Aashni Shah is among the youngest of Canada’s ‘Inspiring Fifty’ (2018) women in STEM. She has also been recognized by the Government of Canada as part of the #InnovateForChange International Women’s Day Campaign.
Currently, Ms Shah is a Software Engineer at Square, working to deliver innovative experiences on the Cash App. She also dedicates herself to Elixir Labs, a non profit that partners with other non profits around the world to build technical resources. In her free time, Ms Shah participates in other projects, such as teaching children how to code, mentoring students on their resumes and job search as well as speaking at conferences and events about tech, leadership and diversity. These roles give her the ability to pursue two of her largest passions; technology and philanthropy, and enable her to make the positive impacts she wants to see in the world.
In 2016, Ms Shah graduated with an HBSc in Computer Science. During her time at the University of Toronto, she was the first female president of the Computer Science Student Union in over 10 years, and an active member of the Undergrad Women in CS Group, Game Design Group, and the Sorbara and Elmsley house planning committees at St Mikes. In her third year, Ms Shah founded UofTHacks, the first collegiate hackathon in Canada, which brought together 500 students from around the world to innovate and build new apps.
Ms Shah was born and grew up in Kenya, moving to Canada in 2011 to study at the University of Toronto. She attributes her passion and dedication to philanthropy to her childhood in Kenya. As a high school student, Ms Shah hosted fund raising events, such as movie premieres, murder mystery dinners and football tournaments, to raise thousands of dollars. These funds supported feeding programs, initiatives to rebuild schools and provided other resources to impoverished children around the country.
Aside from her technical achievements, Ms Shah pursues other interests as well. She is currently a published photographer, a certified scuba diver and has been white water rafting on four continents to name a few. Above all, Aashni Shah believes in embracing life and pursuing as many opportunities as possible.