The Working Group (TWG) is partnering with TechGirls Canada for Project Change The Ratio: A first-of-kind workplace diversity pilot designed to test and share strategies for addressing gender diversity and equity in the workplace.
Over the next eight months, TechGirls Canada will be consulting with TWG and recommending measurable strategies for improving workforce equity and diversity. TWG will beta test these ideas, with the results informing the creation of a how-to guide that can be used by any company looking to change the ratio and improve gender diversity and equity in their workplace.
TechGirls Canada (TGC) is a leading advocacy and research group that provides national leadership and community to the hundreds of nonprofit and industry groups working to encourage more girls to consider tech as a career. Renowned diversity and equity expert Steph Guthrie will also be adding her strategic proficiency to the project, working closely with TWG to test recommended strategies and policies.
— Steph Guthrie (@amirightfolks) May 12, 2015
“TGC is thrilled to partner with The Working Group for this milestone project, with their long celebrated tenure of supporting the tech community in Toronto,” said Saadia Muzaffar, Co-founder and Head of Partnerships for TechGirls Canada. “The goal is to work in tandem to create a tried-and-tested how-to guide for the scores of businesses that have approached us over the last two years to ask how they can get started on making their workplaces more diverse and equitable. TWG’s partnership would help make this a living, breathing, relatable case study for businesses in the tech sector and beyond.”
There are plenty of reasons why tackling the lack of diversity at TWG and in the tech industry matters. Empirical evidence shows that diverse teams are happier and more productive, and that gender mix increases the collective intelligence of a group.
“A commitment to creating conditions in which a vibrant and progressive culture can thrive is a cornerstone of our identity,” said Derek Watson, TWG’s Director of Engineering. “Over the last few years, our team has grown from a handful of people to almost 50, and we’ve been active in our efforts to build a diverse team. Since 2012, we’ve changed the ratio of female to male TWGers from 9% to just over 15% today. However, the more candidates we interview, the more we recognize a painful lack of diversity in the tech industry.”
Partnering with TechGirls Canada is an opportunity to confront this challenge head-on while hopefully creating value for the broader community. Our goal for Project: Change The Ratio is to provide a set of clear, actionable steps that can be implemented at any organization. This partnership represents an exciting opportunity for us to continue to learn and grow as a team, and to contribute to supporting underrepresented groups in the technology sector.
We’re continually looking to learn new ways to make TWG more welcoming and inclusive for everyone regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or sexuality. We want to make sure the invitation to join us is heard and understood by smart people everywhere who love crafting amazing software and sharing findings as our contribution to supporting underrepresented groups in the technology sector. We’d love to hear your thoughts, or answer any questions about this or any other program – please feel free to contact Adrienne Marshall, TWG’s diversity lead.
About TechGirls Canada (TGC)
TGC is the hub for Canadian women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Proudly supporting Women of Colour, LGBTTQ, and Aboriginal Trailblazers – TGC is committed to centering intersectionality in designing solutions that address the barriers for diversity and equity in the technology sector.
About Steph Guthrie
Steph Guthrie is a feminist organizer, speaker and consultant focusing on the intersections of gender, culture and technology. As a consultant she helps organizations bring their gender lenses into focus so they can do a better job of engaging women as customers, staff and community members.