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Women in innovation

Eight behavioural nudges to keep moving the dial forward

Women make up approximately half of humanity but when it comes to gender parity within tech companies, only 13% of the executive team are women, while 53% have no female executives at all. In our joint report with #movethedial, we’re widening the scope to look at how we can improve representation across industries— especially in the key roles related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) that are driving Canada’s innovation economy.

“You don’t get to be the best in the world unless you have the best people working on it in the country, and we simply don’t see how that happens if you don’t have diversity in thinkers, workers and leaders.”

Chris Dulny, Chief Innovation Officer, PwC Canada

Despite barriers, there are many incredible women who are already moving the dial for diversity across sectors. We spoke to five innovative leaders on how to empower women and achieve gender equity in the workforce:

CJ Ritchie

is the Chief Information Officer of the Government of British Columbia, bringing innovative solutions to the public sector.

Claudette McGowan

is the Chief Information Officer of Enterprise Technology Employee Experience at BMO, leading a large financial institution in its digital strategy.

Danielle Cerisano

is VP Finance at League Inc., changing how companies provide benefits and how employees engage with them.

Gianna Manes

is President and CEO at ENMAX, delivering electricity, natural gas and renewable energy to Alberta.

Juggy Sihota

is VP Consumer Health at TELUS, overseeing Canada’s leading providers of electronic healthcare records and resources.

Big change starts small—improving equity in innovation through eight behavioural nudges

Through our conversations with these women, we arrived at eight actionable behavioural changes (or “nudges”) that can help make innovation roles more accessible, welcoming and rewarding for women across all sectors.

Cut gender stereotypes out of the hiring process

Eliminate gendered language from job postings not just in terms of pronouns but traits as well.

Broaden your hiring criteria—and fight unconscious biases

Take steps to anonymize candidate applications by removing the name, sex, and age of the applicant before review.

Shine a spotlight on women leaders

Increase the visibility of women leaders and role models by inviting them to speak at conferences, meetings, panels, or seminars.

Promote a culture that values women’s voices

Be deliberate in women for their opinions; disagree with women colleagues a little less; vocally agree with the female minority a little more, start to move the dial on promoting the voice of women.

Include men as stakeholders of positive change

Create a workplace that encourages buy-in from male employees; it is essential when implementing zero-tolerance policies that draw a line in the sand against these behaviours.

Don’t stop at mentorship—
sponsorship makes a difference

Sponsorship is often a more tangible way for leaders to move the dial for women within–and sometimes outside–their organizations.

Build teams that reflect your customer base

Set targets for achieving a workforce and leadership team that reflects your consumers, and be transparent as you work toward it.

Advocate for each other— but also for yourself

Be communicative: open up discussions with your employer around your objectives and the career you're looking for. And bear in mind that there are plenty of senior colleagues with whom you can build a professional network.

About #movethedial

#movethedial is a global movement committed to advancing the participation and leadership of all women in technology.Founded on the premise that advancing the full talent pool will make Canada’s tech industry the strongest and most inclusive in the world, #movethedial believes the opportunity for equity for all women-identified people exists at a global level. Proudly headquartered in Toronto, Canada, #movethedial is working to drive support and commitment to the #movethedial movement at home and internationally.

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Chris Dulny

Chris Dulny

Chief Innovation Officer

Tel: +1 416 869 2355

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