Ottawa, June 23, 2022—Canada’s rapidly expanding digital economy demands a deeper, more inclusive talent pool that reflects the country’s diverse population, provides economic advantages for employers, and is guided by ethical hiring practices that benefit job seekers.

Women, for example, make up almost half of Canada’s workforce but only 30% of its tech workforce. People of marginalized genders (trans and cis women, and all trans, Two Spirit, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people) represent a much smaller portion of tech workers than cis men. However, their inclusion can widen hiring options for organizations, bring valuable social and business perspectives, and strengthen company brand appeal.

This new ICTC report, Gender Equity in Canada’s Tech Ecosystem: Attracting, Retaining, and Supporting Entry- and Mid-Level Talent, examines the current involvement of people of marginalized genders in tech, discusses the challenges and opportunities they face, and provides strategies for employers to create a more diverse workforce effectively.

The report combines insights from 80-plus conversations with experts, a survey of 240 digital economy employers across Canada, a synthesis of gender-equity literature, and offers many recommendations, including the following:

  • Websites could highlight links to equitable EDI policies and training
  • Job posting could be checked for inclusive language using free online tools such as Textio
  • Interviewers could be trained to recognize unconscious bias
  • Salary negotiations could be guided by average salary disclosure for the role
  • Internal mentorship programs for people of marginalized genders (open to all genders, including cis men) could be offered

“Diversity of perspectives heightens the creativity and innovation factor needed for businesses to tackle today’s hyperconnected and globally competitive landscape. Enabling an inclusive tech workforce also promotes a healthy work environment, further attracting and retaining greater talent.” —Namir Anani, ICTC President and CEO.

“The Canadian digital economy is only as strong as the talent it can attract and retain. This report offers critical insight into ways that employers can create accessible, diverse, and inclusive workplaces in real and transformative ways to meet the needs of an ever-changing and competitive global landscape.  ” –Angela Stanley, EDI and Accessibility Consultant.

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC fosters globally competitive Canadian industries enabled by innovative and diverse digital talent. In partnership with an expansive network of industry leaders, academic partners, and policy makers from across Canada, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for over 30 years.

To arrange an interview related to this study or other media inquiries, please contact Paul Stastny at [email protected] or 403-351-0138 Ext. 823.

This study was funded in part by Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) Canada.

A copy of the study can be accessed here.

A French language press release of this report is here.

Researched and written by Maryna Ivus (Manager, Labour Market Research) and Maya Watson (Research and Policy Analyst), with generous support from Faun Rice (Manager, Research & Knowledge Mobilization), Rosina Hamoni (Research Analyst), and Angela Stanley (EDI and Accessibility Consultant), and the ICTC Research & Policy team.