Women in Tech: A Comprehensive Overview of the Canadian Experience
June 27, 2023
SEB Marketing team
In recent years, the technology industry has become an essential part of Canada’s economy, propelling innovation, creating jobs, and shaping the future. One noteworthy aspect of this growth is the participation of women in the tech sector. Despite progress, women’s representation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in Canada still lags behind.
According to Statistics Canada, women account for approximately 36.4% of all STEM post-secondary degree graduates in the country. While this number indicates improvement from previous years, there is still room for growth and increased participation to ensure a more balanced and inclusive representation of women in STEM fields.
The participation of women in the tech workforce remains an area where progress is needed. According to Randstad, women only make up approximately 25% of the technology workforce in Canada. This underrepresentation indicates a significant gender gap in the industry. There are barriers that women face when pursuing STEM education and entering the tech field. Some of the challenges include:
- Gender bias and stereotypes: Deep-rooted biases and stereotypes can discourage women from pursuing a career in STEM fields. Society’s perception of tech as a male-dominated industry can create an impression of a harsh environment and therefore, impact women’s confidence and aspirations.
- Lack of representation: The absence of female role models and mentors in the tech industry can hinder young women’s aspirations to pursue tech careers. Representation plays a crucial role in inspiring and guiding the next generation of women in tech.
- Limited networking opportunities: Networking is vital for career growth, but women may face challenges in accessing professional networks that are male dominated. This can negatively impact advancement in the tech industry.
- Work-life balance: The tech field often demands long working hours and can be perceived as less accommodating to work-life balance. This perception can discourage women, who may face additional childcare responsibilities, from pursuing or continuing a tech career.
- Pay disparity: Pay disparity is present in many industries including the tech industry. Women receive lower compensation than male professionals in almost all cases in the tech sector. This can be highly discouraging for women that are considering a professional career in technology.
While women still face barriers, efforts are being made to foster career advancement in the tech sector.
Awareness and initiatives aimed at addressing this disparity are gaining traction and creating opportunities for women to thrive in the tech field. Canada has seen an increase in women’s representation in leadership positions in the technology industry and according to Betakit, only 39% of board member positions in technology were made up of women, and 45% of women held executive positions in 2022. Although progress has been made, there is still work to be done to ensure equal pay and opportunities for women to advance their careers and assume leadership roles.
Women’s participation in the tech industry is crucial for driving innovation and achieving gender equality. By addressing these barriers and fostering a supportive and inclusive environment, Canada can unlock the full potential of its female talent pool, paving the way for a thriving and diverse tech industry. There are various organizations in the country that are playing an instrumental role in creating opportunities and empowering women in tech, ensuring a brighter and more inclusive future for all.
Our vision at SEB is to build a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion where people can flourish and contribute their full potential. At SEB, we have a proven and growing female workforce that are making a real impact and leading the way for tomorrow’s tech leaders through fostering innovation and strong mentorship. To be successful, we believe in leveraging our entire workforce to tackle tomorrow’s challenge head on.