A huge thank you to all the women who sent their applications to L’Oréal Canada’s Women in Digital. Here are the five finalists who will participate in the grand finale on May 28, 2019, in Montreal.

Isabel Galiana

Isabel Galiana is CEO and co-founder of Saccade Analytics, a Montréal based start-up that evaluates brain function based on eye and head movement in virtual reality. Previously, Isabel was an geologist, professional volleyball player and economics professor. After an international beach volleyball career in Europe and Brazil, she pursued a Ph.D in economics, where her doctoral dissertation focused on policies aimed at inducing breakthrough innovations.  At Saccade Analytics, she is bringing theory into practice as she leads this revolutionary medical software company. Saccade Analytic won the McGill Dobson cup 2017, the Hakim Clinical Innovation prize 2018, the Octas It awards in both the Startup and Excellence categories in 2018 and has recently been named one of the 2019 SheEO Canada cohort. When not running Saccade Isabel can still be found on a volleyball court.

Takara Small is a Toronto-based tech entrepreneur, developer and community advocate.

She is the founder and executive director of VentureKids Canada, a Toronto-based nonprofit that provides free coding classes and startup workshops to youth living in low-income and underserved communities. In order to provide fair and equitable opportunities to all students regardless of income, VentureKids also provides complimentary food as well as state-of-the-art laptops to youth in need. Sudents are also matched with experienced mentors and participate in exclusive hands-on learning activities with technology leaders, like Twitter, Canada, Microsoft Canada, RBC VentureLabs and more.

Takara Small

Margaret Magdesian

Dr Margaret Magdesian has a BSc Pharmacology, a PhD Biochemistry and she has dedicated over 20 years of her career to accelerate drug development. Dr Magdesian has developed microdevices to recreate the human nervous system on-a-chip. Dr Magdesian’s technology connects neurons on-a-chip 60 times faster than they can grow in vivo, enabling tissue innervation and faster testing of drugs directly on patients’ derived tissues. Dr Magdesian’s technology won 25 awards and grants in science and innovation in Canada, US and France, including 2016 top 10 discoveries in Quebec; 2016 Top 8 Hello Tomorrow Challenge in Paris; 2017 Top 7 SheEO Venture in Canada; 2018 Global Canadian Export Challenge and she is a finalist for the 2019 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards.

Anouk Charles is from Laval, Quebec and holds a Bachelor of Education degree for adults and a certificate in communication. In 2015, on her return from a 5-month stay in Mexico, she launched, with her life and business partner, a project to create a card game to promote women of science. The idea came from the fact that their 6-year-old daughter, Luana, believed that mathematics and science, which she loves, was something “for boys”. Anouk realized that there is hardly any model of a female scientist. It was at that moment that she had the idea of launching a social fundraising campaign to realize the Luana Games project. The campaign was a success. They have received orders from all over the world. Currently, the team is working to create a video game that will also aim to interest both girls and boys in discovering the achievements of various women in STEM.

Anouk Charles

Julie Dufresne

Julie Dufresne is the founder of, a web application that connects
employers with experienced candidates and retirees. They help companies recruit
available labour who dream of transferring their expertise. Julie has seven academic
years in business management. Very varied professional background, from film festival
organizer to corporate account manager in a financial institution where the idea of
founding was born.

First and foremost, Julie is a mother who calls herself a techno-social entrepreneur! At
the age of 5, she began organizing events and activities that led her to volunteer more
than 25,000 hours: Société relations d’affaires HEC, president of the first Conseil des arts
de sa région, Cabinet Centraide, Centre de l’entreprenariat et de l’essaimage of UQAC,
technology project partner. is a recipient of: the gestion ressources humaines company of the
Chamber of Commerce (CCISF), National Finalist Public Award and Winner Business
Service of Osentreprendre, Adopt INC elected member cohorts.