an equal counterpart in whichever field they choose to enter. While she does believe it is consequential to empower professional females in the various avenues she encounters them, she conjointly upholds the belief that companies ought to also be rendered ample assistance in recognizing the power and skill set the former relentlessly bring to the table.

To quote Shirin, “we are architects of our own lives. We control our future and destiny. Believing in our abilities is the first step in that direction.”

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