Canada’s digital economy is flourishing and women are an integral part of this rapidly growing economy. Despite some recent gains, women are still not proportionately represented among ICT professionals. The incentives to attract them to the digital economy and their awareness of the benefits of participation in this growing and rewarding field remain low. ICTC considers it critical to attract, retain, integrate, and advance women in the digital economy. Initiatives that can assist to increase opportunities for women to serve on corporate boards need to be welcomed, as they make good business sense for Canadian women and for Canada’s economy.
Almost three years ago, a creative meeting of the minds began. ICTC and Status of Women Canada (SWC) came together to explore a ground-breaking, new, innovative way to increase women’s recruitment, retention and advancement in current and emerging technology sectors and a synergy in the truest sense was set in motion called the Women in Technology (WIT) initiative.
This collaborative approach brought ICTC, SWC, and six regional organizations (our delivery partners) together, all with a common goal to help women enter decision-making and management roles and move up in their organizations or in the sector. Six innovative regional projects were launched and a national initiative was formed in Fall 2013.
A key to success for every initiative must include a measurement of impact and contribution and as such, each delivery partner is being guided by a common evaluation framework.
Our delivery partners are truly transforming business practices in their communities and creatively initiating actions to advance women in technology and, as the connector, ICTC’s role is to capture and nationally showcase these regional successes, promising models, and lessons being learned along the way to address top sector priorities, to encourage even greater sector collaboration, and to provide all interested parties with the opportunity to share, enhance, and leverage successes and lessons to more effectively and efficiently improve outcomes for women in the digital economy.
In partnership with ICTC, six innovative WIT initiative projects are delivered in:
- British Columbia by Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST)
- Alberta by Calgary Council for Advanced Technology (CCAT)
- Ontario by Communitech Corporation (Communitech)
- Quebec by TECHNOCompétences (TECHNOCompétences)
- Prince Edward Island by Innovation and Technology Association of Prince Edward Island (ITAP)
- Nova Scotia by Digital Nova Scotia (DNS)