Vancouver, November 1, 2007. Women are under-represented in the ranks of the high tech sector. New research by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance Women in Technology (CATA WIT) Forum and University of Ottawa Telfer School of Management examines this gender imbalance. The study results will be presented at the opening of a CATA WIT Forum chapter in B.C.
The study concludes that many women in the advanced technology sector believe they face gender-specific career challenges. The challenges are pervasive and embedded at all levels in the worker/ employer and business owner/market relationship.
"For many Canadian women, the high tech sector is still a man's world", says co-author Dr. Barbara Orser, Deloitte Professor in the Management of Growth Enterprises. " We analyzed hundreds of statements about the career challenges women face in the sector. Most concerns were associated with gender, including dismissive attitudes about women's career aspirations and feeling marginalized in an industry that honours technical and engineering roles - roles in which women are under-represented."
The study also asked women to describe how they resolved their career challenges. "Most Canadian women resort to 'do-it-yourself solutions'. Few cited corporate or industry initiatives to resolve gender-related career challenges" says Dr. Orser. "A key conclusion is the need for industry, including small- and medium-sized employers, to develop more pro-active strategies to address the gender imbalance."
" The on going issue of women opting out of the tech sector is alarming" says Joanne Stanley, Co-Founder, CATA WIT Forum. " It means that companies in the innovation space are losing the enormous potential of the female talent pool and the diversity of skills they bring."
"If Canada is to succeed in improving its global competitiveness and innovation standing, it must draw on the other half of the population and tap into the capabilities that women bring to the creation and management of knowledge-based companies" says Ms. Stanley.
++ Action Item: Members can obtain a copy of the research report by directing your request by email to Cathi Malette . This research will be of special interest to executives responsible for talent management within their enterprises.
For more information:
About CATA WIT Forum (http://www.catawit.ca)
The CATA WIT Forum was created in 2004 to provide a national network for women in the tech sector to advance in their careers. A mentoring program and a national business competition for women starting tech companies are two recent initiatives that CATA WIT Forum introduced to address the gender imbalance. The opening of a CATA WIT BC chapter extends the CATA WIT network from Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.
About CATAAlliance (http://www.cata.ca)
The largest high-tech association in Canada, CATAAlliance matches businesses with opportunities across almost every sector, so that we can all do business together. Reaching out from and across Canada, CATAAlliance members are connected with investment and partnership opportunities with the major global companies and governments. Through its "Innovation Nation" program, CEOs come together to catalyze the development of the Canadian business environment.
About Telfer School of Management (http://www.telfer.uottawa.ca/)
The Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa is uniquely positioned to link with and learn from Canada's leaders. With some 3,300 students, 200 full- and part-time faculty and 20,000 alumni, the Telfer School of Management is a diverse and vibrant environment in which students, faculty, researchers and alumni can forge rewarding lifelong relationships. The Telfer School of Management is located in the new Desmarais Building-an impressive 12-storey structure that features a variety of cutting-edge facilities.
CATA WIT Forum National Partners: