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Diversity and inclusion help boost entrepreneurship, says the president and CEO of Astra Smart Systems and AP Tech Solutions

To honour the contenders in our inaugural Women of the Year competition, we’ve created video interviews with the winners in all six categories.

The third instalment features Pilar Portela, president and CEO of Astra Smart Systems, a provider of hardware and software technologies for large data integrations; and AP Tech Solutions, which builds consortia to address major global issues by using technology.

To her, being an entrepreneurial leader means showing what she’s capable of and sharing her successes and failures along the way. Doing both is important because it gives those from the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of colour) world something to aspire to, says Portela, who grew up in Costa Rica. “The more diverse and inclusive it is, the more likely that a corporation will have really long-term capabilities on their own entrepreneurial path,” she adds.

For profiles of all the 2020 Women of the Year winners and finalists, click here. Congratulations to everyone.

Thank you to the judges—Katie Baker, Laurel Douglas, Jill Earthy and Tina Strehlke—for their time and effort. We’re also grateful for the support of our generous sponsor, the Women’s Enterprise Centre.

The 2021 Women of the Year Awards are open for nominations until January 6. There’s no fee to enter, and you can find all the details here