Views from the Mastermind Series - Interview with Colleen Wtorek

By Raman Kang

“I’ve gotten a better and deeper understanding of myself and I don’t think you can ask for much more from a group like this,” says Colleen Wtorek, CTO of a local forestry software company in Nanaimo, BC.

After learning about the Women in Tech World Mastermind series, Wtorek decided to take part as a way to build on her expertise. “I’m always building my skill set and looking for different tools and techniques to do so, and that’s how I landed on the Mastermind series,” she notes. Wtorek has been in technology for just over 20 years and has done everything from being a web app developer, business analyst, and even writing her own book, Ethereum Blockchain Developer. As someone who is rising in her career, Wtorek explains that she tries to make sure to get out there as a person in the technology field to bring women into technology, and to keep them there. “[There are] not a lot of women in these spaces and when there are, they tend to get pushed out for whatever reason, so I’ve always tried to make sure to show up and speak up, so women don't think they are alone,” she says. Now she’s looking to start her own company and as a result of that desire, she signed up for the Mastermind series.

I’m always looking introspectively because my goal is to have my own business; I’m always looking inside to see what I can project outside; the Mastermind group provided a great opportunity to understand myself a lot better.
— Colleen Wtorek

“I’m always looking for opportunities to get information on how to build a business or meet different people that may help me along my journey,” says Wtorek. She elaborates that not only was she looking forward to receiving help and advice from others that may further her career, but that she was also excited about helping someone else in theirs. A large portion of the Women in Tech World Mastermind series is about uplifting each other as a group; that way you have people that hold you accountable, support you, and offer perspective.

“It’s been really interesting and not at all what I expected,” says Wtorek. For her, being in this group has given her a chance to practice leadership skills in a nonjudgmental environment. “I’m always looking introspectively because my goal is to have my own business; I’m always looking inside to see what I can project outside; the Mastermind group provided a great opportunity to understand myself a lot better,” she says.

Within the Mastermind group, everyone collectively decides what they would like to discuss in the next meeting and different experts take part in the meetings to delve deeper into those topics. “We’ve had different people come in and talk about things like our strengths, our skills, and what our values are,” she says.

For Wtorek, her favourite part of the series has been the different perspectives the group provides. “I think it’s really interesting that we all come from different stages in our careers and I really like hearing about what others’ journeys are; I really am emboldened by the women in the group, and love the fact that these women are taking charge of their careers,” she says enthusiastically. Wtorek remarks the Mastermind series has been helpful in boosting her self confidence, and because she’s able to better understand herself, she’s able to narrow down what she’s genuinely good at and what she likes to do. “Tech is such a broad field that it’s easy to get really distracted by all the interesting and cool things that are out there,” she says. The Mastermind series has helped her narrow her focus and figure out what she wants to do, which is to create a company that does strategic planning and consulting for small to medium sized businesses. In essence, to really help companies accomplish their corporate goals and visions. When asked if she would recommend the Mastermind series to others, she emphatically replies, “yes, absolutely.”

Colleen Wtorek has over 20 years of technical and business experience that spans across all levels of an organization. She is passionate about creating corporate strategies to further the sustainable, environmental and socially impactful goals of an organization, and supporting corporate leaders in the delivery of those plans.

If you or someone you know is interested in joining our next Mastermind series, you can find our more information here. Our fall cohort is starting soon, so be sure to pre-register!

Kristine Vacola