The labor force participation rate among women in Canada has been increasing steadily, now Canada has the lowest gender participation gap of all G-7 countries.
While Canadian tech talent is second to none, it’s not without its gaps. Men are almost four times more likely than women to work in a tech occupation. One question frequently discussed: How can we empower more women to enter the tech industry in Canada? Here are some ways we can start doing that:
Transform the Face of Tech
A large body of research suggests that barriers to entering tech roles begin early in life for women. These influences can come from families, teachers, role models, and cultural stereotypes, they all impact women’s decisions to engage in subjects that point them towards tech roles later in life. We need to change this by empowering, educating, and encouraging young women and girls to look into STEM subjects and careers. Empowering women in tech starts with a talent pipeline that begins in grade school.
Let’s work hard to build up female talent from an early age. Organizations like TechGirls Canada educate, inspire, and equip female students with the skills and resources to pursue STEM opportunities. For more educational resources, check out Canada’s movement #movethedial for more information on inclusion in technology through education.
Face Gender Bias
A significant part of helping women advance in tech is acknowledging that the industry is not equal. While we are all familiar with the concept and realities of the industry, it’s easy to overlook how biases happen in subtle, unconscious ways. All organization members, not just the board of directors, must be consciously fighting gender bias. Tackling biases, unconscious or not, is a great way to start. But to address the core of the problem, we need to understand that this was never just a women’s issue alone, it’s a people issue.
Listen to Your Employees
With the best of intentions, managers are often sensitive to employees who are struggling with work-life balance. Sometimes they avoid putting certain employees in situations where they have to do things like travel frequently. And while this is done with the best intentions, it unconsciously limits opportunities for women. Remember that it’s up to each candidate on how to balance work and family life, it will help your woman employees feel empowered to make the right decisions for themselves.
So, speak up, listen, take control of your career, and check your bias at the door—that’s not only great advice for women but also for everyone.
Your Canadian Partners
Empowering women to enter and stay in the tech industry takes a commitment from companies around Canada. With locations in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto, IT/IQ is dedicated to learning and listening to women in technology across Canada. To learn more about IT/IQ, visit our website or reach out to one of our veteran recruiters. We can’t wait to hear from you and, and to build a better global business culture together.