Harper Government Supports Project Aimed at Advancing Women in the Canadian Digital Economy

VANCOUVER, Oct. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, along with John Weston, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, and Wai Young, Member of Parliament for Vancouver South, announced funding for the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology in support of a new project to help women succeed in Canada's technology sector.

"Our government is committed to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians," said Minister Leitch. "I am pleased to announce our support for this project, which will equip women with the skills they need to succeed in the digital economy."

"Helping women to succeed in British Columbia and across the country is an important priority for the Government of Canada," said MP Weston.  "Canadian women have enormous potential to offer the technology field. Their contributions to this sector will strengthen the economy and benefit us all."

"There are many opportunities for women to contribute to our economic prosperity and growth here in British Columbia," said MP Young. "This project will open doors for women who want to work in the technology sector, and it will provide valuable training and mentorship to help them succeed."

The Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology is receiving $285,374 for a 36-month project that will assist women in the lower mainland of British Columbia to pursue careers in the technology sector. The organization will reach out to women with some background in technology, at different points in their education and career, and match them with three local technology companies-Webnames.ca, NetApp and Rhodium Business Services Ltd. They will be provided with mentorship opportunities, leadership training and professional development.

"Addressing the gender gap in the technology field is an important challenge and our organization is committed to encouraging more women to pursue these types of careers," said Rosine Hage Moussa, President of the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology. "This funding will allow us to help talented women in British Columbia, not only to join the technology field, but to develop the skills they need to advance."

This project is being announced during Women's History Month and is part of the Government of Canada's Women in Technology Projects initiative, which aims to provide women with an opportunity to play a greater role in the Canadian Digital Economy, where they remain under-represented.

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 the Women's Program for projects that promote women's economic security and prosperity.


Backgrounder


Women's History Month

Since 1992, the Government of Canada has designated October as Women's History Month to celebrate the contributions of women, past and present, who have helped shape our nation.

The theme for Women's History Month 2013 is Canadian Women Pioneers: Inspiring Change Through Ongoing Leadership. Throughout the month of October, the Government of Canada will highlight women's participation and leadership in various fields, including science and technology, engineering and trades, business and entrepreneurs, natural resources, medicine and medical research.

International Day of the Girl

International Day of the Girl is celebrated each year on October 11th, and in Canada, this day also forms part of the Government of Canada's celebrations for Women's History Month.

International Day of the Girl promotes equal treatment, and freedom from violence and abuse, for girls around the world. It also promotes equal opportunities for girls worldwide in areas such as law, nutrition, health care, and education.

Persons Day

Persons Day is celebrated annually on October 18th, during Women's History Month. This day marks a pivotal moment in Canadian history when, on October 18, 1929, women were first included in the legal definition of "persons" in Canada. It was a turning point in the quest for equal rights.

The Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case were created in 1979 to mark the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking Persons Case, which changed the course of history for women in Canada. Each year, five recipients are chosen from across Canada. Two are from the youth category (15 to 30 years of age). Recipients of these Awards continue the tradition of courage, integrity and hard work that the Famous Five of the Persons Case inspired.

Facts and Statistics for Women's History Month 2013

  • Since 1991, women have represented a majority of university graduates in Canada. Of the 242,000 university students who graduated in 2007, 61% were women.

  • There has been steady growth in labour force participation among women with young children. In 2009, 64.4% of women with children under the age of 3 were employed, more than double the proportion of 27.6% in 1976.

  • Women represent 47.5% of the Canadian workforce, yet remain under-represented in sectors such as the skilled trades and science and technology.

  • In 2012, women held just 11.8% of construction jobs, 19% of forestry, fishing, mining, oil and gas jobs, and 30.5% of agricultural jobs.

  • In the information technology professions, women maintained the same 25% of jobs from 2000 to 2010, despite increasing demands for these skills.

  • In 2007, despite representing 3.0% of enrolments in the electrical, electronic and related trades, only 1.5% of all graduates from these programs were women.

  • In 2009, women made up only 2.2% of registered apprenticeship completions in the building construction, electrical, industrial and mechanical, metal fabrication, and motor vehicle and heavy equipment trades; and only 6.9% overall working in trades, transport, equipment operations and related occupations - representing the largest currently-untapped human resource to meet these occupational needs.

For more information on Women's History Month and commemorative dates, please visit women.gc.ca.

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
Fax: 819-994-5168

For all other inquiries, contact:
Nanci-Jean Waugh
Director General, Communications and Public Affairs
Status of Women Canada
Tel: 613-995-7839

Ce texte est également disponible en français.

For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to women.gc.ca


FORFAITS PERSONNALISÉS

Jetez un coup d’œil sur nos forfaits personnalisés ou créez le vôtre selon vos besoins de communication particuliers.

Commencez dès aujourd'hui .

ADHÉSION À CNW

Remplissez un formulaire d'adhésion à CNW ou communiquez avec nous au 1-877-269-7890.

RENSEIGNEZ-VOUS SUR LES SERVICES DE CNW

Demandez plus d'informations sur les produits et services de CNW ou communiquez avec nous au 1‑877-269-7890.