Gaps in representation remain, says tech sector report

Plus, non-opioid painkillers, a new AI company, and Calgary's best tech businesses.

Welcome to this week's Sunday Briefing. In this issue, read about a lack of representation in the tech sector, plus five other stories you may have missed. Have a great day. We'll see you again on Wednesday.

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Gaps in representation remain, says tech sector report

Tech and People Network (TAP Network), a tech industry association serving people and culture professionals, released their annual Diversity in Tech Dashboard this week. As the name suggests, the in-depth report provides insight on the industry’s equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging policies and practices, based on information collected from 189 employers.

The organization discouraged readers from making year-over-year comparisons. With an ever-growing data set, drawing trends — while tempting — may not be useful.

Annual comparisons aside, the dashboard results show that Canada’s tech sector still has significant work to do when it comes to representation. Some highlights (or lowlights, if you will):

  • Gender pay gaps exist at every job level surveyed, with the gap ranging from 7 percent to 18 percent, depending on job level.

  • Representation of women is 36.9 percent, while 2021 Canadian census data reported 50.83 percent of the general population identifies as female.

  • Indigenous representation in the sector is 0.9 percent, while Indigenous peoples make up 5 percent of Canada’s population.

  • People with disabilities remain significantly underrepresented at 4.2 percent. In 2017, Statistics Canada reported that 15.3 percent of the population aged 25 to 44 identified as a person with disabilities, as well as 24.3 percent of the population aged 45 to 64.

Nonetheless, it’s not all bad news. The 2023 dashboard notes two areas where representation in the tech sector in fact surpasses that in the Canadian population:

  • Representation of people identifying as 2SLGBTQ is 8.8 percent, while 2021 Canadian census data reported 4 percent of Canada’s population aged 15 and older identifying as LGBTQ.

  • Representation of people identifying as a person of colour and/or Black is 37.5 percent in tech, compared to 26.5 percent of the Canadian population.

Based off data collected through a confidential employee self-reporting process, TAP Network’s Diversity in Tech dashboard is free and available to the public.

🗳️ Question of the Week

Does your company track Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (EDIB)?

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🤝 Funding, Deals, and Partnerships

  • V Strategies launches new artificial intelligence company. Instead of seeing artificial intelligence as a potential threat, the video production company sees a huge opportunity. Calgary Economic Development

📰 Need To Know

  • Calgary’s tech companies to watch revealed at Launch Party 2023. The region is fast becoming one of the world’s most exciting global tech hubs. Platform Calgary 

  • UCalgary researcher wins prestigious award for helping develop non-opioid painkillers. Ketul Patel received the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation — Postdoctoral for his work developing a first-of-its-kind, non-addictive medication to treat chronic pain. University of Calgary

  • PlasCred Circular Innovations announces test results with patent-pending pilot plant. The results demonstrated the reported performance and efficiency of PlasCred’s unique plastic upcycling process with catalysts. Canadian Manufacturing

  • Calgary startups AITHR, ENA Solution, and OraQ celebrated at Launch Party 2023. The event, supported by Platform Calgary, is a showcase for investors, entrepreneurs, government, and the technology sector to see the region’s latest tech companies. BetaKit

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