Lori M. Olson
Senior Software Architect (Consultant)
Labrador Technologies Inc.
What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
From a very young age, I started to develop an interest in reading, eventually leading me to science fiction, which I found fascinating (and still do). That interest in science fiction shaped most of my future education.
What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
I’ve developed a lot of different software projects over the years. The coolest is probably my current project, eTriever, a web-based retriever of oil and gas data. See the video here. This is the coolest, if only because we’ve been pushing the bounds of every technology that we’ve used in development of our product.
Role models and heroes:
- My grade 4 teacher was probably one of my first important role models. Although I can’t say she was a scientist, she did her best to encourage my life-long love of reading, and for that alone I will remember her always.
- One of my first supervisors, Myrna Krakiwsky, after I started working at Shell Canada, immediately after university. She was both a scientist (Masters degree in Chemistry) and a very strong and confident leader. At her insistence, I attended a public speaking course, which has been a one of the most valuable skills for personal development that I have learned.
- More recently, I’ve become interested in the idea of using my skills to build a product-based business of my own. Amy Hoy is both my teacher and mentor in this process.
Advice for future STEMinists?
First, it’s important to not sabotage yourself. Lack of self confidence is one of the most common, and hardest to overcome, problems I see in young women in the STEM fields. This article should be required reading for young women in STEM:
Second, I think it’s important to point out that a STEM career will almost certainly require a commitment to, and a love of, learning. I have learned, and re-learned, and re-invented my career at least 3 times so far. Can’t see that changing any time soon, either.