New opportunities for women to advance Canada’s digital workforce
Canada has a fast-evolving digital industry, but to date there have been too few nationally-coordinated initiatives focused on engaging and advancing women in current and emerging technology sectors. Initiatives that increase opportunities for women to serve on corporate boards and in C-Suite positions are important and make good business sense for Canada’s economy.
The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) believes in the importance of improving the attraction, integration, retention and promotion of women in the Canadian ICT industry.
Women constitute 24% of the Canadian ICT workforce according to ICTC’s research. We urgently need to showcase the positive aspects of the ICT sector and digital jobs; broaden channels for women to enter ICT and ICT-related fields in post-secondary institutions; more accurately align job descriptions and job requirements to exciting work in ICT and related fields, and provide great support in the workplace for women with young families.
“The Canadian ICT industry is facing a skills shortage in the next 3-5 years and ICTC recognizes the large pool of talented women who will be able to play a critical role in addressing this issue” says Keith Sinclair, President and CEO of Harris Consulting Corporation. “I believe that there are fantastic opportunities for women to forge exciting careers in the information and communications technology industry in Canada.”
The Women in Technology (WIT): Retention and Advancement of Women in the Digital Economy Initiative aims to address this gap. It is a three-year initiative funded by Status of Women Canada in collaboration with ICTC that began in 2013/2014 and ends in 2016/2017. The WIT initiative supports six unique and innovative projects, the ultimate focus which is to provide women the opportunity to contribute to – and advance – the Canadian digital economy.
These six projects, each 36 months in duration, are expected to contribute to the overall effort by Status of Women Canada (SWC) to promote equality for women and their full participation in the economic, social, and democratic life of Canada.
The WIT initiative encourages women to enter technical occupations – for instance information systems analysts and web developers – and move up within their organizations and the digital economy. This is achieved by addressing human resources (HR) practices, structures, and measures, and encouraging women to develop the necessary skills and take on new roles as managers, directors, C-level positions and members of board of directors, in order to ensure systemic change. The projects are listed below.
Read the WIT Report here.
Mentorship Stream: connect – meet – grow – BE! (Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST) — Vancouver, British Columbia)
This 36-month project will focus on increasing the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in technology sector companies in the Greater Vancouver area, BC (Read more…). For additional information on what it means to British Columbia ( Press Release).
Cracking the Code: Corporate Capacity Building for Women in Advanced Technology (Calgary Council for Advanced Technology (CCAT) — Calgary, Alberta)
This 36-month project will focus on increasing women’s recruitment, retention and advancement in small, medium, and large enterprises in digital media, gaming, software, and wireless/telecom (Read more…). For additional information on what it means to Alberta ( Press Release ).
Women in Technology in the Waterloo Region, Ontario (Communitech Corporation (Communitech) — Waterloo, Ontario)
This 36-month project will focus on increasing women’s recruitment, retention and advancement in technology sector companies in the Waterloo region (Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge), ON (Read more ). For additional information on what it means to Ontario ( Press Release ).
La place de femmes dans les entreprises de TI au Québec (TECHNOCompetences (TECHNOCompetences) — Montréal, Quebec)
This 36-month project will focus on increasing women’s recruitment, retention and advancement in technology sector companies in Montreal and Quebec City, QC (Read more ) Additional information on what it means to Quebéc will be communicated when it becomes available.
Women in Technology — PEI (Information Technology Association of Prince Edward Island (ITAP) — Charlottetown , Prince Edward Island)
This 36-month project will work to increase the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in small, medium and large enterprises in software development, e-business solutions, and website development in the cities of Charlottetown and Summerside, PEI ( ) For additional information on what it means to Prince Edward Island (Press Release Read more… )
Advancing Women In Information Technology (Digital Nova Scotia (DNS) — Dartmouth, Nova Scotia)
This 36-month project will focus on increasing the recruitment, retention and advancement of women employed in mid-level positions in small, medium and large enterprises within the technology sector in the province of Nova Scotia (Read more… ).
For additional information on what it means to Nova Scotia ( Press Release ).
Vice President, Talent Innovation
Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)
116 Lisgar Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, ON K2P 0C2
Phone: 613-237-8551 ext. 144
Digital Nova Scotia Update: Women Leaders Fueling the Digital Economy Project
Driving diversity. Accelerating the workforce.
Women Leaders Fueling the Digital Economy, a 36-month project funded by Status of Women Canada, focuses on increasing the participation levels of women in senior-level positions among the province’s largest ICT employers. Digital Nova Scotia, the province’s digital technologies industry association, is working directly with senior business leaders of Nova Scotia’s largest ICT companies to make impact. DNS is leading ongoing executive round table sessions and delivering customized management consulting interventions to address issues of gender diversity with its business partners.
Best practices for the promotion of women into senior positions are also being gathered through interviews with women in our region who are role models in senior ICT management positions. Their career histories and the management practices, which influenced their career advancements, are being identified and shared to increase awareness and to encourage the implementation of best practices.
An awards program tied to the DNS Annual Gala Event will be launched in 2015 as part of this project to foster recognition of gender diversity in the ICT sector and the sustainability of management best practices.
An imperative piece of this project is impact and Digital Nova Scotia’s ability to spread awareness around the need to encourage greater diversity in our sector increases with support from its partners. As such, we are asking our partners to assist us in sharing our message, so that industry and employees know the issues and challenges facing women in technology and to encourage effective management best practices to foster greater participation/promotion of women into senior management positions in the province’s digital sector. We believe that greater diversity leads to greater innovation. When we limit our ability to attract untapped talent, we limit our ability to innovate.
We ask you to join us to drive diversity and accelerate our workforce!