27 June 2023
“It all started with a dragon boat race,” said Julie Kalynka, BHP's Head of Technology Potash, as she reflected on the unique beginning of her rewarding career in technology.
As the keynote speaker of BHP’s inaugural Women in Technology event in Saskatoon, Canada, Julie challenged preconceptions as she unravelled the non-linear tapestry of her career in technology, emphasizing that success often blooms from unexpected detours rather than following a predictable path.
“A fun fact about me is I graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a marketing degree and spent my whole career in information technology,” said Kalynka.
“I’ve always been on the business side of IT. If you think about marketing, you’ve got to be able to talk to the business, see what they need and translate that back to the to the technology folks. So that’s really how my career started. And 20-plus years later, I’m still here and loving it.”
Through Women in Technology, Kalynka sought to create a series of events that celebrated women’s contributions to technology. She was met with enthusiasm from all angles including leaders across BHP and its global technology partners, who made the journey to Saskatoon from around Canada, the US, Chile and Australia, bringing some incredible technologies and unique insights to town.
The first event, attended by approximately 120 people, featured a wide variety of hands-on technology from BHP and its partners Cisco, Accenture, Amazon Web Services and Infosys. From virtual reality (VR) on the tennis court, to VR in the Metaverse, attendees were encouraged to network, learn from the experts in Saskatchewan’s global tech sector, and most importantly, interact with the technology.
The evening was a positive step towards community connections for BHP in Saskatoon, as well as for the development of technology pipelines of talent which ultimately contributes to BHP’s aspiration for a gender balance operational workforce.
“The tech industry is really booming but we’re still not seeing enough women entering into the technology field. So events like this really bring women together,” said Kalynka.
“Now’s the time to bring the people together so they have an opportunity to network and build an understanding of what a technology career can look like for them. I think that’s really, really key.”