The Government of Canada is providing $300,000 to fund a program aimed at providing jobs for more women in the technology sector in the Waterloo-Kitchener region of Ontario.
Communitech Corp., an organization built by entrepreneurs that helps companies in the region develop and commercialize their technologies, received the money yesterday for its Women in Technology Projects.
The money is specifically for a 36-month initiative geared towards increasing recruitment, retention and advancement of women in the area’s tech businesses.
The Southern Ontario city of Waterloo has a strong knowledge-based economy and is the home of many Canadian technology companies including smart phone maker BlackBerry Ltd. and networking software and hardware developer Sandvine Inc. Together with Kitchener and Cambridge, it forms Canada’s Technology Triangle.
“The number one priority of our government is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” Kellie Leitch, minister of labour and minister of status of women, said in statement. “That is why the federal government is creating greater economic opportunities for women in many sectors, including the digital technologies.”
Communitech is a member of the Ontario Network of Excellence, a collaborative network helping local tech businesses succeed. The corporation serves as the implementation arm of the province’s commercialization and economic development programs.
“The technology sector holds great promise for Canada, and women have a key role to play in the forefront of our digital economy,” said Karen Gallant, senior director of talent works at Communitech.
Women remain underrepresented in Canada’s technology sector. Through the Women in Technologies Projects and other programs in partnership with the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), Communitech is also developing a framework for funding projects aims at bringing more women into the sector.
Through the Status of Women Canada federal support for community-based projects now fund more than 600 projects across the country and more than $46 million in funding has been approved through the Women’s Program.