Resilience, Passion and Progress – Women in Technology

Posted on June 21, 2021 | By Lesley Galgay, Success Manager – Diversity, Genesis | 0 Comments

On March 8, 2020, just six days before NL reported its first case of Covid-19, Atlantic Business Magazine published an incredibly inspiring article highlighting fifteen Atlantic Canadian women in tech. The article, covering both tech founders and tech employees, spoke of resilience, passion and, most importantly, progress.

Unbeknownst, that progress was soon to be jeopardized.

In 2018 women made up 25% of the Canadian Tech sector and, although the sector had posted significant growth, the representation of women had remained stagnant during the decade prior. Just two years later, the 2020 Canadian HR benchmark report concluded that representation had increased 5% (to 30%). Finally, progress.

Fast forward to mid-2021 where the global non-profit Girls in Tech reported that Covid-19’s impact on women in technology has been “devastating”. In the same time period, a Betakit headline read New Report Finds Women in Tech Feel Career Growth Has Been Stunted During Pandemic. The crisis has created a global ‘she-cession’ and the tech industry is not immune.

Fortunately, however, it’s not all doom and gloom. We would be remised to not recognize the negative impact of the pandemic but also remised to deny the opportunity. As so poignantly quoted by Dalai Lama:

Whenever there is a challenge, there is also an opportunity to face it, to demonstrate and develop our will and determination.

Women in tech are no strangers to challenge, nor to demonstrating will and determination. For example, despite the well-documented gap in access to capital, when they do receive venture funding, women tech founders bring in 12% more revenue than tech companies owned by men. In the same article by Huddle, The Power (and challenges) of Atlantic Canada’s Women Technology Founders (2016), it was noted that women-run private tech companies are more capital-efficient and also earn a 35% higher return on investment.

The ‘she-cession’ is simply another challenge that women in tech will face and overcome. Another opportunity to demonstrate resilience.

A resilient recovery from the pandemic requires advancement in technology and innovation and women need to be involved in these resilient recovery strategies. To adapt to the new world of work, women need to be skilled and tech savvy . UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed believes that recovery from the pandemic provides an opportunity to focus on key transitions that are highly dependent on technology and innovation – like ensuring an inclusive digital future . Through involvement in the technology industry, women have an opportunity to help solve practical world problems during this pivotal time in history. What an opportunity to make progress.

At Genesis we embrace the invitation to support the next generation of women in technology – those that are driven to leverage tech to solve the plethora of frustrating problems that have emerged; those that think big; those that are passionate; those that strive for progress.

Genesis has actually experienced an uptick in representation of women founders since the onset of the pandemic, with five new women founded/co-founded companies joining in 2020. Furthermore, the number of women hires amongst the Genesis portfolio companies over the past year has been phenomenal.

Perhaps the pandemic has spurred a women in tech revolution in Newfoundland and Labrador? Perhaps progress has not been jeopardized?

Perhaps this period in time marks a turning point, where resilience built from experiences of the past intersects with unrelentless passion to initiate change. The point where real progress begins. •

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