EP #83: Vanessa Raquel Raponi – Engineer At Spin Master, Founder of EngiQueers Canada & Abuse Survivor

Vanessa Raquel Raponi (@vanessaraquelraponi) is a Senior Product Development Engineer at Spin Master (@spinmaster) and Founder of EngiQueers Canada (@engiqueerscanada).

She joins Ara on this week’s episode of #TheTamilCreator to discuss being a poor brown kid in a wealthy part of Toronto (Leaside), being queer, surviving childhood abuse, getting the opportunity to be the Willy Wonka of product development, her grandfather’s orphanage in Sri Lanka and the impact he had on her, and so much more.

Follow Vanessa:
– Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/vanessaraquelraponi/)

TAKE THE QUIZ – “What Type of Creator Are You?”**



00:19 – Ara introduces this week’s guest, Vanessa Raquel Raponi
01:12 – Being Tamil/Italian, growing up in Leaside, experiencing abuse, and becoming an engineer
04:48 – Being silent about her struggles from the age of 9 until the age of 20
06:08 – Growing up in Toronto, Tamil community not being emphasized much
08:51 – Opening up to her family about what happened to her; how they reacted
11:18 – Her grandfather, Paul; his story and the impact it had on Vanessa
16:32 – Studying at McMaster, working for Spin Master,
20:22 – Difficulty managing volatility, the intense workload at Spin Master; thriving in chaos
21:38 – Her day-to-day as a product developer; leading the sustainability committee
23:49 – Why she started EngiQueers, how she picked the name, and pansexual vs. bisexual
31:23 – How she funded for EnqiQueers and split responsibilities with the Co-Founder, Dao
33:49 – The revolutionary impact of EngiQueers on the culture of engineering
35:45 – Being queer in the Tamil community; coming out to her family
38:00 – Where he confidence comes from; a survival tactic
40:01 – Was there anything Vanessa thinks could’ve changed her willingness to speak up earlier; going to therapy in second year of University
43:25 – Advice she would give her 16-year-old self
45:36 – The personal legacy she wants to be remembered for
46:28 – Creator Confessions
48:30 – The Wrap Up

Intro Music

Produced And Mixed By:
– The Tamil Creator
– Yanchan

Written By:
– Aravinthan Ehamparam
– Yanchan Rajmohan