Calgary-based chic geeks pave the way for women in the tech industry

In Alberta, technical women make up only 25% of the workforce, but 45% of the workforce.

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Women aren’t limited to technology long enough to climb the career ladder, adding to the existing labor shortage and inclusive barriers to Alberta’s growing industries.

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According to a 2020 survey conducted by Accenture and Girls Who Code, half of the women working in the tech industry have left the tech industry by the age of 35, while about 20% of other types of work. The survey also found that women quit technical jobs at a 45% higher rate than men.

Calgary-based non-profit Chic Geek aims to change that through a program to support, engage and retain women in the technology sector.

Program specialist Hanan Chevib said the issue was not a lack of interest in the field, but the absence of women to play a leading role.

“MeImagine you’re a senior developer in the industry for 10 years and no woman at the leadership or executive level, “says Chebib. “Sometimes the message those companies are giving you is that there may not be space for you.”

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In Alberta, technical women make up only 25% of the workforce and 45% of the workforce.

That number is even lower in leadership or executive level positions. According to an Accenture study, less than one in five of the top executives of 1,000 of the largest tech companies are women.

“When we ask women in our program what the biggest challenges in the tech sector are, they always come back and say career visibility. I don’t know what the steps are. “

In response, ChicGeek’s CareerPathing program provides women with the opportunity to talk to 12 different women in the tech field over a 12-month period to help build a support network. The connections made through the program helped women find a way forward and provided employment opportunities for some, she said.

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“Women want real role models and mentors who can talk in the workplace. And if they can’t find it in the workplace, we can come to sick geeks. I hope I can do it. “

According to Alberta Enterprise Corp, much of Alberta’s technology sector growth has occurred within the last three years, increasing from 1,200 to 3,000 this year. Nonetheless, tech companies are struggling to fill their positions.

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Technology companies that have practices to support employee well-being, as well as the ability to start a family, tend to attract more women in this area, Chevib said.

“When they talk about the balance between work and life, they’re not talking about having a family and this career. They’re talking about,” To meet my needs as a human being, I Can you make your life more flexible? ” “She said.

“They will choose a company based on the fact that they care about their people.”

Scholarships awarded to more women at STEM

The state announced Thursday that it will increase the number of women on STEM scholarships to support more higher-educated students at Mount Royal University.

Women’s Status Deputy Minister Whitney Issik said This year, $ 732,500 will be distributed to 293 students. Receive $ 2,500 to spend on their education.

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“Every student who receives a scholarship has the potential to make great new discoveries in this area, become a leader in technological and scientific progress, and pave the way for the future of Alberta,” said Issik. increase.

“Supporting students is the key to building a prosperous future for Alberta and growing a strong and resilient economy.”

Teresa Taylor, Head of Content and Public Relations at ChicGeek, said the scholarship will directly help women aspiring to work at STEM and help “level the competition for women in the state.” Said.

“That’s why support and mentorship are essential, and it must begin early in the process for women at higher education levels, not just when we’re in the field,” Taylor said. rice field.

“We can’t sit vaguely as a community and say,’Oh, well, statistics seem to say that STEM needs more women.'”

— Use Josh Aldrich files

twitter: @BrittGervaisAB

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Calgary-based chic geeks pave the way for women in the tech industry

Source link Calgary-based chic geeks pave the way for women in the tech industry

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