This Friday, March 8, 2019, people around the world will celebrate and recognize women of all ages and in all industries for their achievements as part of International Women’s Day (IWD). With this year’s theme being #InnovateForChange, there is no better time to take a look at some of the many incredible organizations looking to help advance women in Canada’s ICT sector!
- TechGirls Canada: TechGirls Canada is the hub for Canadian women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). They are a not-for-profit organization committed to conducting research and co-designing solutions that address barriers for diversity and equity in science and technology sectors by championing women of all abilities, women of colour, LGBTTQ+, immigrant, refugee, and Indigenous women.
- Women in Communications and Technology (WCT): WCT is a unique national association focused on providing local and national networking, mentoring and professional development opportunities for women in the information, communication, media and technology industries. Through these programs, WCT works to close the gender gap and reach equality in Canada’s digital economy.
- Women Power Technology: Women Powering Technology (WPT) is an organization created to inspire, support, elevate and empower women in technology personally, professionally and together as a community. As an organization, they create encouraging environments for women in technology.
- Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST): SCWIST is a not-for-profit association with a clear aim: To encourage women into science, engineering and technology. They support and promote the education of girls and women through programs and activities that they develop in partnership with the community. They also boost the numbers, retention and status of women in the workplace by facilitating networking, mentoring and advocating woman-friendly policies.
- Advancing New Canadian Women in Technology (ANCWT): Advancing new Canadian women in Technology (ANCWT) is a bridging employment program for women groups, such as, new immigrants and Syrian refugees who have technical training (in engineering, technology, and computer science and information technology) from outside Canada. The goal is to help them to enter the Canadian job market, as fast as possible.
Women have been making their mark on Canada’s Tech Industry for generations, and are simply vital to the success of our economy. In a report by Forbes, it was found that gender diverse teams make better business decisions a whopping 73% of the time, bringing significantly more scope and awareness to opportunities and vulnerabilities. They’re also more efficient, making decisions twice as fast with half the meetings (Forbes).
Yet, despite the demand for women in the ICT sector, they continue to be underrepresented in this industry, as they account for only 25% of all the employed ICT professionals (ICTC). As highlighted by ICTC’s most recent Outlook Report (add the link), addressing these challenges will take a collaborative effort to encourage the attraction, retention, and advancement of women in this space. The organizations listed above are just a few who are working tirelessly to break barriers, level the playing field and attract women to ICT careers in Canada. Let’s take a note from their book – the time to come together as a nation and put in the work to reach equal representation is now.
As an organization committed to enabling a shared digital future for all Canadians, ICTC wants to hear from you! We are looking for insight at an individual and at an employer level to better inform policies and decisions that benefit women’s participation in the Canadian digital-based economy. Share your insights via our Women in Tech Survey.
Happy International Women’s Day to our hard-working, trailblazing, simply amazing female tech workers!