The future of women in IT was discussed this month, but more attention was paid to the possibility Verizon Communications would offer cellphone service here

Complaints that women have been unable to rise in the ranks of IT organizations have been around since I began writing about IT in the late 1990s.

Things are a better – for example Marissa Mayer heads Yahoo, Meg Whitman runs Hewlett-Packard and Janet Kennedy was this year named president of Microsoft Canada — but over a decade later and I’m still about the struggles of women.

One of the latest came in a July report from the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), which noted that the boards of Canadian ICT companies are still dominated by men. More details are here:

Women make up just over 16 per cent of the directors of the 10 largest public information and communications companies, said the report. That’s about average compared to all public companies.

The problem, said report author Karen Wensley, is boards don’t make recruiting women a priority.

The same month two women who have risen high in their IT companies told a Microsoft partner conference that the opportunities for their colleagues are bright.

What got bigger attention across the country, however, was the war shaping up between Bell, Rogers and the federal government over the possibility that U.S.-based Verizon Communications might buy a startup wireless company and therefore get an edge in the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction.

This touched off a battle of Web sites and speeches.

Also in June it was good news/bad news at BlackBerry. The company made its Q5 smart phone available for purchase here, but lost two key executives.  CEO Thorsten Heins had to face shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting amid shaky financial results to insist “we’re doing the right things.”

Elsewhere that month, Canadian computer science researchers meeting in Toronto described a test bed they’re finalizing to experiment on next-generation application-aware networks. Read about their work here

Location-based services are said to be essential for success in mobility, which is apparently why Apple bought Toronto mapping firm Locationary for an undisclosed sum.  The firm uses game mechanics and crowdsourcing to develop a database of company locations, business information that is widely considered more accurate and up-to-date than most mapping services.
Finally, a French software company said it has created a SaaS analytic tool that can identify sarcastic comments on social networking sites. I suppose if you’re an organization or government worried about your reputation, you want to be able to filter through the avalanche of postings to determine who is really unhappy and who is merely shouting “a sharply ironic taunt” or a “sneering or cutting remark,” as dictionary.com defines it.

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