Women In Tech
On International Women's Day, when countless statistics will be cited and discussed to highlight how far we've come towards gender equality, there's one number that keeps me awake at night. Twenty-one. Despite our best efforts as an incubator for tech startups in Canada, only 21 per cent of our founders are women.
Did you know that the mathematician who calculated the trajectories for NASA's Apollo 11 flight to the Moon was an African-American woman? Her name is Katherine Johnson. Thanks to the movie Hidden Figures, her story, and that of two other brilliant African-American women, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, is finally being told.
Enough with the patronizing comments already.
The lack of women in STEM reflects on a country's economy: there is a rising demand for STEM-related workers, and ignoring women would be cutting off half of the possible workforce. In addition, women in STEM make more money, which enhances their purchasing power, which is both good for them and the national economy.
Some of Canada's biggest success stories show us that if you want to make it big, you've got to move south. Slack, the popular chat application for business teams, was originally founded in Victoria but is now headquartered in San Francisco, where access to capital has helped the company achieve explosive growth. So why-oh-why would anyone want to live and work in Vancouver?
The technology industry is a diverse field that offers those working within it opportunities to be creative, to be innovative and to do some truly unique work. But there's one well-documented issue -- technology remains a male-dominated field. This isn't just an issue south of the border.
When it comes to women in tech, we know there needs to be a shift in attitude. Especially for females first entering and aiming to follow a progressive career path. While many emerging into the industry from technology programs worldwide, once in their field, there is still little advancement into upper management positions.
Anjali Ramachandran is the head of innovation at PHD UK in London. She's the co-founder of Ada's List, a group for women who work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and she also writes about innovation in the developing world.
The answer to empower the next generation of men and women entrepreneurs, innovators and their ideas by putting real-world challenges in front of them and not limiting creativity is expanding and supporting the culture of STEM initiatives.
Unfortunately, women remain underrepresented in the tech sector. Research shows that women make up only between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of tech-related jobs at tech companies. Why should women and girls learn to code? Here are a few reasons.