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International Women’s Day 2018

Recognized since the early 1900s, International Women’s Day has two purposes: to celebrate the accomplishments of women in different spheres around the world and to advocate for gender parity.

2017 was a year when women made the news across a range of industries for speaking out against and standing up to sexism, harassment, and cultures of abuse in workplaces across North America. It was a year of solidarity and change and, three months into 2018, that trend is continuing.

Women in Tech Report

HackerRank recently released their 2018 Women in Tech Report, surveying 14,000 software developers, of which almost 2,000 were women. With the help of reports like these we are able to quantify the progress of addressing the gender gap in tech.

“Young women today are 33% more likely to study computer science compared with women born before 1983.”

Most women who program (53.3%) are working in the technology industry, with finance (10.7%), education, and media (both at 4.7%) being popular industries to code for as well. However, women are still 3.5 times more likely to be in junior roles, regardless of their age, when compared to their male counterparts.

 

Global initiatives promoting Women in Tech

We’d like to mark International Women’s Day this year by introducing (or re-introducing) you to some of the companies, events, and resources we think are making a real and positive impact in the tech space. If you have a spare moment today, spend some time checking out the following:

  • Female Founders Fund (https://femalefoundersfund.com)
    Traditional venture capitalism often ignores female entrepreneurs: F3 was founded to make a difference by investing in female-led companies in key tech sectors.
  • Women in Technology Summit (https://www.witi.com/conferences/2018/summit)
    Women in Technology International’s annual summit aims to provide women in tech with an opportunity to network and learn in a welcoming environment.
  • Grace Hopper Celebration (https://ghc.anitab.org)
    The largest global conference for women technologists, the AnitaB.org produced conference is a joyful celebration of female accomplishment.
  • Project Include (http://projectinclude.org)
    A practical resource for CEOs, Project Include advocates for diversity and inclusion in hiring.
  • CallbackWomen (http://www.callbackwomen.com)
    Working to diversify speaker line-ups at conferences, CallbackWomen encourages gender diversity through advocacy, education, and resources.
  • Canada Learning Code (https://www.canadalearningcode.ca)
    By creating educational programs for historically underrepresented people in the tech industry, CLC works to diversify and increase digital literacy.

BC leaders

Our list wouldn’t be complete without recognizing some of our favourite local leading women.  Here are a few female founders in tech located in Victoria, BC, who have been continually impressing us:

  • Nicole Smith, Flytographer
    Inspired on a trip abroad, Smith founded Flytographer, a service that connects global travelers with local photographers for a fun and easy way to get high quality vacation photos.  The company’s ongoing success is a tribute to her vision, leadership, and hard work.
  • Bobbi Leach, FuturePay
    FuturePay, a digital lending platform for online retailers to offer their shoppers instant financing at point of sale, has grown under Leach’s skilled leadership.
  • Brianna Wettlaufer, Stocksy
    Wetlaufer co-founded Stocksy, one of the coolest collections of high-quality stock photography.  And it’s a co-op! Which means all artists are co-owners and share in the profits and have a say.

Supporting Canadian women

Canadian companies are making real efforts to improve diversity and inclusivity in their workforce. Great Place to Work Canada recently released their Best Workplaces for Women list for 2018, highlighting some of the leading organizations in gender equality and support at the corporate level.

The 2018 Federal Budget is also set to include $105 million towards “nationally coordinated, regionally tailored support for women entrepreneurs as part of the new Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.” A partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will see another $1.4 billion in financing made available to women-led companies over the next three years.

We are eager to see what the rest of 2018 holds in terms of positive trends towards inclusion in tech and all other industries around the world.

Happy International Women’s Day!

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