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Women in Tech: Taking Over the New Master of Digital Media Cohort

Sep 17, 2015 By Crissy Campbell

For the first time ever, women make up the majority of the Master of Digital Media student cohort.

When the Master of Digital Media program first began in 2007, there were only 4 female students enrolled in the program. The number has grown to 24 women this year, representing 57% of the 2016 class.

Women in Master of Digital Media C10

These women come from Canada, India, Mexico, China, Taiwan and the U.S. and have backgrounds in Computer Science, Art, Design and Project Management.

When asked for what accounts for the growing number of women in the program, Senior Student Recruitment Officer Yasmeen Awadh says she’s noticing that more and more women are positioning their careers towards tech and digital media.

The face of digital media is changing. Although women with technical skills have always been interested in the program, those who are not necessarily highly technical now know they also have a place in the digital media industry. Digital media can be viewed as a very male-dominated field. Once women hear that they can bring their design or project management skills with them into digital media it becomes much more appealing to them.

Our women alumni have set the bar for how women can be successful in tech.

Again the MDM program is changing the paradigm. We chatted with 3 women from the program—Shabnam Babu, a Computer Engineer from India, Tori Romano, a Communications Major from Vancouver and Berenice Molina, a Graphic Designer from Mexico—about why they chose to pursue a Masters in Digital Media, what they’re excited about for the upcoming year and what it means to them to be a part of the first woman-majority cohort.

Master of Digital Media female students

Q: What made you decide to take the Master of Digital Media program?

Shabnam: “Be the change you wish to see.” This is the quote that defines me in one line. Working at an IT company made me realize that I’m interested in more than just coding and that I also have a strong interest in art and design. As I don’t have any formal training in this field, I decided to look for a course that will be an add-on to my Computer Science Engineering degree. MDM was a perfect choice as it fits everything that I was looking for—a mix of design and programming.

Tori: I have always had a passion for film and storytelling; plotlines, character development, even set organization are all exciting to me! It wasn’t until I came across the Master in Digital Media program that I realized my excitement and passion for film could become an actual career. While I believe my undergraduate degree in Communications has laid a great foundation of knowledge for this area, I am looking forward to gaining more hands-on, tangible digital media skills from this program.

Berenice: I chose the MDM because it’s one of the only programs that mixes different backgrounds from all over the world and allows students to create amazing projects through collaboration and networking with professionals from different disciplines.

Q: What are you most looking forward to this year?

Shabnam: I am super excited to be part of the MDM. One of the key aspects of the program is how students work on industry projects right from the the beginning so that by the time we graduate we’re ready to be hired directly by digital media companies. The network of alumni, students and companies around the globe is by far the greatest strength of the program.

Tori: In addition to enhancing my technical skills, I am excited to be learning important career-oriented skills such as product pitching, project management, and multidisciplinary collaboration. Upon completing this program, I hope to work in the film industry as a producer or visual content creator.

Berenice: As a graphic designer, I look forward to learning workflow processes and how can I apply my skills to contribute to projects that can have an impact in the world. I’m also looking forward to learn how to collaborate with other professionals and how I can expand my knowledge, improve my skills and create new working networks.

Q: Is there’s any significance to you in being part of the first MDM cohort with more women than men?

Shabnam: The students joining this course are a bunch of extremely talented folks. Being able to be one among them make me feel very special. It’s even more exciting because in this cohort, there are more women than men. It’s inspiring to know that this group of women excel in their own fields of study and that they stood out, out of all the applicants to the program.

Tori: Being part of the first cohort with a female majority is inspiring. While we are all part of a diverse group, coming from a variety of different countries, cultures, and backgrounds, it is great to be involved and see the women around me take the lead in a non-traditional program.

Berenice: Being able to participate in a program as competitive as the MDM is a very exciting experience. Being a part of this cohort is inspiring because the women here excel in their disciplines and are bringing their unique knowledge and ideas into the program. Belonging to this group of amazing people is quite an honour.


The 10th cohort of the Master of Digital Media Program may be unique in having a majority of women but every previous cohort has also been unique. When you combine a group of students from different countries, with different skill sets and a passion to create, the result is always amazing. This year is no exception, just with a bit of a feminine twist.