Tech companies cuts adversely affect women, people of colour

Calgary Women in Technology Summit to tackle issue

Kylie Woods

As technology companies make massive cuts (beginning in 2022 and into 2023), research shows women and people of colour are losing their jobs disproportionately. According to Layoffs.FYI and 365 Data Science, an estimated 56 per cent of those let go in the recent wave of tech sector downsizing are women; even more alarming when one considers that two-thirds of the tech workforce consists of men, meaning this further impacts the gender gap in the sector.

“Taking into account that women hold less than 25 per cent of technology roles to begin with, this is a devastating trend,’” says Chic Geek Founder and Executive Director Kylie Woods.

Chic Geek will host a number of Canadian-based tech companies, organizations and individuals in March at the ConnectHer, Women in Tech Summit to combat this trend.

“In the last few years, we’ve seen companies investing in equity, diversity and inclusion work. Now is the time to commit to that work, not let it slide, or we risk losing the progress we’ve made,” adds Woods.

Chic Geek, an organization with over a decade of experience supporting women in technology and STEM fields through programming for individuals and businesses, will host the SOLD OUT ConnectHer Summit on March 21, 2023, at TELUS Spark Science Centre, Calgary, Alberta.

Organizations focused on diversity and equity will be in attendance, including technology companies and their leadership teams, female-focused technology startups, women in technology advocacy businesses, investors and venture capital general partners, as well as individual women in technology careers.

With a focus on #EmbracingEquity, the more than 250 ConnectHer attendees will have opportunities to participate in discussions and workshops designed to promote DEI while building meaningful connections and finding inspiration and guidance in their careers as well as a community of support.

Partnering technology companies and senior teams across Western Canada (including Helcim, CISCO Secure, and IncluCity) in attendance will host tables where they will actively speak to and participate in open discussion and workshopping with women in roles, including Product Management, Software Development, Data Science and Engineering, UI and UX, Engineering, IT and more including adjacent roles such as marketing and sales.

Danielle Brewin Graham, Co-founder of the Firehood and General Partner of Phoenix Fire, one of Canada’s first female General Partners in Venture Capital focused on early-stage women-led startups, Indigenous representation, as well as BIPOC founders and investors, will speak at ConnectHer about the challenges as well as positive traction women and people of colour are making in both private investment and startup ecosystems.

“The ConnectHer Summit is an amazing example of what’s happening in Alberta and a showing of grassroots and industry groups who are leading in addressing the inequality in technology for founders, investors, and companies alike,” says Graham, who, as a first-time fund manager, raised capital focused on women in tech, with all investors and investees being women, and over 50% women of colour.