The Honourable Gail Shea Announces Project to Help Women in PEI Advance in Canada's Digital Economy

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI, Dec. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Gail Shea, Member of Parliament for Egmont and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, on behalf of the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, today announced funding for a project by the Innovation and Technology Association of Prince Edward Island (ITAP) that will prepare women for leadership roles in the technology sector.

"The number one priority of our Government is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," said Minister Leitch. "This project is one of many that we are supporting across the country to equip women with the skills they need to succeed in the digital economy."

"Women in PEI and across Canada have the knowledge, expertise, and talent to excel in every sector," said Minister Shea. "This project will address the gender gap in the technology sector where skilled workers are very much in demand, and strengthen opportunities for women to advance."

The Innovation and Technology Association of Prince Edward Island is receiving $276,865 for a 36-month project to increase the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in PEI's information technology (IT) sector. In consultation with experts and employers, the organization will create a Women Information Technology Leaders group to support women's professional development. Human resource practices will be addressed through an industry-driven "Women in IT Roundtable," which will document and share best practices with other IT employers.

"Technology is a growing industry in Prince Edward Island and our organization is committed to supporting the full participation and advancement of women in this dynamic sector," said Daniel Lazaratos, President of ITAP. "This Government of Canada funding will allow us to work hand-in-hand with companies to give promising women recruits opportunities to develop their skills and take on leadership roles."

This project is part of Status of Women Canada's Women in Technology Projects initiative which aims to provide more women an opportunity to play a greater role in the Canadian Digital Economy, where they remain under-represented. Through these projects, organizations will work in partnership with the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC). ICTC will also develop an evaluation framework for the funded projects, and share key evaluation findings with other stakeholders.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting projects that yield concrete results for women and girls, while strengthening families, communities and the country. Through Status of Women Canada, federal support for community-based projects has nearly doubled since 2006-2007, supporting more than 600 projects across Canada. Since 2007, more than $46 million has been approved through Status of Women Canada for projects that promote women's economic security and prosperity. Of this amount, more than $8 million has been approved for projects that support women in non-traditional occupations.

SOURCE Status of Women Canada

For further information:

For media inquiries only:
Barbara Mottram
Director of Communications
Office of the Hon. Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C.,
O. Ont., M.P.
Minister of Labour and Minister of
Status of Women Tel: 819-953-5646 

For all other inquiries, contact:
Nanci-Jean Waugh
Director General, Communications
and Public Affairs
Status of Women Canada
Tel: 819-420-6810

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