Thanks to leadership from our Prime Minister and many other notable leaders in the public and private sectors, Canadians seemed to be more at ease talking about where women are – and are not – represented in our society. And the idea that great diversity contributes significantly to good governance and an increased capacity for innovation has clearly percolated into mainstream thinking. This is particularly timely as the Government of Canada sets out to launch a major Innovation Agenda.
WCT has persistently pointed out to employers and others that gender ratios in the digital industries are sub-optimal. This year we launched a sustained campaign to do something about this. As tech folks, we believe that the best way to approach a large and seemingly impossible problem is to find out where we are and set a course to where we need to be. The Up the Numbers campaign will provide a focus on the importance of knowing where women are in the digital economy, setting targets for improvement and reporting our progress towards them. Eight leading corporate members of our community have leant their support to this initiative. We look forward to increasing those numbers as we work to make a difference in improving the gender ratios throughout our industry.
WCT has also served as a key resource for programs that promote the engagement and advancement of women. This year have had the unprecedented opportunity to conduct a nation-wide dialogue on what works best to reduce the obstacles to women in digital industries. With the support of Status of Women Canada, this series of roundtables will help us to produce a Blueprint for Women’s Leadership in the Digital Economy which will serve as a guide for employers and employees alike on how to build strong, productive careers for women in our industry. Over 150 people in the WCT community have contributed their ideas to the blueprint so far. Among other things, the roundtable discussions have endorsed the importance of mentorship and, increasingly, sponsorship.
WCT’s vision is to be the leading organization inspiring and advancing women in Canada’s digital economy. Our message is resonating with a growing community of supporters as we fulfil our role as the trusted and respected advocate for a larger and more influential place for women in our digital nation. We will continue to pursue this goal vigorously. We will continue to move faster, go further and soar higher.
Where Are the Women in the Canadian ICT Industry?
Strategies for Career Advancement: A Needs Assessment Report
This reportis a summary of the main findings of a Needs Assessment which was commissioned by Women in Communications and Technology in March of 2016. The Needs Assessment sought to:
- Document the current status of women’s participation in the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) sector in Canada, with a focus on the last five years (2010-2015);
- Identify strategies for improving women’s career advancement in the ICT sector; and
- Gather more in depth information about mentoring/sponsorship as a career strategy in the ICT sector.
The report uses survey data from the WCT community, as well as existing literature.