Why do we need more women in technology?

In Canada, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) jobs amongst university graduates pay 13.6% more than non-STEM jobs. In the Greater Montreal area alone, 5000 companies generate 10B$ in revenue each year. The future has always been shaped by innovation and new technologies, the industry is long-lasting and sustainable, salaries are competitive. 
-/ Women need to claim their space to benefit directly from it and shape it for their own needs.

Diverse teams yield more profitable results for the company, for the individuals and for the society. -/ Women need to take this space so we can all benefit from it.

When a specific population is absent from a discussion their needs and views are are seldom considered. This means half the population is not well served in the field of STEM. With a fair representation, women can participate in building a world by them for them and give a new perspective to their competences.
-/Women need to sit at the table to have their say.

There is a labour shortage in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). There are currently 811,200 ICT professionals in Canada and in a 5 year horizon, it is forecasted that there will be a shortage of 182,000 (ICTC). Women constitute a great underused taskforce in the ICT sector that could fill this non-productive gap.
-/ Women could be the key to keeping the country competitive in this ever competitive world.

Why is this manifesto wanting to change tech events?

In Canada in 2011, women accounted for 23% of graduates aged 25 to 34 with a university degree in engineering, and 30% of those with a degree in mathematics and computer science.

In August of 2018 alone Montreal hosted over 288 tech meet-ups. MontrealNewTech offers a calendar with 40 events in the next 49 days. Including big conferences like C2 Montreal or Startupfest, thousands of people attend an event every year. It’s important that women are not underrepresented on the stage nor in the crowd.

Membership in the female group and strength of identity with this group is related to lower math preferences, lower math identity, and math–gender stereotypes (Nosek, Banaji, 2011) and we believe that by increasing visibility of women in STEM, this bias could be reversed like it was with the “Scully Effect” (21CF). Events and conferences are an excellent venue to showcase them. It is important to systematically offer female role models to counter these biases and incite more women to pursue STEM careers.

By asking parity at technology events, we want to :

  • Stimulate women to choose and stay in a STEM career path;
  • Attract youth;
  • Measure a quick impact with simple and real actions;
  • Offer more showcase opportunities for expert women;
  • Break the isolation and solitude women in STEM might experience;
  • Reach a maximum number of people;
  • Encourage women to develop their network;
  • Train and inform women;
  • Encourage participation of underrepresented people.

It is essential that more women participate to tech events and conferences as experts or as attendees.