Ottawa, June 28, 2023—The number of women working in Canada’s digital economy is on the rise, gaining momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic, but gender diversity at the senior level lags.

Women aged 45–54—the age group that would typically hold most mid- and senior-level roles—is the slowest growing cohort in the digital economy, and women are underrepresented in management roles across the economy, including in tech roles.

As gender diversity in business leadership is associated with improved profitability and innovation, it is crucial to strengthen gender diversity in Canada’s digital economy.

This latest ICTC report, Empowering Women in the Digital Economy: Addressing Tech’s Untapped Potential, is part of a multi-phase project to enhance gender diversity in Canada’s digital economy. Building on ICTC’s 2022 study on gender equity, this report examines the state of gender diversity in senior-level, managerial-level, and leadership-level digital economy positions.

It examines instances where women leave mid-career and highlights strategies and policies for improving gender diversity. Contemporary research focuses on this problem from the perspective of a lack of diversity-enabling infrastructure as opposed to one driven by women’s choices.

This report takes a systems-thinking approach to identify individual, organizational, and ecosystem-wide challenges and solutions for improving the representation of women in tech leadership.

The findings of this report will contribute to ICTC’s development of a toolkit for policymakers, industry councils, employers, and leaders to help address some of the systemic barriers to gender diversity in mid- to senior-level tech roles.

“In the ever-evolving digital-based economy, empowering women leadership will unlock new innovations and shape a future that is technologically advanced and socially equitable. Their unique perspectives, skills, and talent represent a critical strategic advantage for building tomorrow’s sustainable economy.” –Namir Anani, President and CEO

About ICTC

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a neutral, not-for-profit national centre of expertise with the mission of strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in the global economy. For over 30 years, and with a team of 110 experts, we have delivered forward-looking research, practical policy advice, and capacity building solutions for individuals and businesses. Our goal is to ensure that technology is utilized to drive economic growth and innovation and that Canada’s workforce remains competitive on a global scale.

To arrange an interview on this study or other media inquiries, please contact Paul Stastny at @email or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823.

This study was partly funded by Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) Canada.

A copy of the study can be accessed here.

A French-language press release of this report is here.