Tech and People Network this week announced the release of their “2022 Diversity in Tech Dashboard,” which reports year-over-year progress on the “representation of equity-deserving groups” in Canada’s tech sector.
For the first time since measurement began three years ago, the annual report shows increases in representation, says Vancouver-based TAP Network, a non-profit association for People and Culture professionals in Canadian tech.
For this year’s edition, nearly 200 tech employers participated in the “Diversity in Tech Dashboard” survey, providing industry-wide data on policies, practices, and employee representation.
“Four years ago when we started this work, tech companies were reluctant to measure diversity,” notes TAP Network CEO Stephanie Hollingshead. “Now the sector is on a trajectory of real change.”
According to the report, 40% of participating organizations reported having company-wide DE&I goals in place, with an additional 39% considering or currently working on goal-setting.
“That’s a 10% increase from last year and it’s an important number to watch because this is where we see real change happening,” says Hollingshead.
Representation of women increased over 2% to nearly 36%, while representation of Indigenous peoples increased from 0.7% to 1.4%.
“Supporting a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion is at the heart of all of our government’s work to build a strong and resilient economy that works for everyone,” stated Brenda Bailey, Parliamentary Secretary for Technology and Innovation. “As more employers recognize the benefits of taking part in the Diversity in Tech Dashboard survey, we have an even better understanding of how we can continue the essential work of including under-represented people across our tech sector.”
Representation of people “identifying as 2SLGBTQQIA+” increased from 8.3% to 9.8%, while representation of people with disabilities increased from 2.9% to 3.5%, according to TAP’s report.
TAP says that within highly technical roles, the gaps remain wider, however. For example, fewer than 17% of software developers are female.
Hollingshead advocates for “diversity hiring goals.”
“It’s essential that we continue to invest in the recruitment and development of diverse perspectives to meet the needs of the sector,” she says. “The most significant examples we see of organizations successfully increasing employee diversity start with those companies setting measurable demographic diversity goals.”
According to Hollingshead, overall progress is positive and the gaps are closable.
TAP Network “is committed to tracking year over year progress towards closing those gaps,” she affirms.
Through programs and events, TAP Network fosters peer-to-peer connections and collaboration that enable learning and knowledge sharing. The association’s 900 members lead and influence the People and Culture practices at 250 tech companies spanning numerous subsectors, including ICT, VFX and animation, interactive and digital entertainment, cleantech, AI, life sciences and more.