Engineer, lawyer and entrepreneur… Sally Daub is a triple threat

Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sally Daub receives her honorary doctorate

Sally Daub is well-known for her entrepreneurship. ViXS, the small semi-conductor company she co-founded in 2001 is today a major video technology supplier. In recognition of this remarkable career, the University of Ottawa recently conferred an honorary doctorate on Sally Daub at its latest convocation ceremonies.

Sally Daub graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering before going on to earn a law degree from Dalhousie University. “I went into engineering for practical reasons. People in engineering always find work. It opens a lot of doors. But I was not encouraged to go into this field. People saw me more in business.”

After completing her law degree, she went to work as an attorney, specializing in intellectual property licensing. “I always knew I would start my own business, but I did not know what exactly. When I started ViXS, I had to learn about marketing, sales, strategy and refine my leadership skills.”  

New horizons

In February 2015, Sally Daub left her position as President and CEO of ViXS. “I started working at the age of 14 and I never took time off. Now, I’m taking some time for myself and I’m exploring my options,” explained this business leader, who is particularly interested in applying technology to existing companies, notably in the health sector.

In the meantime, she is busy serving on the boards of a number of organizations, including that of Trillium Health Partners Hospital in the Toronto area.

Sally Daub has often mentored young women and encouraged them to pursue a career in engineering, and has created events that introduce engineering to children. “If they have a better understanding of what [engineering] is, there is a better chance that they will choose it as a career.”

She is optimistic about the role of women in engineering. “I was the only woman CEO in my industry,” she said. “There are more women working in this field and I’m hoping to see more women rise up.”

According to Sally Daub, an engineering degree is an excellent foundation for many positions, including marketing and sales. “There is a misperception that engineers have to be the smartest in the class. That’s not true. I was not a very good student. But I was very fortunate in my career because of my engineering degree.”

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