BIoT Canada

WCT commits to closing the gender gap in digital industries

January 31, 2018  

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Women in Communications and Technology (WCT) has released a report from a national consultation it conducted across Canada that provides insights about why Canadian digital industries continue to struggle to attract and retain women in their workforces.

Currently, women make up only 27% of the workforce in the Canadian communications and technology industries and women leave these industries at an alarming rate. The report, Closing the Gender Gap:  A Blueprint for Women’s Leadership in the Digital Economy, states that employers can do a better job of recruiting and retaining women by making changes in their companies such as: gender-blind recruitment and promotion practices, setting targets for women’s engagement, tying mentorship outcomes to performance compensation, to name a few.

One overarching key factor identified as necessary for improving gender diversity is ensuring that corporate policy and culture fully align.

Yesterday, the WCT held an executive panel of leaders in the technology, entertainment and fintech industries to discuss their own corporate cultures and what is working, and not working when it comes to the recruitment and advancement of women. The panel featured Barbara Williams, COO of Corus Entertainment, Paul Vallee, president and CEO of Pythian, and Jules Andrew, SVP at RBC and was moderated by Carolyn Jarvis, chief investigative reporter with Global News.

The report provides a synthesis of the suggestions of the 250 women and men who participated in the consultation roundtables in seven cities across Canada.  It is also designed to serve as a primer for employers on how to implement some of the practices necessary to create more inclusive workplaces.

“If we are going to build the strong digital economy that Canadians aspire to, we must do a better job of engaging and tapping into the creative capital of women,” said Joanne Stanley, executive director of WCT said.  “The roundtable table consultation, which was made possible by Status of Women Canada enabled us to talk to employers and employees in all regions across Canada about what works best to build gender diverse companies.”

In addition, the report contains insight into future tools and services that WCT can use to help employers attract and employ women, and to leverage their talents more effectively. It also contains a pathway for necessary initiatives for WCT to work with women and their employers on what works and what doesn’t work in advancing women in digital industries.

“We are now working on distilling this knowledge into a set of useful services and tools that can help employers attract and employ more women and use their talents more effectively,” Stanley said. “It’s really time that we stopped talking and act to make the changes necessary to build a fully diverse digital economy.”

Further information is available at