Women Leading the Canadian Tech Industry

According to research from the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, women in Canadian tech jobs earn about $20,000 less than their male colleagues each year. At IT/IQ, we want to change that. And to get there, we need more awareness. Let’s start by meeting some of the incredible women leading the tech industry in Canada today.

Jennifer Flanagan

Through innovative partnerships with nonprofits, corporations, and government organizations, Jennifer Flanagan leads the charge in developing STEM programs that include women, girls, and Indigenous youth, youth living in rural and remote communities, and other at-risk youth.

She holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of New Brunswick and a Master of Management from McGill University in Montreal. In 1993, she co-founded Actua, Canada’s largest STEM outreach organization inspiring over 350,000 youth every year. Through a national network of forty university and college-based members and a national outreach team, Actua prepares youth to be tech leaders by engaging them with accessible STEM experiences.

Jennifer’s work has earned her recognition in lists like Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and awards like the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards.

Jodi Kovitz

Jodi Kovtitz is a woman overflowing with ideas and inspiration, beyond that, she makes them happen. She’s founded initiatives, served on boards, built teams, and consulted corporations all over the world. 

In 1997 she enrolled at the University of Western Ontario at the Ivey Business School. She graduated in 2000 with a degree in Honours Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts. While at Western, she founded HandHeld Cards, a small business venture. Kovitz studied international finance, at Commerciale L. Bocconi, Milan in Italy from January to June 2000. In 2003 Jodi enrolled in Osgoode Hall Law School. She graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Laws.

Early in her career as a lawyer, Jodi worried she had chosen the wrong degree. By forty, she was the founder and CEO of #movethedial, a global movement to advance the leadership of women in the technology sector—and living her life with a renewed sense of passion and purpose. In order to achieve this mission, #movethedial partners with key-decision holders and provides a space through conferences for women and young girls to network, learn, and be inspired by the stories of women leading tech.

Kovitz was recognized as on Canada’s 25 Women of Influence, Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, and she was named the 2020 Communicator of the Year by the International Association of Business Communicator.

Saadia Muzaffar

Saadia Muzaffar is a tech entrepreneur, author, and advocate for responsible innovation, equal opportunity, and the prosperity of immigrant talent in STEM.

Saadia was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, she emigrated to Canada with her family when she was nineteen. Shortly after, she attended Sheridan College for business administration, then entered the finance sector. After three years, Saadia decided to try out tech and landed a position with Toronto start-up incubator Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre.

While at RIC, she worked with more than 100 tech start-ups and fewer than five women employees. Her research found that immigrant women are 50% more likely to have a STEM degree than Canadian-born women while facing the highest levels of labor market challenges. She realized she needed to help move the needle. “Nobody around me was willing to ask the difficult questions,” Saadia says. That’s how, in 2011, TechGirls Canada was born. TechGirls Canada is a nonprofit organization committed to researching and designing solutions that address barriers for diversity and equity in the STEM sector by advocating for LGBTQ+, immigrant, refugee, and Indigenous women, women of all colors, and all abilities.

Muzaffar was featured in the 2017 book Canada 150 Women and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her short fiction writing.

Innovate Like A Girl

Despite the lack of resources for women in technology, these women selflessly persevered and created the tools they didn’t have. Jennifer, Jodi, and Saadia paved the way for future engineers, entrepreneurs, and programmers who don’t fit into the stereotypical tech-nerd box. IT/IQ is inspired by these amazing women and excited to see what the future holds for women in technology.

Your Tech Teammate

IT/IQ continues to serve our clients, candidates, and the entire technology industry. With locations in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto we can help cover all your hiring needs – from in-person to remote needs. Visit us at it-iq.com to learn more.

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