Many people have asked me why we still need to focus on getting more women into the tech industry. Sadly, the numbers of women entering tech have been declining over the last five years and the “T” in STEM is the only sector that has not grown despite efforts by government and industry to promote STEM to young girls.
Here are the facts:
- Women make up 47% of the workforce but only 20% of the technology jobs in Canada (ICT)
- Over the past 20 years, the number of women graduating with Computer Science degrees has declined 19%
- 80% of men hold the highest paying jobs in the tech sector, while 80% of the lowest paying jobs are held by women
- The “T” in STEM is the only one of these sectors where female employment is in decline despite tremendous growth of the tech sector
- Canadian women with bachelor’s degrees in STEM earned 20% less than their male counterparts (2015)
So why does this matter to everyone?
There are three reasons why everyone, employers, employees, industry, government and the general population should care about having more women in tech and a more diverse workforce in the technology sector.
- We need to create a competitive Canadian economy.
- IT talent shortage of >182,000 workers in Canada by 2019 (ICTC) and 216,000 by 2021 means we need opportunity for 47% of the workforce (women)
- We need to represent all of society as technology evolves
- AI and other new forms of technology need to be representative of the entire population
- We need to dispel the myths.
- The IT sector in Canada has typically lagged behind other industry sectors in gender diversity because of myths like, “girls aren’t good in math” and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. “There is no pay equity gap” are myths we all need to address as a business community.
WCT pioneers diversity research in Canadian information, communication and technology (ICT) industries, with a number of initiatives to measure, benchmark, and ultimately improve diversity in the digital economy.
Included in WCT’s advocacy efforts are Up the Numbers, a campaign which tracks and reports on women’s representation in Canadian ICT industries. The Blueprint for Women’s Leadership, funded by Status of Women Canada, outlines a framework for women’s advancement. Based off consultation of leaders across the country, the Blueprint provides real strategies for the advancement of women in Canada.
Download the report and get started with initiatives at your tech company or association. If you are interested in participating in roundtable discussions on this topic or hosting one in your organization, contact Marie Wiese of Marketing CoPilot.
We are currently recruiting female business owners that want to participate in a women-only and woman-led Elite 300 MasterMind Peer Group – see www.300elitemastermind.com