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

CALGARY, Oct. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, and Rob Anders, Member of Parliament for Calgary West, announced support for a project by the Calgary Council for Advanced Technology that will provide more women with the skills to participate in Canada's current and emerging technology sectors.

"Our government's number one priority is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," said Minister Leitch. "This project will help provide women with the skills they need to succeed in the Canadian digital economy."

"The Government of Canada is focused on helping more women succeed in Calgary and across the country, and is committed to Canada's economic growth," said Mr. Anders. "We want to increase women's prosperity by encouraging women and girls to pursue a wide variety of career options."

The Calgary Council for Advanced Technology is receiving $300,000 for a 36-month project entitled Cracking the Code: Corporate Capacity Building for Women in Advanced Technology.   It will focus on increasing women's recruitment, retention and advancement in the fields of digital media, gaming, software, and wireless/telecom. The organization will work with partner companies to develop tools, such as workshops and mentoring programs, to address the specific needs of women in the industry. The organization will also work with companies and their human resource departments to identify current practices, and offer a "Best in Class" reward system to those who have incorporated a policy to support the advancement of women.

"We are pleased to partner with the Government of Canada on this project," said Lori Farley, Program Chair at the Calgary Council for Advanced Technology. "This funding will allow us to work hand-in-hand with companies to ensure that many more women have the opportunity to contribute to Canada's technology sector and digital economy."

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 Harper government 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.


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, backgrounders and information on Status of Women Canada, go to women.gc.ca


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