How Canada is Leading the Charge for Women in STEM

The term “STEM” stands for Science Technology Engineering and Math. These fields are essential for our progress as a society. In recent years an emphasis has been placed on encouraging students, particularly women and those underrepresented in such industries, to pursue careers in STEM.

Women have been innovating the STEM fields since their inception. For thousands of years, women were prominent leaders whose work defined our ancestors’ understanding of the world and the possibilities therein. Lost to an unforgiving history, these women laid the foundation for that which we build today. As dark age ideology spread through the world on ships and battlefields, the education of and opportunities for women dwindled, leading to the pervasive mindset that STEM isn’t women’s work. While technology as we know it today was set into motion by women like Ada Lovelace and Hedy Lamarr, that sexist mindset about women in STEM remains far too prevalent. 

Canada is dedicated to correcting history’s wrongs and moving the STEM fields further by eradicating gender prejudice from the research and workforce. As a technology recruiting firm that has achieved gender parity within our own ranks, we are proud to share the ways in which Canada is leading the charge for women in STEM. 

The Women in STEM Initiative

In 2019, Canada launched the Women in STEM Initiative. This initiative, led by Ingenium, takes a multifaceted approach to understanding and dismantling underrepresentation in STEM. Through extensive study and research, this initiative sheds light on implicit gender biases as well as the many structural and cultural roadblocks that continue to stand in the way of women’s advancement in STEM. Using this information to develop a targeted approach to breaching those barriers, the Women in STEM Initiative provides programming, events, a traveling display showcasing the stories of women in STEM and fellowship opportunities with the University of Ottawa. 

Canada’s ‘Choose Science’ Program

As Canada emerges as a global leader in STEM, our government has recognized the need to inspire more young people to pursue these fields, particularly girls and members of underserved and underrepresented communities. In addition to student programs, science fairs, and other federal initiatives to boost STEM literacy and excitement in youth, Canada launched Choose Science. Choose Science provides resources for parents and teachers to engage students of all genders, while highlighting the important contributions of women past and present. Programming like this not only signals to girls that there is a place for them in STEM, but helps protect boys from developing the same implicit biases that harm us all by excluding important minds from the future of technology. 

The Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology

Founded by six women scientists in Vancouver, SCWIST began on a porch in the spring of 1981. Mary Vickers, Hilda Ching, Abby Schwarz, Mary Jo Duncan, Diana Herbst and Maggie Benston made plans that day to form a society of women in science that would go on to provide educational and occupational opportunities for talented girls and women throughout Canada. Their programs, partnerships and scholarships have reached thousands of women and girls across 8 provinces. With 41 years under their belt, SCWIST continues to help Canada make strides. SCWIST’s work, combined with that of other public and private initiatives, puts Canada on the road to achieving more through technology by investing in the brainpower of all our people. 

Innovate Better with IT/IQ

Today, women make up just over 50% of the population of Canada, but still hold less than a quarter of STEM jobs. With our competitive edge as a global technological power, Canadian initiatives and organizations are leading the charge to correct this. IT/IQ knows that talent isn’t a gendered phenomenon. Our firm enjoys the benefits of gender parity across our specialized recruiting teams. With a keen understanding of their unique fields, our recruiters source candidates who possess the knowledge, skill and agility to provide cutting-edge technology solutions for leading clients across Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. 

Whether you’re seeking to advance your technology career or searching for your next technology hire, partner with IT/IQ. With years of experience and an eye on the future of Canadian innovation, we’ll provide the placements that not only fit but flourish. Visit us at to learn more.

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