Now’s the Time for Women in Tech
It has been predicted that by the year 2020, more than 200,000 IT jobs in Canada will be empty. Additionally, over the last 10 years, an imbalance has been shown in terms of gender amongst IT professionals. Only 25% of positions within the industry are occupied by women. This statistic was further emphasized at an event hosted by VanHack, in May of this year. “Developers and engineers from around the world traveled to Canada to meet with a number of local tech companies, and seven applicants ended up being hired. The event was a tremendous success, save for one unexpected outcome: not a single female engineer attended,” shared Ilya Brotzky, CEO and founder of Leap 2.0.
“It is essential that we create inclusive systems and processes to make a change,
including hiring practices. To start, listen and identify the root cause. Leap 2.0 is the result of just this; addressing barriers to entry for women software developers. As we progress, ideally, these supports will be baked into standard processes asserting inclusion more broadly.” – Alicia Close, Founder & CEO, Women in Tech World
VanHack Helping Women in the IT Industry
VanHack is a Canadian company that works as a hiring network. They connect communities of IT professionals with top companies in Canada and across the world. To do so, they first sought out to identify the reason behind the lack of women in the IT industry. VanHack partnered with MaRS Discovery District to conduct the research. Results showed familial responsibilities, as well as financial and geographic constraints, are the leading reasons why female tech professionals were hesitant to relocate to Canada.
VanHack’s mission is to “create inclusive systems and processes to make a change including hiring practices.” Therefore, to apply these principles and help close the gender gap, Leap 2.0 will be hosting multiple networking events for people to attend.
“VanHack will sponsor 20 pre-vetted female developers from a global talent pool to participate in this upcoming LEAP event.” – VanHack
Leap 2.0 Networking Event
Networking events will begin in Calgary, Alberta at Calgary Economic Development the week of October 29th. The following functions will be in Kitchener at Communitech, and Toronto at the MaRS Discovery District during the week of November 19th.
VanHack has assured 500 hires, contributing $15 million dollars in salaries into Canada’s economy.
“We want to do what we can to provide the opportunity for women in tech from around the world, secure their dream jobs in Canada. And at the same time, we want to remedy a counterproductive lack of cultural diversity within the tech industry. This upcoming event accomplishes both of these goals” (VanHack).
Speaking to the CEO of VanHack and Leap 2.0, Ilya Brotzky, we were able to get some insight about the successes that the company has had, and created. He also shared some of the predictions and expected outcomes for the events in Calgary and Ontario.
Out of the employment that VanHack has helped create to-date, how many positions have been filled by women?
34 and we plan to double that with this event.
The main reasons given for the lack of female IT professionals were familial responsibilities, financial constraints and geographic constraints. Do you think that there are other, societal factors that are leading women away from working in the IT industry?
I believe that there are also cultural reasons that are leading women away from working in the IT industry. There is a cultural myth that some professions are meant for women and others for men. Unfortunately, the tech industry has traditionally been seen as a profession for men in most cultures. However, you can see many efforts from organizations to change this and we want to be part of it.
How do you think that this event will change the perspective of women looking to work in the IT industry?
We hope that VanHack Leap will inspire and incentivize many more women around the world who are looking for a job abroad. Our goal is to have 100% of the participants hired showing that the candidates, no matter the gender, are great professionals and able to work in a top tech market like Canada.
It has been predicted that 200,000 IT jobs will be empty in the year 2020. Which specific jobs do you think will show the biggest employment losses?
I believe that the most in demand skills will be Back-end developers, Data Engineers, DevOps Engineers and Mobile developers.
What are the most common types of jobs that you have matched professionals with during your events?
To learn more about VanHack, and the upcoming Leap 2.0 recruitment symposium, visit their website.