The Innovation Economy Council (IEC) is a coalition of tech-sector leaders dedicated to shaping Canada’s industrial innovation policy.
The IEC works with active members of Canada’s innovation ecosystem to identify areas for in-depth analysis and offer timely insights to increase Canadian productivity and sustainable growth.
They recently shifted their focus to diversity within the innovation economy, marked today by the publication of the report titled “Diverse Nation: Unlocking the potential of inclusive innovation.”
IEC’s research found that while women outnumber men in most post-secondary degree programs, the gender balance flips after graduation and becomes evermore lopsided with women trailing men in the tally of postgraduates who land internships in the innovation sector.
“At the entrepreneurial stage, the gender disparity is difficult to overstate. Only one of every five startups in Canada is led by a woman, and female-led firms receive barely a sliver of the venture capital funding pie,” reports IEC.
Black and Indigenous talent face similar obstacles, exacerbated by a lack of information, contacts, mentors, role models, and an ugly legacy of discrimination.
“This dynamic is even more pronounced for women of colour — and also for both men and women from Black and Indigenous communities. A lack of mentors, role models, opportunities and even basic information has hamstrung their progress, and so too has the egregious persistence of prejudice and discrimination from the education system straight through to capital investments.”
Check out the complete report online here.