Written for Mediaplanet’s Women in Technology campaign.
Published in print inside the Maclean’s on October 12, 2015.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – known as the STEM fields – are some of the largest growth industries in the country, yet have statistically low levels of female employees.
According to Statistics Canada, just 23 percent of graduates from engineering and 30 percent of graduates from mathematics and computer science programs are women. This comes at a time when Canada is facing a skills gap in the Information Communications and Technology (ICT) sector, which is predicted to widen. An IDC Canada report released in September, states the ICT skills gap will grow to 71,000 jobs by 2017. Statistics Canada also reports that women make up approximately 22 percent of the total workforce in STEM fields.
“We’re half the society and we’re not represented in extremely important design and building concepts that we live in, that shape our world,” says Hydro One engineer Lyla Garzouzi. In Canada there are 280,000 professional engineers, but only 12 percent are women.