Canada has an ICT skills shortage problem, and more women joining the industry is the answer, according to a report released today by the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC).
The organization reports that Canada will need 182,000 ICT workers by 2019, and an additional 36,000 on top of that by 2020. While Canada isn’t alone in feeling this skills shortage, the government has to take the steps necessary to push Canada forward as a leader in the global digital economy, ITAC said.
“Canada has the potential to be a leader in the global digital economy but we need to address the skills gap that will hamper growth,” ITAC president and CEO Robert Watson said in a statement to ITBusiness.ca.
ITAC’s report, “ITAC on Talent,” is the fourth and final in a series outlining how the Canadian government can best pursue the six-pillar “innovation agenda” that Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Navdeep Bainsrevealed earlier this year.
Investing in women
On the Canadian front, ITAC recommends that the ICT sector shine its spotlight on two underlit demographics in particular: women and youth.
ITAC reports that women continue to be severely underrepresented within Canada’s ICT sector, with the level of engagement of women in ICT hovering around 25 per cent for the last 10 years, despite research showing that gender equality has only ever been good for business. Diversity in leadership roles has led to an increase of organizational effectiveness, for instance, the report’s authors noted.