Five tech training courses that aim to break gender inequality in Canadian tech sector

#BreaktheBias – Leveling the playing field for women in tech through education and training

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The tech industry is among the fastest-growing industries in the world. While it can provide abundant paychecks and fulfilling careers for many, research has shown that women are still largely underrepresented, and face many obstacles when pursuing a career in the field.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #BreaktheBias, which calls on each of us to do our part in forging a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive by committing to calling out bias, smashing stereotypes, breaking inequality, and rejecting discrimination. 

Now, more than ever, various organizations are creating resources for women to have successful careers in tech. Check out these education and training resources to help women advance in the IT field.

Code the Future initiative from Shaw and Hackergal

Shaw Communications, in partnership with Hackergal, has launched Code the Future — a new initiative designed to introduce young women, including non-binary, genderqueer, and trans individuals, to the basics of coding and to help inspire them to further explore the world of STEM.

Beginning today, anyone who visits will be given the tools to create a custom, web-based digital image using CSS and Javascript. Once they have finalized their designs, they are encouraged to share their image with their social networks to inspire others and spread positive messages that celebrate women in STEM.

The Women in Technology program by Acces Employment

The Women in Technology program helps newcomer women start a career in IT by building essential technology skills in areas like programming, web development, and coding. The program is designed and implemented by Acces Employment, a charity that assists job seekers from diverse backgrounds who are facing barriers to employment to integrate into the Canadian job market.

In addition to industry-specific technical training, the program also provides participants with an understanding of Canadian workplace culture, connections to employers, job search coaching and mentorship. To be eligible for the program, clients must reside in Ontario and hold valid Permanent Residence status in Canada. See program full eligibility criteria for details. Stream 1 of the program began on January 17, 2022, and will end on April 8, 2022. Stream 2 of the program will run from August 8 to September 20, 2022. More information on the program can be found here

New diversity-focused cybersecurity training programs

Mastercard and Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst at Ryerson University have launched two training programs, funded by a C$1.25 million investment from Mastercard, designed to foster inclusion and diversity within the Canadian cybersecurity sector.

  • Mastercard Emerging Leaders in Cyber Initiative (ELCI) is a leadership program designed to support the development of female-identifying executive leaders in cybersecurity. The applications for this program will open in April 2022 and the companies say they will welcome 25 participants from across Canada to form the first cohort. 
  • Mastercard Cyber Range Capstone Program is an experiential learning program designed to provide diverse learners enrolled in the Catalyst’s Accelerated Cybersecurity Training Program (ACTP) with additional, hands-on cybersecurity training. This cybersecurity learning program will be delivered to approximately 150 current and past learners from Catalyst’s ACTP.

Doordash Canada’s Entrepreneurship & Access Programs for women

DoorDash, a last-mile logistics platform, is inviting women entrepreneurs and business owners to sign up for its Entrepreneurship & Access programs in Canada that offer support to businesses owned by women, immigrants, and people of colour.

Through these programs, DoorDash Canada says it aims to help level the playing field for entrepreneurs and empower local businesses by offering access to grants, resources, and training to support business growth. Through this work, the company will connect small business owners to resources like technical assistance, education, and marketing opportunities for increased visibility and long-term business growth. Interested entrepreneurs can sign up here.

Women in Information Technology program by Skills for Change

Women in IT is a 20-week program that empowers women with education and/or experience in the technology sector by providing them with training in tech sales and accounting management. Offered by Skills for Change, a non-profit organization known for pioneering programs that respond to shifting immigration and workplace trends and lead to employment, the Women in IT program provides knowledge of professional workplace practices and communication, and connects women to employment through employer connections and mentorship. 

Applicants 18 years of age or older who identify as women, people who identify as non-binary and/or genderqueer, live in Toronto, and are on Ontario Works are eligible to apply. More information on the eligibility criteria and program details can be found here

#BreaktheBias: Do your part in forging a world that is diverse

Photo from invincible_bulldog | Getty Images

Are you aware of more tech training programs for women in Canada? Which ones would you suggest we add to our list? Let us know.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Pragya Sehgal
Pragya Sehgal
Her characters are bold and smart, but in real life, Pragya is afraid of going upstairs when it is dark behind her. Born and raised in the capital city of India - Delhi - bounded by the Yamuna River on the west, Pragya has climbed the Himalayas, and survived medical professional stream in high school without becoming a patient or a doctor. Pragya now makes her home in Canada with her husband - a digital/online marketing professional who also prepares beautiful, healthy and delicious meals for her. When she isn’t working or writing around tech, she’s probably watching art films on Netflix, or wondering whether she should cut her hair short or not.

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