Where are the Women in the Alberta Tech Industry?

OTTAWA, ON (May 1, 2018) – Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) and the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) are collaborating with CGI and Microsoft to identify strategies to further the advancement of women in digital industries such as technology, telecom, broadcasting and fintech.

On May 10 and 11, three events are organized in Calgary: Women in Leadership event, a speakers’ series that is open to men and women of all career levels, an invitational roundtable to address women’s participation and advancement in the digital economy and a Board Discovery Day aimed at increasing the number of women serving on boards of directors.

The initiative is being undertaken through a partnership with the Province of Alberta with funding provided by the Government of Canada through the Canada-Alberta Job Fund.

The overall goal is to identify where women are in the Alberta ICT industry and explore the barriers to retention and advancement that they face. The series of events in Calgary in May and also Edmonton in September will feature frank discussions that will provide advice, counsel and inspiration to women building or considering careers in technology.

“As Alberta works to diversify its economy with a strong focus on growth in its ICT industry, a more diverse and inclusive ICT sector will be a key competitive differentiator” says Joanne Stanley, Executive Director of WCT. “WCT is pleased to unite with ITAC and the Province of Alberta toward the outcome of stronger engagement and retention of women in Alberta’s digital industries.”

“The tech sector is an important force in the Alberta economy,” said Denise Shortt, Vice-president, Industry Development of ITAC. “Apart from being a significant employer in its own right, it is a huge enabler of all the innovation that is driving other sectors such as the energy sector. Women are playing an active part in the industry, but we need more of them, particularly in leadership positions and on boards of directors.”

Alberta Women in Leadership Series 

The ITAC/WCT Women in Leadership series is a successful program featuring senior leaders from the Canadian technology industry participating in frank discussions of the issues and challenges that women face in digital industries and successful strategies to address them.

For the Calgary event, on May 10, the keynote speaker will be Angela Brown, President and CEO of Moneris, Canada’s leading fintech company. AngeIa will be in conversation with Lisa Carroll, Senior Vice-president, CGI and Co-chair of ITAC’s Diversity Council. They will discuss their own career journeys, their perspectives on the importance of creating more diverse technology organizations and their views on the most effective measures for building them. It will be an interactive program with questions from the audience welcomed.

Invitational Roundtables to Review Blueprint for Women’s Advancement in the Digital Economy 

In 2016, WCT received funding from Status of Women Canada and support from ITAC to conduct seven roundtables (including one in Calgary) focussed on effective strategies for advancing women in digital industries. WCT released the report from these roundtables in January. Closing the Gender Gap: A Blueprint for Women’s Leadership in the Digital Economy in addition to being a report on what WCT learned in the roundtable discussions, also serves as a guide to implementing the strategies of the leaders in diversity and inclusion in the digital economy. WCT will share its findings face to face with technology leaders in Calgary on May 11 and further explore any regional discrepancies or suggested improvements to our model of best practices.

ITAC’s Board Discovery Day in Calgary 

Women play a vital role in improving the governance of privately-held companies and other organizations by bringing their expertise and perspectives to serve on Boards of Directors. To address the problem of the significant under-representation of women on Canadian technology company boards of directors, ITAC has established an ITAC Women on Boards Registry. To inform and educate potential registry participants, ITAC will host a “Board Discovery Day” in Calgary on May 10.

This event is day-long seminar featuring educators, experienced corporate directors and thought leaders on board governance. It is designed to equip potential directors with the resources they need to prepare for and occupy positions on corporate boards.

Visit the WCT website: https://www.wct-fct.com/en/events

For further information: about any part of this program, please contact Lynda Leonard, WCT Project Manager, Lynda.joy.leonard@gmail.com, 613-882-8774